Losing both my parents at an early age made me realize that no one but myself can give me the time and attention I could give myself. As a coping mechanism to being an orphan, I sought out other ways of making sense of life as it is. I figured that there is only one thing that could provide me with all the answers I was seeking out of life. Everyone I knew who had made it in life appeared to be rather committed to reading books.

I wanted so badly to be successful in my life and so I began reading as much as possible. Reading, however, wasn’t what I was particularly fond of doing. In fact, I hated it. I had an attention deficit disorder which was mistaken for dyslexia by my primary school teachers as they all agreed that I was a slow learner. The fact that I was called a slow learner in primary school never sat well with me. I was very apathetic to everything academic due to the death of both my parents. I fell sick to the point that I never believed that I could ever recover nor grow any older. The doctors had reached a professional conclusion that I would never see the age of thirteen. That conclusion by the doctors is what made me be so apathetic in my academic life. I felt like there was no point for me to be good in school because there was not enough time for me to live and therefore not enough time for me to be any good at anything.

Getting past the age of thirteen and going to high school were two defining moments in my life. I had grasped that opinions are just that, no matter who they come from. I had learnt firsthand that a man can only be defined by himself. In my renewed hope and desperate quest to better my life through books, I came across the book called Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. I had never read anything he’d written before, but somehow I knew and understood that he is one of the highly respected authors of all time. In the back of the copy I had was Shakespeare’s photograph. I remember staring at that picture for hours wondering what is it that William did in his own time that made his writing so critically acclaimed and so world renowned. Though I could not read the book with full comprehension, I carried it around with me. My grade 8 teacher, Mrs Loate had asked me looking quite perplexed why I read an author who uses such a complex language. I told her that I didn’t have any other books I could read. She took that book and promised me to give me a book I could read with better understanding.

After a few days my teacher brought me a book called the “Mending Season” by a South African author named Kagiso Lesego Molope. I could almost appreciate the irony of that book title, especially considering the fact that I was also in the season that I was aiming to mend my life. “Mending Season” was the first book I had ever read from start to finish with enjoyment and understanding. It is the book that solidified my love for reading and it remains my favorite to this very day no matter how long ago I read it.