Journo walks to her place

Journalist and publisher Ethel Manyaka is on top of the world.

Journalist and publisher Ethel Manyaka is on top of the world.

She launched her new book A Walk to Some Place three weeks ago and it is already in demand across the border.

At 34, the youngest member of the Press Council and a mother of two, she has found her purpose in life and is certainly living her dream.

She revealed to Khanyi Nkosi how she discovered her passion for writing and how she defied all odds to realise her dream.

Question: You say in your book that you are now living your dream, does it mean you've always wanted to write a book?

Answer: Yes, from the age of six I guess books fascinated me. As I got older I knew that my career lay around papers, pen and pictures.

Q: What inspired you to write the book?

A: Life in general and the world around me. Family, friends, my children and just ordinary people.

Q: What is the book about?

A: Hope and courage. Stories of our lives and circumstances we all draw courage from and, most importantly, acknowledgement of the Creator, affirmation of an individual, appreciation for time and the celebration of life.

Q: How long did it take to finish it?

A: Almost four years.

Q: Who is your target?

A: Women and men from the age of 15. Readers who love inspirational books. It is for men and women who feel dissatisfied with their lives and need to find their way back home.

Q: What is the one thing readers will draw from the book?

A: Courage to love even when it hurts, strength and hope. It will also cultivate the kindness within themselves.

Q: Were there times when you felt like giving up? If so, what did you do to pull through?

A: Writing a book can be a very lonely exercise. As you try to focus on the bigger picture, you find yourself being required and expected to fulfil certain responsibilities. I came to a point where I had to stop giving too much of me and started acting very selfishly. I made sure that the world revolved around me just for a while. I put aside certain things and relationships which were not helping me to fulfil my dream and not blending in with my vision.

I then focused on myself and other things which were contributing to my change of career and life, as well as the birth of A Walk To Some Place.

Q: Where do you draw your strength from?

A: Christ and prayer.

Q: What is your biggest weakness?

A: My talkative nature and not being courageous enough to see someone in pain.

Q: How involved was your family in the writing of the book?

A: Not much. I remained as independent as possible.

Q: Any challenges you came across while writing the book?

A: As a writer and an emerging young publisher I had to face the financial part of running this project.

Though I had organisations such as the National Arts Council that helped me financially, I still had to cough out some money from my own pocket.

There were times when I faced dry seasons, but I remained focused and believed that A Walk To Some Place would come to be.

Q: What advice would you give to women who want to pursue their dreams?

A: It is good to reflect on the early years and recapture the little girl in all of us - reflect on the dreams that kept us alive. That's when we find that our dreams have always remained with us. We just have to find a point in life in which we're able to live them.

It doesn't matter how long it takes. Every woman deserves the best and should live her dream.

l A Walk To Some Place can be bought at most bookshops for R158.