Somizi’s story in­spires oth­ers to dream big

A re­ward­ing life re­counted in his own spe­cial style

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MPILETSO MOTUMI @mane_mpi

WHEN a doctor told Somizi Mh­longo he had only a few days to live from an ill­ness he has not named, a for­mer part­ner dropped ev­ery­thing to help save his life.

“He is the epit­ome of what true un­con­di­tional love is – be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter.”

Mh­longo was talk­ing about a man by the name of Tom Mkhwanazi, who he will elab­o­rate on in an ad­di­tional chap­ter of his book Domi­noes: Un­break­able Spirit.

The chore­og­ra­pher an­nounced at his in­ti­mate book launch in Hyde Park that the edi­tion would be com­ing out in a month’s time.

“We de­cided this about two days ago. It’s an ad­di­tional chap­ter called My Best Men and it speaks about the men who had an im­pact in my life.”

He said the chap­ter would also speak about his best friend TT Mbha, and all he has done for him.

About Mkhwanazi he said: “If you want the best ex, go to Tom. This is the man when I got the news from the doctor say­ing you have two days to live. He came to my house while I was al­ready in a re­la­tion­ship and asked my then part­ner if he could take me for a month and stop work­ing, and he brings me back to life, lit­er­ally back to life.”

The Idols judge said that, more than any­thing else, he wanted the book to be hon­est.

“When I read the book I could see my­self speak­ing. It was a beau­ti­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion.”

He worked with jour­nal­ist Les­ley Mo­fo­keng, who said that when Mh­longo ini­tially called him for the project, he sug­gested it be called Whoo Shem, af­ter the Sara­fina! ac­tor’s pop­u­lar phrase.

“He dis­missed it im­me­di­ately be­cause it was not go­ing to de­liver the mes­sage. Domi­noes was much more se­ri­ous and sin­cere. We stayed away from what he called ‘big’ English and let his voice come through, so I had to hold back and change some words and be very care­ful through the edit­ing process,” said Mo­fo­keng.

He said they used voice notes and other forms of tech­nol­ogy to com­mu­ni­cate and get in­for­ma­tion to tran­scribe for the book.

Mh­longo’s friend and fel­low Idols judge Unathi Msen­gana played host for the evening, and said that through the book, Mh­longo re­minded ev­ery­one he had al­ways been dif­fer­ent.

“Your goal has al­ways been in you, even when there were 12 of you sleep­ing in the same room.”

Mh­longo said he man­aged that be­cause his child­hood was so happy, he didn’t re­alise they were poor. He said even though the fam­ily had ev­ery­thing go­ing wrong for them, no one could take away the love they shared.

Mh­longo said he didn’t want to just share his story, say­ing he be­lieved there was a rea­son why he was where he is to­day as a celebrity.

He shared how there were times when he could have been sui­ci­dal, a drug ad­dict and even a fraud­ster, but he chose not to go in those di­rec­tions.

“My spirit was so strong, it knew I was gonna be here to­day.” That’s what he wants ev­ery­one who reads the book to see. “I don’t want them to make the same mis­takes… it is greener on the other side. There is gold and ev­ery­one de­serves gold.”

Mh­longo’s close friends, fam­ily and in­dus­try celebri­ties at­tended the event.

Baset­sana Ku­malo, who wrote the fore­word for the book, said the mem­oir dared the black child to dream big.

Domi­noes is avail­able for R180 at Ex­clu­sive Books.


SNAP: Brian Themba, who in­spired Somizi Mh­longo’s book ti­tle, Domi­noes: Un­break­able Spirit, takes a selfie dur­ing the book launch at the Hyde Park Ex­clu­sive Books.

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