Tendai ‘Sokostina’ Garwe Unpacks A Letter to Her Son…

We all know the age old adage, “when life gives you lemons, just make lemonade”. But maybe none more so than Media Personality, Actress, MC and now Published Author, Tendai Garwe. From the airwaves to the TV screen and stage, Sokostina, or the Queen Monkey as she is affectionately known, has over the years become a household name in Zimbabwe. But her career took a near tragic twist in 2018, when she was involved in a car accident which left her badly injured. However, instead of being weighed down by this predicament, it proved to be a catapult for even greater things to come. A simple heart-warming letter penned to her beloved son during her recuperation, eventually became a motivational literary work full of life lessons anyone can learn from. She tells her story so much better…

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

I have been an entertainer since I can remember. I was born into a family that really enjoyed singing, dancing, and acting. I am that child my parents would call to come and dance for people and share jokes, also acting out scenes from my favourite movies. Entertainment is in my blood.

 

You are well known for your vibrant and vivacious personality, what is the secret behind it?

Mind over matter I guess. I have always loved life and regardless of what’s going on, there is always a silver lining. I refuse to be bogged down with the cares of this world.

In 2018 you were involved in an accident. During the time you were in hospital what were the thoughts going through your mind?

I had a car accident 21 December 2018 and was hospitalised the whole of 2019. A lot and nothing at the same time. All I knew was my end goal, which was to heal and I literally lived one day at a time.

How did this experience shape your view on life?

One thing for sure is that it got rid of FOMO, I no longer have a fear of missing out at all. It also made me realise that this life is short and not my own. This made gratitude my core value. There is no need to hold grudges or to drag making decisions, because tomorrow is not promised. I also learnt that we truly live in an inter-dependant world, we will all need each other, one way or the other.

You posted the video, but describe to us that moment when you managed to walk again after 10 months….

If you noticed in the video, I was shaking, I was filled with so much joy and gratitude, I was singing along in my head, that Sinach song, I think I was stuck on the “take a look at me I’m a wonder,” part. It was a miracle because I had multiple fractures on both my femurs.

“A letter to my son: forty plus one lessons for life and success” what moved you to pen it?

My son. It was a personal letter to him that went public. I thought I was just writing him a summary of what had happened and the things I wanted him to know and also share some knowledge about life. I realised if I had died, there were things I had not taught him that he needed to know. I did not realise that it would end up as a book. A friend of mine, Rodwell Harinangoni who is an editor, visited me at the hospital from Bulawayo and he saw these A5 books on my feeding table. He took the notebook and put it in the inside of his jacket and he said “The next time you see this, it will be a book” and there you have it!

 

Is there a lesson that stands out the most or means more to you than the others?

I don’t have a favourite, they all are very important. So important, that there are some lessons that I repeat in other lessons.

After reading your book, what were your son’s thoughts on it?

Tawanda is a very reserved person and is not as expressive as I am. He was grateful for it and liked the idea of a book dedicated in his name. He would be the best person to answer I guess.

How do you want to impact other people who will read it as well?

You see, this book might be a letter to my son, but it’s for all. The lessons in the book are universal and anyone can learn from them. I want this book to be a conversation started on dinner tables and in kitchen huts. Schools can also use it for building and shaping the minds of young people. Mind you the book was written for a 15/16-year-old.

We’ve heard of writer’s block (a temporary condition when a writer finds it impossible to proceed in writing) did you have anything similar or did it all flow easily?

While I was writing this book, NO, I did not. Remember, it was a letter. I was just pouring out everyday things I wanted him to learn. However, on the other one I’m working on, yes, I do have writers block, especially after publishing this book.

You’ve started unpacking your book on your YouTube channel, why did you decide to do it and how do you select your guests for the show?

I wanted to show the practicality of the lessons I had taught him. That it can be done and there are people who have and still are doing it. Well, I select from the network I have built over the years and how I have observed their lives really aligning to a particular lesson. I also want to talk to the least celebrated who are doing amazing things in their lives.

We would love to know more about the person whom this book is dedicated to, your son.

Tinaye-Mudiwa Tawanda Mombeshora, born 17 December 2003, the love of my life; the family affectionately call him Tawanda, because his late grandfather Sekuru Mombeshora named him. He is turning 18 this year and he lives in Australia with his other mother, father and two siblings. Tawanda is a confident, gentle, loving and very funny child. Tawanda loves his own company, I would say he is an ambivert, loves being the life of the party, but quick to find the exit. I have not seen him in 3 years now, which are his prime teen years, so he might have changed since I am basing this information from video calls. He will be in grade 11, which is lower 6 this year. Tawanda would make for a great analyst in anything because when I converse with him, it’s mature and very deep. I am proudly Tawanda’s mum! Oh he is very handsome, absolutely!

How has the reception to your book been so far?

The reception has been good actually, I have sold about 110 hard copy books and about 20 on Kindle-Amazon so far.

Where/How can people get a copy of your book?

They can get the book on Amazon/Kindle . They just type Tendai Garwe or call on 0772888596 to buy from me directly. I will soon make a deal with a local book store.

You mentioned another book in the pipeline. Can you tell us more on that?

Yes, definitely, there will be a sequel, a second edition, I realised there are more lessons to be taught. And there are two more I am working on, although I have writers block at the moment.

Sokostina’s words of wisdom for the year 2021?

My Mantra is “I am Enough”– I am adequate, and I will live everyday conscious that life is what you make it!

 

By:Chido Kakora

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