Writing to heal and inspire

The ambitious and motivated Goodman Moyane published his autobiography, but it was no easy feat. MARISKA MORRIS reports

Writing can be very therapeutic. Putting pen to paper can make it easier to work through trauma, to clearly express thoughts or emotions. It is exactly these benefits that motivated Goodman Moyane to document his journey, which lead to him become a wheelchair user.

“I decided to write a book, because I wanted to heal after everything that I had been through in my life ever since I was a child up until I ended up in a wheelchair,” Goodman says.

“I also wanted to share my story with other people, especially people with disabilities, to show that no matter what you are going through in life, you don’t have to give up.”

“The writing process was good,” Goodman explains. “I immediately took my laptop to write the book. I knew that I must begin with that first paragraph; to start writing. It didn’t even take an hour to write my first paragraph.”

The journey to typing his first word was a little more complicated. Goodman had very little experience or knowledge of how to operate a laptop or software. Fortunately, he had the opportunity to participate in the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA)’s Work Readiness Programme – a project aimed at upskilling QASA members to assist in finding work.

“When I participated to the Work Readiness Programme, I didn’t know how to use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel,” Goodman says. “Our facilitator was great. He always took his time to explain information that we didn’t understand. He was the best teacher for all the modules.”

Goodman finished the course and has even been invited back as a motivational speaker to encourage the other participants.

While the initial motivation made it easy for Goodman to start writing his autobiography, the process wasn’t without its challenges. A big challenge was writing in English.

“You’ll find in my writing some misspellings. I’ll have to contact my publisher to help me edit my mistakes,” Goodman explains.

In addition, remaining motivated to finish his book was also a challenge. He says: “Sometimes I would push myself to finish writing the book even though I would get tired.”

Goodman met the publishers of his autobiography through a talent search on Facebook for unpublished authors.

“I saw the post, took the details and called the publisher. He gave me instructions on how I should apply. I didn’t waste any time. I applied and, after two weeks, I received an e-mail to say that I was chosen; that I would get the opportunity to publish my manuscript. I was so excited as I didn’t have funds to self-publish the book,” he recalls.

Now, Goodman can enjoy the published fruit of his labours. But, he is only getting started. Next, Goodman wants to see his autobiography made into a movie and start a business.

“I want to see myself obtaining a driver’s licence, since my learner’s licence will expire in September. Then, I want to open a driving school that will accommodate people with disabilities,” he says.

“I want to see myself releasing a movie based my book, because I believe that it will motivate a lot of people. And I want to build a proper house for my father, because he has tried his best to raise me and my siblings even though it was hard for him as he is a person with a disability. He never neglected us – even when my mother passed away.”

With his drive and passion, it is only a matter of time before Goodman achieves his goals.

In addition to his gratitude for his father, Goodman is also deeply appreciative of the role QASA has played in supporting his dreams.

“I would like to thank QASA for giving me the opportunity to be the part of the Work Readiness Programme, and for providing us with all the resources to participate. Thank you for the opportunity to be a QASA member. Also, a big thank you to the funders who sponsor the programme,” Goodman says.

Raven Benny, QASA COO, wrote about Goodman’s autobiography: “It was an emotional experience to read about some of the conditions he grew up in. He wrote this from his heart. It is a message of courage and determination. He is a brave young man with lots of potential.”

Book review: Longing for better days

Book Review by Ari Seirlis, former QASA CEO and disability activist. 

Goodman Moyane, from Mpumulanga, contracted TB in 2015. As a result, his spine was damaged and he was diagnosed as a paraplegic.

This was devastating to him and he decided that he would take this adversity and turn it into opportunity. His outlook to life is a lesson for us all, and his gratitude and forgiveness stands out in this short book that he has written.

He is a humble man who showed tremendous respect to his parents and would do anything to improve the family unit. He has some ambitious dreams which I believe will come true.

This is a story that everybody should read. It will make you look at life with a difference perspective. This is the type of book you could read in an afternoon and pass it down to someone else. Well worth a purchase.

How to purchase the book

Contact Goodman by cell (both numbers are available on Whatsapp) on 060 718 5805 or, alternatively, 061 632 3983. You can also send an e-mail to goodmanmangena@gmail.com. The books are delivered nationwide by various courier companies. The e-book is available at http://books2read.com/u/31l56a.