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Forced to Grow

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  8 reviews
This is the story of an ambitious, determined woman--deserted by her husband at age 23 with three children under 6--who made it out of the black ghetto of Guguletu, put herself through high school and college, then grad school at Columbia, and obtained a job in New York.
Paperback, 232 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Interlink Publishing Group
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Claire
Covering the time in her life from 23 to 40, from the lowest point in her life to one of the highest, from being pregnant with her third child, after being pushed out of her job, her husband's parting shot as he abandons them, to inform her employer of his disapproval of her working, to an unexpected job offer with the UN in New York; this second volume of autobiography was hard to put down.

What an inspiration Sindiwe is and what a gift to have witnessed her journey through reading; her persever
...more
Lorraine
Oct 09, 2012 rated it liked it
An autobiographical account of Sindiwe's early life and the circumstances which "forced her to grow".

The book depicts life in apartheid South Africa. The harshness of the environment on families, young men, young women and their parents alike. A system which robbed the black nation of dignity, a sense of belonging and national pride.

Like any black person living under apartheid and coming of age in the 60's, life was harder because they were black. The pass laws restricted movement, the Group Are
...more
Puleng Hopper
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Forced to Grow is a sequel to Sindiwe Magona’s autobiography titled “To My Children’s Children” (1990) . Although "Forced To Grow" can be read independently , I would recommend reading the two books in chronological order to better put matters into perspective.

Written in an easy , conversational and maternal voice , Sindiwe Magona continues to relate her life story as if speaking to her great grand children.

A curtain then opens on a destitute 23 year old mom of two, with a third child on the way
...more
Mary-Anne Lekoma
I bought the book a year ago and tried to read it then, but at the time I was not connecting with the author and the style of writing. So I abandoned it. A year and some months later I picked it up again and I couldn't stop reading. Magona's determination to not just grow, but to be educated and make something of herself is beyond admirable. This was a refreshing read on a life lived through the apartheid era. This book makes me want to read more biographies of women that lived and somewhat thri ...more
Tshegofatso (tshegomot29)
M͟Y͟ A͟C͟T͟U͟A͟L͟ R͟A͟T͟I͟N͟G͟ I͟S͟ 3͟.4͟⭐/5͟

𝗔𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸:
Forced to Grow is Sindiwe Magona's second autobiography. In the book we learn that Sindiwe became a mother at the age of 19 and was forced to raise 3 kids on her own, while their father and her husband went astray.

We get to see her ambition and how she did all she could to put food on the table, hustling so that her children did not sleep hungry at night. At some point she sold dagga just to make money.

Sindiwe explains how education
...more
Naomi
May 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a story of success from nothing, and while the pieces were all distinct and interesting the overall arc was predictable. I wanted more context on her struggles and her children and the specifics of xhosa south Africa.
Connie Mogagabe
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good and motivating book!!
Zozo Mogoera
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Expected more in the story line
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Sindiwe Magona is a South African writer.

Magona is a native of the former Transkei region. She grew up in Bouvlei near Cape Town, where she worked as a domestic and completed her secondary education by correspondence. Magona later graduated from the University of South Africa and earned her Masters of Science in Organisational Social Work from Columbia University.

She starred as Singisa in the isiX
...more

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Secrets between siblings, grandparents with grievances, parents with problems. If you're looking for serious drama, check out these new...
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“The three children of fear and confusion - Cowardice, Corruption and Colonisation - had arrived.
Suddenly I did not know what I knew or who I knew.With the exception of my mother, my own
sisters and brothers, and my own children, I did not know anyone at this time.

Some neighbours sprouted horns that could gore me. Colleagues I had known and trusted grew tails. And friends had the Devil's own fire roaring, ready to fry me to brittle bone.
The pressure was fierce for people, everybody, to be involved in what was happening. But not all did so out of conviction.”
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“I have this fear that if I ever believe that others wield power over my destiny, that I am so vulnerable, I might as well abdicate control of my life. For if I accept that, what is to stop me attributing to others all the setbacks I encounter? And once that happens, why would I do anything to get back on my own two feet? I would be virtually saying that it was beyond me to reclaim myself. I would be accepting absolute lack of control. And the Good Lord knows, I had very little control over my life as it was.

This fear, this need to go on believing I am in the driver's seat, may be the one ingredient in my make-up I will not find it easy to relinquish.

Therefore, with everything that I cherished taken, broken or out of reach, I resolved I would become self-sufficient. I would work hard. I would study. I would pull myself up by my bootstraps. Yes, even though I had still to acquire the boots.”
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