How Somgaga overcame
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