Former school principal Zanele Jacqueline Ngesi, who retired in 2013, has shared her story in The Journey Of A Strong Woman: Challenges Of A Queen.
Ms Ngesi, who now lives in Pinelands, spent 34 years as a school teacher, 22 of which she was a principal at Xolani Primary School in Gugulethu.
Among those who attended her book launch at Kwantu Guest House in Milnerton were former DA leader Mmusi Maimane, and the Durban-based Springbok rugby captain Siya Kolisi sent a recorded message as he could not attend.
Addressing the gathering via Zoom from Klerksdorp, Ms Ngesi’s daughter Linda Monnakgothu said the title of the book aptly described her mother.
“In this book my mother shares life of experiences of a black woman in urban South Africa, her resilience, the hurdles she overcame and it should serve as a guiding light to women and young girls,” said Linda.
In the book’s foreword, Plough Back Movement founder Professor Nomvula Mtetwa, described Ms Ngesi’s leadership qualities as highly commendable.
“Her memoir is an uplifting and inspirational text for for current as well a future generations to come,” said Professor Mtetwa.
Ms Ngesi’s initial plans were to publish the book in 2015, when she turned 60, but she ended up having to undergo a triple bypass operation.
When she recovered she discovered that her first manuscript had gone missing because the laptop it was saved in was stolen. Pressed for time, she started rewriting her memoirs in 2018 because she wanted the book to be ready for her 65th birthday. Then in 2020 she was dealt another blow when she was diagnosed with kidney cancer. This, however, did not deter her, and she continued to work on her book while she was recovering.
While the book tells of her many struggles and tribulations, her true grit shines through and Challenges of A Queen takes the reader on an inspiring journey of a woman against all odds.
The book is self-published is available from the author. She can be contacted on 083 628 8244.