THE BLACK CHILD

Somizi Mh­longo’s mem­oir gets the A-lis­ters out on a chilly Wed­nes­day night in June. Ntombizodwa Makhoba went along for the Moët & Chandon and to get the low­down

CityPress - - News - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA ntombizodwa@city­press.co.za

Somizi Mh­longo’s fam­ily and friends came out in num­bers to show him love and sup­port at the launch of his mem­oir, Domi­noes: Un­break­able Spirit, held at Exclusive Books in Hyde Park on Wed­nes­day. Front and cen­tre in the crowd were his mother, Mary Mh­longo, and daugh­ter Bahumi Madis­ak­wane.

Mam’ Mary was ex­cited about her son’s achieve­ments. She de­scribed him as some­one who is very re­spect­ful and who loves peo­ple.

“I see my hus­band [Ndaba Mh­longo] in him. That’s why I love him. He does ev­ery­thing for me. I don’t know how to thank him,” said an emo­tional Mam’ Mary.

Mean­while, Somizi em­pha­sised that his fam­ily were his cheer­lead­ers and a pil­lar of strength for him, es­pe­cially as they have been with him through some very dark times.

“When peo­ple say some­thing nasty on Twit­ter, I go to the ATM and check my bank balance,” he joked.

On a more se­ri­ous note, the en­ter­tainer said: “My big­gest fear is los­ing my­self to the world and to at­tach my spirit to the world.”

It has been a chal­leng­ing six months for Sowe­tan en­ter­tain­ment editor and au­thor Les­ley Mo­fo­keng, who co-wrote the book with Somizi, be­cause they are both busy men.

“I had to write the mem­oir through voice notes. I also had to hold back and change some words be­cause in the end peo­ple should hear him speak­ing through the book,” Mo­fo­keng ex­plained.

How­ever, hav­ing over­come their sched­ul­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, Somizi is happy with the fi­nal prod­uct, which he says has re­tained his voice.

Fit­tingly, while Mh­longo spoke about why he wrote the book, he sipped on his favourite Moët & Chandon Cham­pagne, which flowed through­out the evening for all the guests too. And what a guest list it was. Spot­ted in the crowd were Jes­sica Nkosi, Vusi Nova, Cassper Ny­ovest, Criselda Dudu­mashe and Brian Temba.

Busi­ness­woman Baset­sana Ku­malo, who wrote the fore­word to the mem­oir, said the book was raw, honest and en­gag­ing.

“What I want young peo­ple to take away from this book is that a black child must dare to dream and to have an in­cred­i­ble work ethos. A black child must be­lieve in the power of their dreams,” Ku­malo said. Somizi’s BFF, TT Mbha, was in the crowd, but it seemed he was keeping a low pro­file and not min­gling as he usu­ally does. This party reg­u­lar had to won­der: Did they fight again? Af­ter all, when I read Somizi’s man­u­script, I didn’t see TT’s name.

How­ever, Somizi says a “de luxe” ver­sion of the book will be out soon, and it will fea­ture all the men that have had an im­pact on his life.

“I’ve known TT Mbha for 20 years of my life. Tom Mkhwanazi is my ex and he is the epit­ome of what true love is. He stopped work­ing for a month and brought me back to life when I was very ill – the same ex whose heart I broke.

“Criselda played a huge role in up­lift­ing my spirit and Lor­cia Cooper was there for me. My mother is the rea­son I got up from that bed,” he added.

Of his an­tic­i­pated mem­oir, Mh­longo said: “My book is not meant to em­bar­rass any­one but to in­spire. “Who I slept with is none of your busi­ness... ” So, there you have it, Domi­noes: Un­break­able Spirit, isn’t a tell-all, but an in­spire-all from a man who is per­ma­nently in­ter­wo­ven into South African pop­u­lar cul­ture.

PHO­TOS: PHUTI MATHOBELA

IN­SPIRED Baset­sana Ku­malo and Somizi's daugh­ter Bahumi Madis­ak­wane dur­ing the book launch at Exclusive Books in Hyde Park DIS­CUS­SION TIME Unathi Msen­gana, Somizi Mh­longo and co-au­thor Les­ley Mo­fo­keng dur­ing the book launch at Exclusive Books in Hyde Park, Jo­han­nes­burg

AP­PLE OF HER EYE Mary and Somizi Mh­longo dur­ing his book launch CROON­ERS Brian Temba and Vusi Nova were among guests at the launch

MASTER CRAFTS­MAN Bren­dan McCar­ron joined Glen­morangie as head of Ma­tur­ing Whisky Stocks

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