Book Review: The Blessed Girl by Angela Makholwa

#Blessed

Bontle Tau is a fierce, beautiful, ambitious and street smart girl who uses her good looks and charm to secure a glamorous life from her blessers.

To keep the cash pouring in to maintain her lifestyle, she must maintain her physical appearance through beauty clinics and spas, be available when they want her and her heat button must always be ON. The expensive clothes, the penthouse in Sandton, VIP status in clubs, avalanche of expensive champagne, holiday trips and the luxury German machine she drives are all paid for by her looks and what she does with them.

She’s a not-so-academically-smart girl from Mamelodi with a dark family past and an unhealthy relationship with her ex, but she claims to be quite astute in what she calls MENcology. She’s also cunning and will go to great lengths for money and the things it buys. For a long time, she manages to maintain a sort of balance with more than two blessers and their demands.

The glamour starts to rust when the blesser she snatches from her friend enters her life, while her two other blessers have personal problems that wholly affect her opulent life. The family secret that’s long been buried comes out and her life takes on a chain of calamities.

The Blessed Girl delves deep into the blesser-blessee culture that appears so dazzling and desirable to many girls but has its downsides, much harsher for most than others. Through Bontle’s life, we see the depression, the drugs, and sacrifices that come into play in this kind of lifestyle. It also highlights the extreme things that young girls will do for this lifestyle when they don’t see any other option available.

There is also the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and it’s not just for the two parties, but also other blessees involved, as well as the spouses of these blessers. We also see how some families accept that kind of lifestyle because their daughters pay for that acceptance with money.

It’s a funny, simple and enjoyable read. If you’re South African or have been exposed to its culture you’ll enjoy it even better, because of the raw South African tone, lingo and characters. When I started the book, I felt the writing was dull and heavily laden with that South African attitude but as I went along I figured that it is part of the story’s makeup. It’s a very easy read, entertaining and insightful.

Title: The Blessed Girl

Author: Angela Makholwa

Published: Bloomsbury Publishing

Genre: General Fiction