Charlie Dunn, author of Amazing Grace
Over the past seven years, Harebaleng book club within the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Gold Fields Library has been inviting authors to come speak about their books with the aim of motivating students and staff and encouraging a culture of reading among them.
Thus, on 19 October students, staff members and invited guests gathered to the ‘Reading breeds knowledge’ event held in the VUT training room.
The invited speakers included Mr Martin Polite Sibanda, an ex-offender who served 11 years of his 15 years’ imprisonment term and who is currently a second-year Public Relations Management student as well as a founder of two companies, Uhuru African Tyres and Polite Communications Holdings; and Mr Vusumzi Makhubela, a motivational speaker, Master’s student in Marketing and author of the upcoming book How to implement an effective method of change.
The keynote speaker was Charlie Dunn, author of Amazing Grace, walking the path of life, who shared how his life changed from what he perceived as being sweet to being a nightmare in a split second.
He said that the date he was sharing this story, 19 October, has significant meaning to him. It is the day he committed the crime that landed him behind bars, it is his wedding anniversary and it marks five years of not seeing his daughter, irrespective of his endeavours. He said he hopes that the family concerned will one day forgive him.
He explained that a life of sexual immorality, drinking and partying led to his downfall.
“Sometimes your purpose will choose you. To have a good name is sweeter than perfume. You should never forget the people who help you in life. Be very careful of people who you invite into your space. It’s very easy to lose focus and your identity,” he said.
Polite Sibanda said: “Irrespective of your situation, you can make something out of yourself. Success is not about qualifications but the drive a person has. God has planted a seed of greatness in each and every one.”