Shamelessly true SA story

Shameless is a beautifully written debut novel by local writer Futhi Ntshingila.

The main characters, Thandiwe and Zonke, grew up together in rural Mpumuza in KwaZulu-Natal but their lives are destroyed in their early teens by the violence of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The book examines how Thandiwe moves to the city and shamelessly prostitutes herself on the streets of Yeoville.

She sees 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 says about her job: "I am a priestess, I hear their deepest darkest confessions and I give them the absolution that no regular priest can."

Ntshingila, a former journalist, uses strong female characters in her book.

The characters, Thandiwe, Zonke the book's narrator, and Kwena, an ambitious documentary film maker who is interested in Thandiwe's story and aims at telling the South African story with dignity.

It's a compelling read, a true South African story which we should all read.