Thandiwe lives by her own rules. She shamelessly sells her body on the South African streets of Yeoville and views her job as no different from those of young black graduates who take up affirmative action posts as perpetual juniors under soul-destroying mentors. Thandiwe's searing views on the post-apartheid corporate world become public when she is approached by Kwena, a young film-maker who is interested in telling the stories of prostitutes and the shameful secrets of many. For Thandiwe, that personal story begins in the poor, rural village where Thandiwe and her best friend Zonke grew up, facing the many challenges of a vulnerable childhood together. They both fend off unwanted sexual attention and Thandiwe loses her mother in a freak accident, leaving her an orphan. When she runs away from her guardians to avoid circumcision, Thandiwe arrives in Jo'burg and soon launches her unconventional career. While Zonke pursues a more sheltered and conventionally successful course of action, Thandiwe has to fight fiercely for her independence, even at the risk of endangering her own life.
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FUTHI NTSHINGILA lives in Pretoria, where she works for the Office of the Presidency. This is her first novel.
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