Redi grew up in the ’80s in Orlando, Soweto, with thoughts and emotions so intense they nearly swallowed up her childhood. It was a time when Soweto was under siege from two forces – apartheid and endemic, normalized crime. It was not strange or unusual to refer to so-and-so as ‘the rapist’ or so-and-so as ‘the killer’. It was also at this time that her father – her hero – was violently murdered, his body discovered on the street, with one eye removed. The perpetrators were never found, and the neighbourhood continued to talk about how he had to be buried without his eye. And then Redi meets Mabegzo: handsome, charming and smooth; Mabegzo, rumoured gangster, murderer and rapist, a veritable ‘jack-roller’ of the neighbourhood. Against her family’s wishes she develops a strong and sometimes uncomfortable attraction to him. Redi herself doesn’t understand why she is drawn to Mabegzo and why, at eleven, she feels the way that she does for this man known to many as a menace. Then he too is found lying dead in a pool of blood, two years after the death of her father. Redi has to remind herself to stay sane. Endings and beginnings is Redi’s quest to find out the truth about the circumstances surrounding her father’s death. As an adult she visits his grave and decides to find the people that killed her father and ask them why. She also goes on a quest to finally humanise Mabegzo who was hated and abhorred by so many when he was alive. She visits and speaks to his family, friends and neighbours and pieces together the life of this man who came fleetingly through her life but whose presence she would feel for a long time to come
Endings and Beginnings
Redi Tlhabi, warm-hearted, charismatic and loved throughout South Africa is as well known for her 702 and Cape Talk radio show as she is for her TV performances and Sunday Times newspaper column. In this astonishing debut, Endings and beginnings, she makes the painful journey back to her death-marred childhood, a journey in which she eventually finds peace and allows her demons to rest.
TV and radio presenter, author, production company owner, columnist, ultra marathon runner.
In 2012, Redi penned her first book, Endings and Beginnings (Jacana) which received popular and critical acclaim and received the Alan Paton Award in 2013.
Redi has been a broadcast journalist for 15 years - her experience spanning some of South Africa’s most respected media and news brands, including Kaya FM, where she hosted the afternoon drive and was the afternoon news editor. On TV, she presented various shows for the SABC’s Africa channel, including Today in Africa, News Hour, and Interface. She was also co-host of News Night, the prime time show that launched the 24 hour eNews channel.
She has hosted a legal show, Rights and Recourse on SABC3 and produced a controversial documentary on former President, Thabo Mbeki. Redi has anchored for international broadcasters like SKY and the BBC and has also produced and presented two of her own TV shows: Redi on Mzansi for Mzansi Magic and South to North which broadcast on Aljazeera.
Passionate about issues that resonate with her, Redi hosted a miniskirt march to protest against sexist taxi drivers in 2008 and in 2015, she marched to the Union Buildings in solidarity with students in the #FeesMustFall campaign. Fascinated by South Africans and what makes them tick, Redi strives to start important conversations and thrives on being part of South Africa’s evolution.
Redi holds a BA in Communication and BA Honours from the University of Johannesburg. She is a long distance runner who has completed various marathons and ultra-marathons including The Two Oceans and Comrades Marathons. She is also a mother of two.