After being gang raped by seven (7) men in Rustenburg, North West, Palesa Brown who penned a book, “To My Rapist, I Thank You”, continue to travel around the country talking with people from all walks of life about the incident which nearly destroyed her ambitions. Her book chronicles her journey on how to claim her power back after a horrific incident which nearly took her life.
Speaking to learners gathered at a hall fully packed to capacity, Palesa said that her book speaks of pain, power, and God’s Saving grace in the midst of trouble. She continued saying that she did not believe that she is the one who survived such an ordeal! “When I initially started writing about her pain the idea was to wipe away every pain any women had found themselves in and wont be able to overcome, giving them hope to take charge of their lives”, she said.
“The book speaks about my life and the things that i have gone through such as been diagnosed with cancer, while she was still young, losing her fiancé three days before they tie the knot and having to deal with mental illness”. She continued to say that “Tapping into what happened to her was not easy”.
The hall was emotionally charged with learners looking attentively at Palesa, the Storyteller, who continued walking on the isles carefully and skillfully narrating her story. Some learners broke in tears when listening at the account of Palesa’s story which keeps on touching on their own experiences.
“Our scars do not define who we are as people, but the magnitude of our experiences with life”. It is only when we look back that we can discover how far we have come thus far. She further deduced that she needed to own up her scars in order to start teaching others how to own up theirs. The moment she mentioned that she has forgiven her rapists, released them in order for her to be free, that triggered emotions to some learners who even requested the platform to confess their mistakes to their fellow students. The platform was granted and confessions were made by learners.
Palesa encouraged learners to own up their scars and continue to fight in order to make a different in their lives and those of the people in whose communities they are coming from. Whilst she hoped that her book will bring about changes in the lives of her young audiences, she also believes that they will develop the fighting spirit of not giving up their goals despite all the odds against them.
I’m already on my third book. I have already jotted down the book. It talks about the processes after healing. She concluded the workshop by saying that she is busy with another book which she shall share its details in due course. She concluded by adopting one learner who aspire to write novels and play, Boipelo Senatle. She promised to walk the journey with the young girl until she realizes her dreams of becoming an author.