A year ago Neziswa Kanju received a special birthday gift from her husband, Rest — a book that he had compiled from some of the articles published in ‘Life in Full Bloom‘, her popular fortnightly Gateway News column dealing with family, marriage and relationships.
The unique book gift inspired Neziswa to pursue her dream of publishing a book, and next week, on Tuesday, December 8 — her birthday — she will be launching her book, ‘Love Builds’ at an event at the Pretoria Botanical Gardens.
Gateway News asked Neziswa some questions about herself and her book. The questions and her answers are posted below:
Please share some general info about yourself?
I am a proud daughter of the Eastern Cape. I spent the first few years of my life in Port Alfred. When I was nine, at the height of apartheid in the middle of the eighties, we moved to Port Elizabeth where we stayed in Zwide. My parents moved my family again in 1989 to KwaMagxaki in Port Elizabeth. This is where my mother still stays. My dad passed away in 1997. I attended farm schools in my primary years then matriculated from Trinity High School. I have always loved counselling people and thought being a psychologist would be my life’s work.
I went to the University of Cape Town with the intention of studying psychology. While there I discovered that one can study drama. I had done drama at high school and honestly fell in love with it. In my first year I decided to do drama,which I eventually majored in, obtaining a Bachelors degree in Arts (Drama). While at university I acted in a number of theatre production and a television Xhosa drama series called KwaZidenge, playing the part of Notizi.
I gave my life to the Lord Jesus in 1995 in my first year at university. After varsity I came to Johannesburg where I further acted in theatre productions and television. I got discouraged though by the entertainment industry as it was moving to producing more and more sexualised dramas. I made a decision earlier on even before I got married that I would not take on roles that involved kissing and nudity. This meant that I lost many roles…
I met Rest at university and we got married in 2001. God has blessed us with three children. In 2012 we hosted and produced a marriage and relationship programme called Renewed Love. I have recently started a media and communications company Bridge Media and Communications.
What is your history of involvement in marriage ministry?
In 2005 our pastor Rev T W Ngobeni asked us to head up and lead the marriage and family life wing in our church. Since then we have had seminars for couples covering many different subjects. We organised out-of-town getaways for couples to reconnect with each other. We counsel couples and individuals at our home. In 2012 we hosted and produced the first season of Renewed Love. Renewed Love is a show on marriage, family and relationships. It was also screened in InterCape buses. Andre Viljoen the editor of Gateway News asked me to write a column focusing on family, relationships and marriage towards the end of 2013. I have been writing articles for almost two years for Gateway News with the column Life in Full Bloom. In the last couple of months my writing for Gateway has included covering events and doing film and book reviews.
How did the book come about?
On my birthday last year my husband gave me a book that was a compilation of some of the articles from Life in Full Bloom. He knows how much I love books and how much I have always spoken about publishing my own books. The book that he compiled was to serve as inspiration for me to not give up my dream of publishing a book. It is a book whose time has come. During the seminars that we hold we have seen that after the seminar couples still want more lessons; something that they can work on and discuss with their spouses. LOVE BUILDS is a book that I hope couples will read together and ponder on the points that are written. It is a book that can be given as a gift to those who don’t really want to go to church but will be more open to reading a book.
What is the book about?
LOVE BUILDS a house into a home is a clarion call to married people whose marriages have crumbled to go back to their spouses to rebuild the broken walls. I found great inspiration from the Bible story of Nehemiah who was moved to action when he heard about the broken walls of Jerusalem. I call on the prodigal husbands to come back home to rebuild. I call on the wives to respect their husbands and for husbands to truly love their wives. I speak of grace and gentleness to be values that we hold dear in our homes. LOVE BUILDS is as the title says; Love is the glue that holds our marriages and families together. The true application of 1 Corinthians 13 is what will make our loved ones truly say: “There is no place like home.” When they see patience, kindness, faithfulness they will know that even if the world turns its back on them they have a home full of love that they can always run to. It is also a book for unmarried people who can practise values written in the book in their relationships.
In South Africa we have one of the highest rates of violence against women and children. I plead with men to not use violence against their spouses. There is a Nguni saying: Ïnduku ayakhi” which loosely translates to “Violence does not build”. It is mainly used when one refers to a home — “Violence does not build a home”. I hope this book will give readers inspiration to go back home if they are away from home. If they are still with their spouse but have been distant for years I hope it will make them remember the love they once felt for their beloved.
#IndukuAyakhi# ; #LoveBuilds#
What are the launch details?
The launch will be on the 8th December (my birthday) at the Pretoria Botanical Gardens from 18h00. I chose this date because it was on this date that my husband gave me the book that started it all for me — to write a book. It will be an evening filled with testimony, worship and appreciation of family.