Book Title: Living Life to the Fatest Author: Leonard Mashao
Living Life to the Fatest is the story of Maproeza who is a mythical child growing up in South Africa. Maproeza was born and raised in an ancient village in the former Eastern Transvaal. Although, he had loving parents, Maproeza was raised by his grandmother. Unlike some people of his race Maproeza was not born into a poverty stricken family. He had a good solid family structure that prepared him for the world beyond his village.
The book is a study in fortitude, resourcefulness and desire to live one’s life to the fullest spelt Fatest. Maproeza is an embodiment of all that represents admirable characters in a human being – loving, faithful and focused. Although he was born a weak child (respiratory ailment), God guided the young man through the challenges of childhood. The book captures succinctly the dreams of a man – some half dreamed and others half fulfilled. It is a powerful mirror into the heart of a man growing up in South Africa.
There are three themes appropriately developed in Living Life to the Fatest – love, focus and juvenile delinquency. The love theme is brought to us through Maproeza love for his grandmother or alternatively via Koko read grandmother’s love for his grandson. Maproeza calls himself a Koko’s boy. And, he refers to his grandmother as an angel. “God provided a special granny (or an angel to take care of (me)”. This theme is further explored through Maproeza’s love for life, and his passion for people’s development, just like the Author. The second theme of juvenile delinquency is but a mirror into the resourcefulness of Maproeza. Despite his flirtation with alcohol and other mischief, he survived this developmental stage in his life. The third theme is demonstrated through Maproeza’s success in life. He qualified in many careers including human capital development.
The book inspires, educates and celebrates life. It is an important text in the country whose youth is overwhelmingly out of school, and out of work.
Key principles in the book are:
• Accept the now.
• Be principled.
• When given opportunities, choose a path of significance.
• Enjoy the journey of life and pay attention.
• Recognise the greatness within you and others.
• Find your place in the world.
• Make a difference for the better.
• Learn to see virtues cloaked in vices and vices cloaked in virtues.
The book also highlights the importance of a continuous sense of hope as well as dealing with issues diligently. Maproeza went through all the steps that a normal child in South Africa experiences, kept on dreaming, gathered what he could from every situation, and survived until today.