Writer hopes to heal the nation with new book

Mmatshilo Motsei. Photo: Supplied.

Writer Mmatshilo Motsei’s new book Reweaving the Soul of the Nation will be released on Saturday.

The event will be held at Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History.

The book is a collection of essays, in which Motsei takes some of what Steve Biko, Es’kia Mphahlele and Che Guevara wrote and weaves it together with her own African wisdom.

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Motsei said many of the essays were written after she published The Kanga and Kangaroo Court: Reflections on the Rape Trial of Jacob Zuma – a time she said when she was isolated and victimised.

“Writing saved my life. The only time I felt alive was when I was in front of a computer and writing,” said Motsei.

In the book, Motsei writes about the political economy of Africa and questions the role of religion in responding to racism and poverty.

As an advocate for women’s rights, Motsei questions the suppression of the role of women in African history from the time of Egyptian dynasties through to the African liberation struggle.

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This has led her to ask: “Is there value in appointing women as presidents of patriarchal political parties?”

Writing as an observer and participant in what she calls “collective insanity”, she tackles the breakdown of values in families, communities and social movements.

Her 2012 column published in the women’s magazine True Love, Motsei asked: “What Kind of Prostitute Are You?”

In the book she asks people, especially women, to look within and recognise how indifferent they are to sex workers.

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Commenting on the new book, she said: “I hope readers will reflect on their contribution as part of both the problem and the solution to the fractured soul of the nation.”

“Taking lessons from the patience, dedication and perseverance of a weaver finch, the book is an invitation to reweave fractured threads of the soul into a whole.”

Motsei was born in Lady Selborne, Pretoria and is the founder of Afrika Ikalafe Institute for spiritual health.

Afrika Ikalafe retreat is a community shrine known to enlist nature’s healing wisdom in supporting people’s quest for holistic health and healing.

She also founded Afrika Ikalafe and Agisanang Domestic Abuse Prevention and Training (ADAPT).

She currently shuttles between Pretoria and a farm overlooking the majestic mountains in Machadodorp, Mpumalanga from where she facilitates healing retreats which combines art, nature and spirituality.

“A percentage of book sales will be donated to Tshiamelo Inclusive School that caters for children with Down’s syndrome.”

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