The positive thing resulting from lockdowns necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic is the fact that human beings continue to be allowed spaces to be together all the time.
For some, this continues to be a time to get to know one another, while for others, this period presents itself to be a time to finally open up about our demons to our loved ones. And it is on this background that Futhi Ntshingila’s latest offering is set on.
In, They Got To You Too, Futhi tells a tale of a former police general named Hans Van Rooyen who finds himself with an opportunity to finally share his long-held secrets about his family, abuse, and his colourful career during and after apartheid in the force with a stranger who becomes his saviour.
Now, let me start by giving credit to Futhi for this brilliant work. She has once again proven why she is one of the vanguard of the exciting novels in the country.
Perusing through the pages of this book, I was impressed with how Futhi had managed to weave together themes which truly captures the emotional, psychological, and mentally state of so many of us who are victims and perpetrators of the atrocities of apartheid.
The Van Rooyen family is just a mirror through which many of us can be able to reckon with our own hatred, anger, mental state as a result of apartheid, which now compels us to find forgiveness, love, and reconciliation in order to heal in the democratic dispensation.
They Got To You Too is a book that truly reminds us that peace is only found in reconciliation.
This is more-so a book of love and reconciliation than one of opening the old wounds.
Futhi, in an honest and open manner has narrated a true South African story that so many of us are reluctant to confront. And I am confident that if she was a white Afrikaner woman, she would easily be accused of being a racist, and that is due to the manner in which she wrote this book with a language that best fit the narrative.
I think the only bummer for me is on the technical aspect of the book. The long chapters had a way of killing my reading momentum. It becomes a challenge to remember all facets of the book when you have to read a single chapter for a longer period of time.
I think it will be wise to keep the chapters very short. Four to five pages a chapter will do, as that will easily drive the plot nicely along without the reader getting lost.
Besides that, this is a beautifully crafted tale of forgiveness, love, and reconciliation.