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Domi­noes: Un­break­able Spirit – The Somizi Mh­longo Story by Somizi Mh­longo and Les­ley Mo­fo­keng

Brand Arc Me­dia 112 pages R180

It took me just two hours to fin­ish chore­og­ra­pher, TV star, ra­dio DJ and gay icon Somizi Mh­longo’s mem­oir. It’s a grate­fully short and easy read.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to ex­pect, since writ­ing a book has be­came a bit of a celebrity trend these days.

The book’s ti­tle, Domi­noes: Un­break­able Spirit, is in­spired by mu­si­cian and ac­tor Brian Temba’s first sin­gle, per­fectly re­flect­ing this story of keeping hope and faith alive in the face of life’s tri­als.

In his mem­oir, Mh­longo of­fers frank rev­e­la­tions about his low­est mo­ments, his first gay sex­ual ex­pe­ri­ence, his health, an al­leged sex­ual as­sault case and other tales.

The fore­word is writ­ten by busi­ness­woman Baset­sana Ku­malo. Mh­longo co-wrote the book with Sowe­tan en­ter­tain­ment editor Les­ley Mo­fo­keng, the au­thor of Bitch, Please! I’m Khanyi Mbau.

Mo­fo­keng has done a great job, the reader can hear Mh­longo’s voice clearly in each of the 10 chap­ters.

There is a point where Mh­longo loses ev­ery­thing and doesn’t have a cent to his name, his car and home are re­pos­sessed, with no work com­ing in.

“This was around the time I was found guilty of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing that man, which to this day I still in­sist I wasn’t guilty [of], the law went in its own favour, not mine,” he writes. Domi­noes is a book about over­com­ing the odds and will no doubt in­spire Mh­longo’s army of fans to per­se­vere in the face of ad­ver­sity.

It’s an emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ence to read how he was so sick a few years ago that many thought he was go­ing to die. God gave him a se­cond chance, he writes. “Here I was, my life was per­fect in the eyes of ev­ery­one, but in­side I was dy­ing. How was I go­ing to deal with this, is there a cure for it? There is no cure for it.”

He says that he still doesn’t have the courage or feel the need to say whether he is re­fer­ring to can­cer, HIV or di­a­betes. We hope one day he finds courage to share more so that he can help the voice­less find a voice.

Be­cause the truth is that I felt a lot of Domi­noes was edited so that Mh­longo didn’t re­veal any­thing too con­tro­ver­sial. But if you have given up on life and feel hope­less, buy this book. It was writ­ten es­pe­cially for you. – Ntombizodwa Makhoba

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