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Today’s story is set in my home country, South Africa!

It is a land of tremendous beauty and opportunity, but not too far in the past it was a land of discrimination and hatred. 

Although Aparteid is over, we still feel its effects. Only by embracing our differences and learning to work together as equals will we ever be free of its terrible shadow.

On another note, if this story inspires you to write or if you take the idea further, a small acknowledgement would be great!

And so, without further ado, here is “Cycle of Despair”!

Cycle of Despair tells the story of a white South African man, Johannes, growing up in the last vestiges of Apartheid. Johannes spends his time verbally abusing an elderly black man who often loiters around his parents’ store. The black man’s son, Sizwe, goes on to hate all whites (after seeing his father mistreated by everyone else) and enters into a life of crime, specifically targeting them. 

Against all odds, Johannes falls in love with Sizwe’s sister and against his parents wishes, proposes to her.

However, their happiness is destroyed when she is killed in an eviction riot. 

Years later, Johannes has grown up to become a successful lawyer who finds Sizwe as his latest client (he was caught for armed robbery but in truth he was actually framed by his friends) and they are initially distrustful of one another. 

After a case full of bickering and surprise revelations (Sizwe’s sister died protecting him from the police, Johannes witnessed Sizwe’s father having a heart attack but did not help him) they realize that they act the way they do because of their parents teachings (Johannes’ mother was very racist and told him that whites were superior to blacks, Sizwe’s mother [after his father’s death] told him that white people were the cause of all of their problems). Realizing that they hold so much in common (especially the fact that they both loved Sizwe’s sister equally), they reconcile. 

Using his childhood story of love and discrimination, Johannes wins the trial and makes up with Sizwe, promising that they will both try to be better people. The book ends with their visit to Sizwe’s sisters grave, where they both express how much they miss her and what she did for them.

Thanks for listening! Our next story is “Travelling at the Speed of Love”, look forward to it!

And remember, Never Lose Your Stride!