Ladysmith man releases book to help matric pupils

2014-12-30 00:00

A LADYSMITH township lad will ­have released four motivational books targeting matrics by 2016 — using nothing more than the power of belief.

Ntokozo Hlongwane (24) has released the first book of the series, How to Finish Grade 12 with Maximum Distinctions, with another two, already completed, set to be released in the new year.

And the youngster — who sees himself as just an ordinary guy who failed Grade 8 before turning his future around — said belief is the key to achieving success.

“I am not a genius. When I failed, I asked myself why and took a decision to never fail again. I also took a decision that I wanted to help others to have the same positive attitude,” said Hlongwane.

Having started writing the book in his matric year in 2008 at Sakhelwe High School, he matriculated with five As — a massive progression from just four years earlier.

“I see myself as a creator, not a victim. I can do what I want to do. If you believe you can, it can work.”

Obsessed with the self-help genre, he has devoured over 2 500 books that he said put him in “the right environment”.

“I couldn’t finish the book in matric as back then I was a bit uncertain. I ­needed to make sure what I thought could work.”

He said the problem is not with the pupils but with how “learning is ­perceived”.

“The change is an inside job. I saw my background — growing up in a township and going to a school that was not well-resourced — and turned it into a positive. I saw my story of coming from humble beginnings to becoming a success.”

He will be opening the eThekwini Metro matric pupil recognition awards — he has represented South Africa twice in China in a skills exchange programme and has rubbed shoulders with the ruling elite around the globe.

The go-getter has also obtained a Bachelor of Arts in political science and law from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is now looking at obtaining his Bachelor of Law.

He is also on the motivational circuit speaking to a diverse range of schools from the townships to Afrikaans high school Dirkie Uys.

“In February, we are to release Youth and Success followed by Think, Act and Produce Big.”

Working under the self-created ­banner of Ikhusas’elihle, his mentor and backer, entrepreneur Rafik Gharafory, said before they embarked on selling the book he put it to practical use on 20 ­pupils in Ladysmith.

“They were all averaging between 40 to 50%. Within a year, they all got a ­minimum of three distinctions,” said Gharafory.

“Hlongwane has abilities and impeccable manners. He took a loan to ­self-publish before we got involved. We saw him and released what we wanted back to him,” he said.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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