Book Review – Bantu Holomisa: The Game Changer

Bantu Holomisa: The Game Changer by Eric Naki (Picador Africa) ISBN 9781770104815

In an era where our leadership’s ethics and morals are questioned, Naki’s Game Changer is a refreshing look at how money and power does not need to change a man’s character. To quote Abraham Lincoln: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Bantu Holomisa has demonstrated that it is possible to maintain your integrity and not abuse your power, even if the temptation is there. Uncompromising in his honest approach to dealing with politics and his personal life, it makes sense that Holomisa is considered one of South Africa’s most esteemed political figures. Born to a royal family in Mqanduli, we learn about the gentle, kind, and giving man he became stemming from his loving, protected and firm upbringing. From leading the Transkeian Defence Force to later becoming the country’s deputy minister of environmental affairs and tourism, the book further explores how being an honest man can be a lonely journey.

The Game Changer clearly embodies Naki’s admiration for Holimisa, but he does not shy away from highlighting his flaws as well. The book is engaging even though there were times I felt like I was reading a history book instead of a biography. The drama unfolds when Holomisa reveals that senior leaders accepted favours from hotel magnate, Sol Kerzner, which results in him getting dismissed from the ANC.

Zanele Nondzimba