Zoleka Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter, inspired University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) staff and students when she shared her personal account as encapsulated in her book When Hope Whispers at a book event hosted by UJ’s library on 26 February.
When Hope Whispers tells the story of Zoleka’s triumph over tragedy and her success in spite of overwhelming challenges. Zoleka, a breast cancer survivor and awareness advocate, gave a motivational talk, encouraging the audience to never give up hope. Her talk was centred on the loss of her 13 year old daughter in a motor vehicle accident in 2010 and the burial of her newborn infant boy within a year and how she personally dealt with these life changing events.
Zoleka who also fought substance abuse, uses her tragedies to inspire and change lives through interviews and public speaking engagements such as the one hosted by UJ.
Zoleka said; “For a long time, I never thought I had a voice. Through writing this book I can share my experiences with other people that might be going through the same difficulties I went through. I’m hoping to bring hope and make a difference in someone’s life. It’s never too late to change your life. I use my life as a cautionary tale to make a positive contribution to other people’s lives.”