31 August 2021

The book, The Transformation of the Dead Girl, outlines the importance of raising children in a healthy home environment. It looks into the life of Sophie, a young girl growing up in a broken family with an abusive father and how this affects her emotionally.

“When I wrote about gender-based violence, I wanted to show readers that they need not feel alone, and that keeping quiet hardly ever solves anything. My aim was to break the tradition of remaining silent, and address the stigma attached to gender-based violence,” she says.

“I also wanted to highlight the devastating ripple effect caused by GBV. When children see violence in their home environment, it is normalised to an extent, and then often passed down to the next generation. This causes great mental and physical damage. The cycle often gets repeated, and we ultimately create a very ill society." 

Dlamini says through the book she wanted her readers to understand how teenagers deal with the situations that emanate from GBV, which more often than not, lead to depression, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness that may cause suicidal thoughts,” she continues.

“Sadly, we’re not taught how to deal with such matters as we grow up, not being able to tell the difference between love, manipulation, and infatuation. Which is why, most of the time, we find ourselves in loveless and toxic relationships, not being able to trust people, living in a world full of fear, and raising kids in a very unhealthy environment," she says.


Inspired by positive change

Dlamini, an only child, says her community and especially the youth inspired her to pursue the book. “They gave me the drive and will to be brave and not allow fear to stand in my way because this novel might save someone’s life. I would like us to come together to fight the societal ills we are facing every day. I hope one day this book will be made into a movie so that it can reach thousands of people,” she continues.

“It is important to surround yourself with positive people and to be able to learn from your mistakes – which is one of the core messages in my book. You will meet various characters to whom you can relate; you can join them on their journey through my story and in the end their teachings will remain with you forever.”

Besides writing a book Dlamini also has a podcast channel: Hidden Desires, where she discusses untold stories of life. 

“In addition to that, I run a small organization called 21 Smiles, which donates 21 school uniforms to those in need. I’ve also just joined Book Hive, an organisation through which I tell young learners about the importance of reading books and having libraries in schools and communities. It is still my dream and goal to see people changing for the better, to see people who have gone through hardships get back up and be the best version of themselves.”

The book is available on Amazon, Google Play Books and Wattpad, or can be ordered directly at:

@ Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures Supplied.