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A journey of resilience

Portia Mlilo
COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT: Cynthia Abednigo Kgagodi

Motivational speaker pens a book on the dance of life

Cynthia Faith Abednego-Kgagodi, is a communications expert, motivational speaker and an author.

She currently serves as Family Ministry leader at Acts Church Botswana and Lead Acts Church Mochudi, doing family and community service.

She is a community leader who strives to transform many lives through her experiences and the Word of God, especially young girls, and women.

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Through motivational talks, Kgagodi aims to contribute towards building strong and Christ-centered families for the betterment of the nation.

She recently published a book titled Dance: Tests, Tears & Triumph.

Our Reporter Portia Mlilo had a chat with Kgagodi about her new book and its impact on its readers.

Q. What inspired you to write the book?

The idea to write “Dance: Tests, Tears & Triumph” took root in my heart during lockdown in April 2020.

I would have long written it but somehow fear and self-doubt cast shadows over the worthiness of my thoughts and experiences.

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I doubted myself, I doubted my story, yet, with time the call to share my story intensified, overpowering feelings of uncertainty and doubt.

I woke up one day and decided to do it, not for accolades, but with the hope of transforming even one life.

Just like the very essence of the book’s message, sometimes it takes just one story to kindle a flame of inspiration.

The book serves as a testimony of resilience, a mirror reflecting my steadfast determination to defy circumstances.

Each page echoes a narrative of hope, proving that adversities need not define one’s identity or derail the pursuit of destiny.

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Having gone through one trial after another, it dawned on me that most people lose their way, especially when they go through challenges, I was led to write this book hoping that as the readers go through the book, they may find solace in knowing that vulnerability is a strength.

In sharing my journey, I have not only defied self-doubt but also become a beacon for others navigating their own storms.

“Dance-Tests, Tears& Triumph” is not just a book; it is a living testimony to the power of embracing one’s voice, even when the world is hushed in uncertainty.

Q. What impact do you think the book will have?

As readers navigate the stories within, my earnest hope is that they find inspiration, discover their strength, and, most importantly, a positive shift that lingers long after the last page.

I want to remind you, the reader, that you are not alone, your situation isn’t extra-ordinary, hang in there, there is light at the end of the tunnel and above all, God loves you and He desires an eternal relationship with you.

As an author, my primary aspiration for this book is to reach a wide audience and catalyse transformative experiences.

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I did not write it for accolades, I aim to empower individuals to recognise their inherent greatness and make positive impacts, regardless of their circumstances.

My hope is to inspire people to step out of their comfort zones, pursue their dreams, and lead purposeful lives.

I believe everyone has a unique calling, and my intention is to encourage individuals to embrace their potential.

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Life’s challenges often make us question our identity and capabilities.

Through this book I want to remind readers that they are bigger, greater and better than societal expectations may suggest.

Q. Who are your target audiences?

Target audience is from pre-teens to adults.

It is a book of encouragement to people of all ages, from the young as they transition to teenage-hood to young working adults and senior adulthood.

The book is for anyone who can read, simply because challenges of life do not discriminate based on age: everyone faces difficulties, at times we find ourselves at crossroads, uncertain of our identity, sometimes in the deep end where we feel like throwing in the towel.

This book aims to assist people in overcoming challenges, providing support in times of struggle, and preparing them for future obstacles.

Q. Explain the title of the book?

The title, Dance: Tests, Tears & Triumph is just to say in the shadow of life’s tempest, where challenges loom like dark clouds, there exists a dance—one that unfolds in the storm.

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“Dance : Tests, Tears & Triumph” bears witness to a journey of resilience, and to the enduring spirit that finds its strength in faith and hope.

Amidst the trials that threaten to drown the soul, through the tears that fall like raindrops, uncertainty and being stuck between a rock and a hard place, there lies a chance for triumph and overcoming.

The story of my life resonates with the heartbeat of perseverance.

I want to encourage readers to treat life like a moving ambulance with it’s ringing siren, to move swiftly with urgency and navigate through challenges with an alert and active mindset aimed towards the finishing line.

I want to encourage readers to find strength to rise through the fire and dance in the storm.

My book aims to illustrate that even in the darkest moments, there is a divine choreography, a dance in the storm that leads to a sanctuary of light and redemption.

Challenges will always come, but we make the fight or flight choice.

In the book, I bare my soul, recounting intimate struggles— from a life marked by the death of my parents, nursing an ailing child, meeting good people who changed my life for the good, believing a lie about my weight, finding my purpose and identity in faith and hope.

This book stands as a beacon in the aftermath of life’s vivid storms, where faith has been battered and bruised.

Q. How much does it cost and where can your potential audience buy it?

A copy of the book retails at P250, whereas tickets for the launch cost P500, this covers the book, refreshments and launch event.

The book launch will be held at Cresta Marakanelo, on the 16th of February 2024.

The book is currently available on pre-order basis.

I plan to have it sold from various bookstores and platforms to widen my reach.

I will have a book tour sometime midyear to take the book to the people and share my story.

Follow our event updates on Facebook: Dance-Tests, Tears & Triumph Book Launch.

Q. When did you discover your talent?

I have always loved writing, I have been journaling a lot since a tender age.

My talent for writing was harnessed by my former class teacher in senior school, her name is MmaSetlalekgosi, whenever she read my compositions, she would circulate it and ensure other teachers read my compositions too and commended me for my strong writing skills.

Before I completed my form 5, she helped me secure an internship with The Voice newspaper where I started my journey as a writer.

I was only 18 years at the time, but I did so well under the guidance of veteran journalists like Innocent Tshukudu and Chenjelani Baraedi.

At one point I scored the front-page story and I knew there and then that I am born for this, writing.

Q. What is the most challenging thing about being a writer?

I guess for me the most challenging thing has always been self-doubt.

I believe this is a hindrance for a lot of other writers out there.

You wonder if your story is good enough but after writing my first book, I have come to accept that not everyone will be the target audience for your story but there is definitely someone out there whose life would be impacted by your story.

I want to encourage writers to go ahead and share their stories.

Writing is an art. It is a God-given talent, why not harness it.

Remember every best seller author started somewhere, believe in yourself, believe in your story.

Q. You were once in the media industry; did that experience have any impact in improving your writing skills?

Oh yes it did, I believe my time with The Voice really sharpened my writing skills.

Not only do I believe in my style of writing, I also have the confidence to share my story bearing in mind that it may be what someone needs to hear.

As a Marketing and Communications architect, I still work closely with the media, I still do write media pieces, speeches and press releases.

Once a writer, always a writer.

Q. What makes a good author?

A good author is authentic.

The story that they tell should be relatable.

One of my favourite reads that have really impacted my life positively is “The Light you carry” by Michelle Obama.

It was a gift from my husband, a treasure in my heart.

In this book, Michelle shared relatable stories of her life, she came down to the level of an ordinary person and that has really inspired me to be as authentic as can be about my book.

A good author does not only tell what the reader wants to hear but what they need to hear.

In my book, Dance: Tests, Tears &Triumph, I tell my story as it is, there are also some teaching elements that are set to transform the lives of the readers.

Q. What advice can you give to aspiring writers?

Share your story.

Someone needs to hear it.

Embrace the power of persistence.

Don’t fear imperfection in the beginning, it will get better in time.

Be authentic and seek constructive feedback and learn from it.

Find your unique voice and what resonates best with you and run with it.

Stay curious and observant.

Read other people’s work as well, to broaden your skills and knowledge.

Celebrate small wins and don’t be discouraged by setbacks.

Lastly remember writing is a journey of self-discovery, be patient with yourself.

Start, make the first move.

Q. Who is your inspiration?

My inspiration is Sarah Jakes Roberts.

Her story challenges me to rise above challenges and allow God to work on me and through me.

Q. Thank God it’s Friday. What are your plans for the weekend?

My weekend will be packed with a series of events at church.

We have our 12th anniversary celebration coming up, it will be a busy weekend for me.

I can’t wait.

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