The Ones with Purpose

“I imagined a dying person’s last breath as something resembling an exclamation mark, distinct and hanging mid-air like an interrupted thought. My older sister Fikile’s last breath before she dies is nothing of the sort. There is no rattling noise at the back of her throat. No relentless twitching. No clinging to life. Fikile dies with no more fuss than a switch of a light bulb.”

With her sister, Fikile, dead from breast cancer, her father long gone, her mother emerging from years of slumber, and her younger brother, Mbuso, consumed with rage that refuses to settle, Anele Mbuza has no choice but to collect herself and grow up. Or does she? Because, if truth be told, she has not signed up to be her family’s caretaker. Surely her dreams are valid?

Read an excerpt here

Praise for

The Ones with Purpose

10 Books by African Authors You Have to Read in 2019

The writing in this heartbreaking novel is nothing short of impeccable.

Nondumiso Tshabangu, Editor of Africa’s Lit

It has been a long time since a novel captivated me to such an extent. The Ones with Purpose is a powerful novel about endings and new beginnings. Written with wisdom and compassion, it will resonate long after the last page is turned

Karina Magdalena, The Cape Times

As a woman, The Ones with Purpose hit me on so many levels. Jele skillfully weaves together a number of themes that represent the reality of many women’s lives: joys and pains of motherhood; bonds of sisterhood; patriarchy; journeying the sick to the grave; living with deep hurt and trauma.

Dr Lulu Gwagwa

Woven within these stories of how family tragedy compounds on itself, like negative interest, are larger questions, national in nature and spanning generations.

Mbali Sikakana, The Johannesburg Review of Books

A fantastic novel this that sensitively examines illness (cancer in particular), dying and death, complex familial dynamics, loss and the search for love and intimacy within a web of impaired relationships. The author tells a gripping story in writing that is technically effortless and a joy to read late into the night. I recommend this book very highly.

Eusebius McKaiser, 702 radio presenter

Happiness is a Four-Letter Word

Nandi, Zaza, Tumi and Princess are four ordinary friends living life in the fast and fabulous lanes of Joburg. Suddenly, no amount of cocktails can cure the stress that simultaneously unsettles their lives. Nandi’s final wedding arrangements are nearly in place so why is she feeling on edge? Zaza, the “trophy wife”, waits for the day her affair comes to light and her husband gives her a one-way ticket back to the township. Tumi has only one wish to complete her perfect life – a child. But when her wish is granted, it’s not exactly how she pictured it. And Princess? For the first time ever, she has fallen in love – with Leo, a painter who seems to press all the right buttons. But soon she discovers – like her friends already have – that life is not a bed of roses, and happiness never comes with a manual . . .


Praise for

Happiness is a Four-Letter Word

Diamonds and heartbreak – a crash course on the high life!

Jenny Crwys-Williams, award-winning talkshow host, MC, speaker, best-selling author and book entrepreneur

Reading this book is like eavesdropping on a heart-to-heart conversation between stylish sistas sitting next to you at a restaurant.

Lebo Mashile, Poet

This South African chick-lit novel celebrates sisterhood, friendship, family and the complexities of relationships and desires. It also proves that human beings are seldom ever satisfied. It’ll make you laugh and cry – and even teach you a few lessons.

Vuvu Vena, Mail & Guardian

This book is an enthralling read about human frailties, conflicts, and sometimes difficult resolutions in the search for happiness.

Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

The women struggle with infidelity, infertility, and the ups and downs of being a woman who’s almost made it post-1994 South Africa. I especially loved that these are women we can identify with – they’re our sisters and girlfriends – living in a city that we know.

Janine Jellers, Fairlady Magazine