Third-year UKZN BCom student Mr Thembalethu Mahlangu has penned a motivational book titled I Believe – A Letter to the Youth. The 20-year-old first-time author, who wrote the book in under four months, was compelled to write I Believe to help young people overcome what he refers to as ‘the four monsters of life we face every day’ – dreams, obstacles, failure and success are explored in Mahlangu’s book.

Bookstores have shelves dedicated to motivational books, but Mahlangu realised many are written by “older people”. ‘Most motivational books are written by old people who are from the generations before ours, and who don’t relate to our preferences which is why many young people aren’t interested in reading them,’ he said.

Mahlangu, who is from Umlazi, said he was inspired to write the book to help the youth overcome obstacles after growing in an environment with ‘youth characterised with hopelessness.’

He offered these words of wisdom: ‘Don’t undervalue your dreams and overvalue obstacles. A dream without purpose is not a dream, but a wish that will not drive you to your triumphant destination. Dedication and consistency is required for a dream to be accomplished.’

Writing a book while being a fulltime student is no mean feat! He says other would-be authors should focus on time management to accomplish their goals. ‘We are all given 24 hours a day and it is up to us to honour and make each and every minute count,’ he said.

His immediate plans are to continue his studies at UKZN ‘as this University is a platform for inspiring greatness,’ he said. He plans to donate 10 books to a children’s home and to continue with his pursuit to make a difference in people’s lives.

Mahlangu thanked everyone on his journey to penning I Believe, with special thanks to UKZN Student Development Officer, Mr Mandla Ndaba who mentored him and helped put the book together.

If you would like a copy of I believe, visit Adams Book shop or contact Mahlangu at Ibelievebook1@gmail.com or call 084 857 6216.

Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer