Book Review – I Choose to Live by Letshego Zulu
In July 2016, racing champion Gugulethu and his wife Letshego Zulu set off to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro along with the 42-strong team of the Trek4Mandela initiative. Tragedy strikes and Letshego returns to South Africa days later with her husband’s body in a coffin.
Told in mesmerising detail, this is the remarkable story of a wife’s courage and stamina to make sense of her loss and to find an authentic life after Gugu’s untimely death. Through her get-up-and-go attitude and insightful life lessons, Letshego’s journey shows that, despite adversities, it is possible to Choose to Live.
At first I was reluctant to read this book months after buying it. I had heard a number of radio interviews and Karabo Kgoleng’s interview on 701 with Refiloe Mpakanyane about the book. It really left me feeling sad, because I was part of the people who were so shocked about Gugu’s death. I attended the book launch when the book was released last year but didn’t buy the book immediately. During a Q&A session at the launch, a few women stood up and talked about their loss. They thanked Letshego for writing the book and for being brave enough during her time of loss to open up about her painful experience. Thanking her for choosing to live because her story encouraged them to choose to live as well.
Well done to Letshego for writing this book, for sharing her and Gugu’s love story from the beginning until the very end. A love that spanned 17 years – they truly lived their best lives, not succumbing to society’s pressures to marry early into their relationship. Letshego shares in detail the journey of how they got to be known as #AdventureCouple up until that fateful night. Letshego is resilient, inspiring and super positive about life. One can pick that up from her words. She also has a strong, solid support system in the form of her family and friends from both sides. I absolutely enjoyed reading the letters included which were dedicated to their daughter Lelethu. Letters from friends, family, and people who had encountered Gugu. People whose lives he had impacted in one way or the other. Gugu was an amazing man, genuine and kind – those letters will serve as a reminder for Lelethu of what a good man her father was.
I Choose to Live by Letshego Zulu is filled with 12 life lessons from Letshego following the death of her beloved husband Gugu. Lessons I for one will carry with me and definitely read again as a reminder. I have the utmost respect for Letshego and the woman she is. I have drawn strength from this book and the lessons within reminding why I choose to Live!
A must read!