East London-born author, Sivu Matyila has written another book, I Was Born the Day My Father Died, which will be launched on September 29 at The Mustard in Vincent.
“Before my father died in 2014, I was a law drop-out and I squatted at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) campus, sleeping in toilets, offices and whatever place I could find.
“I ran various fraudulent scams to survive, and at some point sold drugs. I had isolated myself from my family and friends, as I was ashamed of the person I had become. I was in debt and by all means had no direction,” Matyila said.
“This was particularly painful to my family because throughout my life I had been very academically accomplished. But I had become extremely rebellious and rogue from my late teens.
“The sudden death of my father, and with me not having spoken to him in months, and the disappointment I had caused to my family, made me re-evaluate my life.”
Matyila said he felt reborn into a more conscious being, very much aware of the transience of life and the beauty that could be achieved in it.
“After receiving the tragic news of my father’s death and having to wash and dress his cold, motionless body in preparation for his funeral, it made me feel like I was dying, but also reborn. This book is a full account of my life and every decision, influence, environment and oversight that led me to that fateful morning of my father’s death and my new birth.”
He said it took him three years to complete the book, which he started writing in 2015.
“Throughout the years, I’ve chopped and changed chapters as my perspective on life changed and evolved. I finally decided to just put it out this year, or I never would.”
“The target market for the book is the black youth. I think they would relate the most to with my thinking and experiences and will probably benefit the most from it.”
Matyila said the challenges he faced was finding the time to sit down and write, and fighting his own insecurities.
“Starting and completing a book is a daunting task, but it’s very fulfilling to see the pages filling up,” he said.
The book will be launched in three cities: East London, Cape Town and Johannesburg.
The East London launch will start at 11.30am. Entrance is free, and the book will go on sale for R170.