Budding authors are faced with countless challenges which often break their spirit and confidence, however, Khayelitsha writer Xola Dekeda has proven beyond reasonable doubt that nothing is impossible if one works hard to achieve one’s dreams.
The 37-year-old father of four has released his first book, titled Understanding the Teachings of Christ, which is aimed at encouraging people to learn the lessons of Christ before preaching his word.
Speaking to Vukani, Mr Dekeda said the book was aimed at anyone who was eager to understand the teachings of Christ.
He said what made the book differ from others is that every quote and scripture has been referenced, making it easier for people to grasp the book.
He added that it was important for him that such a book be written from a perspective of a black person.
Mr Dekeda said, through the book, he hoped to reach young people while helping those who were battling to understand the bible and stimulate meaningful conversations among the community about Christ.
He said writing the book had been a bold step – and a massive undertaking – but being an avid reader had helped him considerably.
Mr Dekeda, who is an evangelist at Gate Family Church in Durbanville, said one of the key elements of the book was that it was written in simple English that was easy to understand.
He told Vukani it had taken him two months to write the book which was published in April.
“We need more books written by us for our people. We need to continuously educate our people so that they can make informed decisions.
“We also need to change this negative perception that black people do not read books,” he said.
Mr Dedeka highlighted marketing and financial support as major challenges facing budding authors and suggested that a platform be created to equip black authors with the required skills and knowledge to break into an industry which can be quite “hostile”.
Mr Dekeda said he has submitted his book to various publishing companies and he is still waiting for a response.
Sales, he said, were not too bad, with 350 copies having been sold to 60 churches in the province.
He said he plans to write a second edition of the book which will be more detailed.