GASTER Sharpley’s book launch took place on Monday at BMW in Berea and was attended by more than 50 people, including Buffalo City Metro mayor Xola Pakati.
Sharpley’s book, titled Hold My Hand and Let Me Stand, is his 10th project on various topics. The book focuses on the complexity of human relationships. Much like his previous books, it is written in a conversational tone and offers guidance and insight into creating long-lasting friendships.
The politician and philanthropist, who was previously the municipal mayor of BCM, is now the head of the provincial department of human settlements, as well as the founding director and chairman of the Peggy Nesta Foundation.
The foundation is a community-based non-profit organisation founded in the memory of Sharpley’s mother, Peggy Nesta Sharpley. All the proceeds from the book are to be donated to the organisation.
“I don’t write books to make money; it’s a hobby, it’s a passion; and if I can help others along the way, I am grateful,” Sharpley said.
The foundation is dedicated to uplifting the community through various programmes and events. Last year, the foundation filled their mandate and hosted various events, fundraisers and awarded bursaries to needy students all in aid of the community.
Kicking off this year with Sharpley’s book launch, the foundation hopes for a rewarding and successful year ahead. “We’ve already managed to give out 30 high school bursaries around the area and also provided those pupils with laptops,” a member of the Peggy Nesta Foundation, Samantha Rorich, said.
Described as a great communicator by his son and MC at the event, Garth, Sharpley provides a one-on-one experience for his readers.
“The book follows a mentoring style, whereby readers are not merely given a model to work by, but are taught, through the insight and experiences my father has gained,” Garth said.
Despite being a serious and important book on the complex nature of human relations, there are passages laced with Sharpley’s witty humour, which accentuates the conversational tone throughout.
All who attended the launch gave high praise for the book and none failed to mention his humble and selfless nature.
Close friend Dee van der Byl said: “He is a true humanitarian and has the biggest heart I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know.”
Following in his humble and community serving footsteps, Sharpley’s son Garth has launched a community newspaper, titled Pass it On, which caters for the Buffalo Flats, Parkside and surrounding areas.