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AUTHOR: Janet Taunyane

Debut novel documents author’s abusive past and ultimate triumph

This Thursday (15th February) first-time author Janet Taunyane will launch her debut novel ‘Rise’ at the Maitisong Theatre in Gaborone.

The book is based on real-life events from the 33-year-old’s difficult upbringing, including rape and substance – both drug and alcohol – abuse.

Opening up about her abusive past, Taunyane revealed she was raped by the family garden boy and molested by a relative at the age of eight.

She also had to endure an unstable home environment, with her parents’ marriage characterised by violence and heavy drinking.

Despite these traumatic events, Taunyane, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of despair, managed to overcome her tough childhood to become the woman she is today.

She hopes her book will inspire those stuck in similar situations and encourage them not to give up.

“Having seen my father beat up my mother, I say to women and children: ‘It’s okay, there is light at the end of the tunnel!’

“ Having watched my parents abuse alcohol and watched them falling sick and eventually dying because of alcohol related diseases, today I stand a better person who has left that past behind me,” she told Voice Entertainment, explaining another reason she decided to pen down her experiences is to warn people of the dangers of indulging in such social ills.

“I have a mental illness to attest to the dangers of these kinds of lifestyles; living on medication for the rest of my life. So basically the book covers all these things and encourages people to ‘Rise’ up out of it. It elevates, inspires and gives direction to all,” revealed Taunyane.

Thursday’s book launch will include a number of other activities based on a similar theme, as the new novelist explained, saying, “The event is also meant to raise awareness. I am lady who today stands as an Activist against Drug and Alcohol abuse, against sexual abuse and against any form of physical abuse between partners.

“This event will be a compilation of drama, musical, teaching by professional counsellor and a word of encouragement.”

The launch, which is schedule to start at 6:30pm with entrance free to the public, will also include a short performance from drama group Soul Prosper based on some of the chapters taken from the book.