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THE ONES WITH PURPOSE

Nozizwe Cynthia Jele

  • Original Title: THE ONES WITH PURPOSE
  • Publication date: April 2018
  • Publisher: Kwela
  • Country: ZA
  • 240 print pages
  • Drama

Information

  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: South Africa
  • Themes: FAMILY, Couple, Siblings, Dysfunctional family, Mourning, Infidelity, Emancipation, PEOPLE facing life, Life choice, Life change, Disease, Death, Facing failure, LOVE / HATE, Destruction, Sex, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Commitment

Pitch

When her sister, Fikile, dies after fighting breast cancer, Anele must ensure that the cultural ceremonies and rituals associated with the burial are performed. A betrayal causes her support system to crumble, but she still has to care for Fikile’s children. Is her sole purpose ensuring the happiness of others? Or is she allowed to want something more?

Comments

Nozizwe Cynthia Jele is a South African novelist. Her novel HAPPINESS IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book, Africa Region and the M-Net film prize at the 2011 M-Net Literary Awards. The novel was adapted into a movie by Thabang Moleya in 2016.

Summary

“I imagined a dying person’s last breath as something resembling an exclamation mark, distinct and hanging mid-air like an interrupted thought. My older sister Fikile’s last breath before she dies is nothing of the sort. There is no rattling noise at the back of her throat. No relentless twitching. No clinging to life. Fikile dies with no more fuss than a switch of a light bulb.”

When her sister, Fikile, dies after bravely fighting breast cancer, Anele cannot give in to sadness; she has to ensure that the cultural ceremonies and rituals associated with the burial are performed. Fikile’s husband, Thiza, absent during her dying days, is still nowhere to be found. As mourners arrive at the house in the township of New Hope for the period of grieving, old family conflicts lurk under the surface. All the while, Anele is haunted by memories of Fikile, who sacrificed her youth to take over their household; who got involved with her teacher and eventually trapped herself in a marriage with him. Only Anele knows of the chance Fikile had to start over in later years. But then cancer struck. A betrayal causes Anele’s own support system to crumble, but she still has to care for her mother and for Fikile’s children. Will her life take the same course as Fikile’s? Is her sole purpose ensuring the happiness of others? Or is she allowed to want something more?

A novel which traces the cultural proceedings that occur when a loved one passes away and explores the bonds of family, touching on cancer, infidelity, alcoholism and statutory rape.

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  • Author’s biography

    Nozizwe Cynthia Jele is a South African novelist. Her novel HAPPINESS IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book, Africa Region and the M-Net film prize at the 2011 M-Net Literary Awards. The novel was adapted into a movie by Thabang Moleya in 2016. She also writes short stories, and supports various initiatives to promote reading amongst young people, including The FunDza Literacy Trust.