- Patience Bambalele

FOR 25-year-old Limpopo poet, author and entreprene­ur Tshepo Maloa, writing is therapeuti­c.

Maloa, who is about to publish his first book The Love Complex, says writing his first novel healed him after he went through a difficult time in 2013.

For the Louis Trichardt-born writer, it all started when he lost four friends in seven weeks.

At the time he was in his third year at the Vaal University of Technology doing biochemist­ry.

Maloa sunk into a deep depression and was diagnosed as bipolar but, after reading the book

Acquired Mind, he started to see things differentl­y.

“I struggled to deal with my friends’ deaths. In fact, I was angry at God,” he says.

“I began drinking heavily, having risky sexual encounters and even sampled drugs.”

This drove him to write and complete his book in two months – on his Black Berry phone.

Maloa’s novel should hit the shelves in September.

Maloa says his novel, which is the first of a trilogy, is about how people have different definition­s of love, the misconcept­ions about it and how it connects different people in the end.

“It is about how human beings take certain decisions in the name of love, but end up hurting the people they love most,” Maloa says.

“There are five characters who each has a different story of love to tell. I am talking about what people do for love, [and] the consequenc­es that you get for any bad decision.”

He says the book is a combinatio­n of personal experience­s and a million encounters with other people. The book was also inspired by television show

Intersexio­ns on SABC1. Maloa says it started on the show’s Facebook page where he wrote his thoughts, and people loved them. “People wanted more. In a week, I already had 2 000 followers. The demand was huge, I kept posting episodes every day.”

Now that he has beaten the odds, Maloa wants to live his life to the fullest. The budding entreprene­ur owns a toilet paper factory with his brother and also co-owns ZAH Avenue with his sister and two friends.

ZAH Avenue distribute­s African clothing and art brands locally.

“I realised that when I am gone, the only thing that would prove that I once existed will be my grave, and I feel I have so much to offer and I want to leave a legacy.”

The Love Complex will be published through Clarity Publishing, which Maloa co-owns with a friend.

He has also started a foundation called Frozen Thoughts, dedicated to human developmen­t and helping young people discover and nurture their natural gifts, and to equip them with the necessary tools.

 ?? PHOTO: PETER MOGAKI ?? ENERGETIC: Tshepo Maloa is still aiming high
PHOTO: PETER MOGAKI ENERGETIC: Tshepo Maloa is still aiming high

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