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I am a Coloured woman
of South Africa. The blood flowing through me was despised by apartheid, for it was not pure and it was not White. Because of this, I struggled with feelings of self-doubt and shame.
‘Now, a quarter century after the fall of apartheid, I understand there is much beauty and value in my blood. I am the product of newcomer and native, slave master and slave, of White and Black, of German and Jew, and more.
I am a reflection of countless conflicts and contradictions – yet my blood unites me.
I am a microcosm of nations riven by internal strife. I reconciled with myself by turning to the conflicts and contradictions within. This forced me to explore my past so as to truly understand who I am and to grapple with my lingering emotions. Our world today is divided and fractured. That is why I urge individuals, communities, and nations to undergo a similar process of self-reconciliation, to explore their stories, embrace their contradictions, and craft new narratives of acceptance, inclusion, and boundless possibilities.
Through the stories I tell in this book – my story, and those of people from around the world – I hope to bring healing and inspiration to all.’
Jesmane Boggenpoel is an experienced business executive and a former Head of Business Engagement for Africa at the World Economic Forum in Switzer-land. She has served on the boards of various South African and international, public and private sector organisations. She is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s JFK School of Government. Jesmane was honoured as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
“My Blood Divides and Unites is an honest and inspirational exploration of personal healing, with universal relevance and insights that can accelerate peace and reconciliation in our world.”