AFEVER reporter had a one-on-one with author Rev Sithembiso Hlophe, who recently had a book launch at the New Germany Library. Nosipho Mkhize: Please tell me about your childhood memories. Sithembiso Hlophe: I am the eldest grandchild both from my maternal and paternal parents’ sides. I therefore grew up with a very close relationship with both families. I remember while I was in my early primary school days playing all sorts of children’s games. But one that I did a lot was playing “church”. I therefore grew up liking to go to church. No wonder I today remain a committed Christian and one of the leaders in the Christian sector. I was a well behaved child, in most cases. When I moved from Ashdown to live at Inchanga during my teen years I got myself involved in church, and later in the Student Christian Movement, as well as other community development initiatives. NM: Please tell me a bit about the book SH: The title of the book is Be Inspired. It is an inspirational book that seeks to positively impact the lives of all people who will read it, or be influenced by those who would have read it. Although the book uses at its main source bible scriptures, it does appeal to a large audience of readers, no matter their religious and social backgrounds. After all, it is an inspirational book for the public at large. NM: Was this your first book launch? SH: This was my first book launch organised by the municipality. I have held a launch for my first book in 2000. NM: Please take me through your journey as an author. SH: Out of passion and deep desire to positively impact other people’s lives, give hope, the meaning of life, and inspire flourishing lives, I decided one of the effective ways to communicate one messages was through writing. I wrote and publicly launched my first book, Power Within You, in 2000. This was followed by my second and third books Hope for the Hurting Heart, and Release the Power within You. Be Inspired is my fourth, but certainly not the last book. I am an entirely self-funded and published author. NM: What encouraged you to write your book? SH: I wanted, and still want, to make a positive contribution to society at large. I am also hoping that our people, black communities in particular, will relate better with local writing, since my books share stories that we are most familiar with, and inspire us to become a reading nation. NM: A message you would pass to the youth of SA? SH: We are all born for a reason. God has a purpose for each person’s life. No one is a duplicate of another person. You have to deserve and work hard and smart for a good life. To be a good person, who your family, community and nation can be proud of, you will have to make good choices for the things you will engage your life in ... Say no to drugs, no to having children at a young age, no to bad company, and no to all bad things that could destroy your life. NM: Where can people buy the book? SH: It is mainly available from me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 500 5014. It’s also available at Adams in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.