From Me to Me: Letters to my 16½-year-old self
Edited by Samantha Page
Published byJacana Media
Reviewed by Louise Marsland
Inspired by a similar project internationally that targeted celebrities to write to their ‘younger’ selves, imparting the life lessons they have learned, Samantha Page, O – The Oprah Magazine editor, adapted the concept for South African personalities.
It’s a lovely little book, filled with the witty homilies, personal thoughts, transformation and the candid feelings of those who took part.
Page explains in her introduction that she asked the 48 prominent South African men and women from different backgrounds and professions “What do you know now that you wish your 16½-year-old self knew then?”
She describes their answers as “sweet, poignant, tragic, shocking, inspiring, endearing and liberating, because, through the passage of time, whether we like it or not, we all learn a lot about ourselves.”
Alan Knott-Craig, Snr., advises, “Don’t waste a second of your life”; and to “Read, read, read”. AyandaMbanga, group deputy CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, South Africa, tasks her younger self not to try to be so perfect and to “stop worrying about the things you can’t control”, quoting a philosopher on, “Creation unfolds as only it can”.
Broadcast journalist RediTlhabi tells herself that it was great the way she got on with life and focused on expressing her many talents and passions. Design Indaba founder, Ravi Naidoo, lists five learnings for Ravi Jnr., including: “Knowledge is like energy – it’s never destroyed”; and “Collaborate – partnerships are vital to making progress”.
I would urge anyone with teenage children in particular to buy it, I’ve reserved two for my daughters for when they hit their teen years!