Rookie Writer Recounts the Life and Times of Esperanza Barracks

After lifting himself out of poverty and equipping himself with the knowledge to realize his dreams, Neville Naidoo, 60, born in Esperanza Barracks in Umzinto, KwaZulu-Natal, put pen to paper with the intention to script how migration, pain, and the struggles of his Indian family shaped his life story.

Both of his father’s parents came from India. Naidoo’s grandfathers both worked in the sugar cane fields and his father was a laborer working for a sugar company.

His mother’s parents were born in South Africa. Currently, Naidoo lives in Johannesburg with his wife of 39 years, Meenakumarie (60). He is the father of a 38-year-old daughter, Millisha, and a 37-year-old son, Jessican.

Despite the financial restrictions his family faced in apartheid South Africa, Naidoo attended Umzinto Secondary where he enrolled in 1979 and he was unable to instantly pursue his ambition to further his education.

“My parents were not well educated because they had to leave school very early to help support the family. It was a matter of survival in their time. They also couldn’t afford to send me to college or university when I enrolled. I graduated as an auto mechanic and then joined Toyota SA in Prospecton and worked there for 20 years,” he said.

Naidoo then became the National Service Development Manager.

The autobiography covers his childhood in the barracks of Esperanza, in appalling conditions. He shares insight into his schooling and professional career, the challenges he faced before marriage, and goes on to highlight how education made him successful.

He also gave insight into how he conducted research to find his roots in India and ultimately locate the original house his grandmother lived in.

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It took Naidoo a year and a half to write his autobiography: “Trust Your Struggle”. He had to create a balance between professional life and part-time writing. A segment at the end of the book talks about its 11 lessons, to inspire young people and reassure their ability to touch the sky.

“Today I can proudly say that I am an Overseas Indian Citizen. I have traveled all over the world. Today I have my own consultancy and training company called SKN Training” , said Naidoo in retrospect where he came from.

He was invited to participate in the Durban International Book Fair held recently at the Imbizo Conference Center. It was an opportune time for him to launch his autobiography, and he scored an interview on the main stage.

“I would like to thank my wife for editing my book. Fortunately, she is an avid reader. I also thank the editor, Satish Purohit, based in India, and Richard Moodley of Shereno Printers, for helping me print my book,” Naidoo concluded.

A copy can be acquired directly from Naidoo via: [email protected] Where [email protected]