I hardly ever listen to the radio when I drive (long story) but as fate would have it yesterday afternoon, I was tuned into Metro FM along with a myriad of other fellow South African’s who were curious to hear about and understand Jackie Phamotse’s rendition of the underbelly of South Africa’s 1% and their very interesting lifestyle in her latest book titled “BARE”. I found myself being so engrossed by her story and strength to actually speak out and tell her story and the stories of the women around her who had been sucked into this elite yet damaging lifestyle and social circle.
As soon as the interview ended I was on the phone with Exclusive Books, doing everything I possibly could to source a copy of her book. Curiosity had gotten the better of me, so I bought it, then read it today and here are my thoughts, very briefly.
Firstly I must note that I think the way Jackie decided to structure the story worked well. It allows the reader to literally sink into the book. The book was written in chronological order and is based on a story about a girl named Treasure Mohapi. The story takes the reader through Treasure’s upbringing (which is sadly a very relatable story for any South African child) and the author highlights elements that build up to when she ends up in Johannesburg as a blessee and ultimately leading to her spiritual demise.
As a character, one can see how the author has woven personal and borrowed experiences to deliver the message and I think because of this, it is a great storyline and lives up to the purpose. I do believe she will continue to make a killing off the book sales however I do believe that it was not personal enough. At some points it almost read like a story and yes, maybe the experience was too graphic to share directly, but I think it would have left readers gasping more had it been written in the form of a memoir because what she exposes us too is REAL. This is not a story, its a reality and if the aim is to drive awareness around this life and the repercussions, give it to the reader straight. It isn’t a fairytale and I think some parts/ events of the book could have been glamorized which is extremely dangerous as it is potentially misleading.
I must say though, in hindsight maybe reading BARE could have made me think a bit differently about materialistic possessions, its somewhat of a “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” for the Johannesburg female yuppie. It makes one see how having a purpose and knowing your “why” is so important because the value of life can get quite meaningless when everything you can possibly desire becomes attainable to you.
So in closing:
Highlights: The Hockey Club story of course! (See the two pages I posted on my Insta stories last night)
Lowlights: The progression to the blessee storyline was too dragged out, if you want to save yourself time, read from when Treasure got to matric (which is inevitably in the middle of the book- I KNOW….ghaad)
Would I recommend this book: DEFINITO
If you have managed to get a copy of this book, please like the post and share your views! lets get this convo flowing peeps 🙂