MUT academic’s book provides solutions to readers with similar challenges

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30 March 2024

MUT academic’s book provides solutions to readers with similar challenges

From the time the first book was written, a milestone in human development was achieved – a book is a reservoir of knowledge that may offer solutions to some problems that beset human nature. A book becomes a tool that people use to hack down some of their problems. This is what a book that was written by Dr Sandile Mthimkhulu has become to those that have read it.  In 2023 Dr Mthimkhulu, a Lecturer in the Department of Community Extension at the Mangosuthu University of Technology published a life-reflecting book, that tells his story. Dr Mthimkhulu said what motivated him to write this book, called Warriors Have Scars – Lessons Along a Journey from an unpleasant past to a pleasant future, was that he wanted to tell his life story. “The spark that ignited the motivation to pen this piece was the realisation that there are many people who are quietly suffering from the same life challenges I struggled with in life. For that reason, my wish was to share with everyone the invaluable lessons I have learned from the ups and downs of my life to encourage self – reflection and embracement of the scars bestowed upon us by life struggles.  I strongly believed that opening and revealing the hardest part of my life would also motivate the readers to learn to use their scars as a symbol of victory rather than a fortress.

Dr Mthimkhulu said the book is about different principles of life that have been neatly extracted from the real-life story of a young man who comes from a poor family that was engulfed by domestic violence which he endured through continuous emotional and physical assaults from his alcoholic father. The pursuit of safety for him and his family came with many challenges that saw them live with different families in different towns. Despite the challenges that this young man experienced, and their associated outcomes such as inferiority complex and mistreatment, this young man worked hard, doing menial jobs while in primary and high schools without losing focus of his goal – becoming an independent, dignified man. His determination earned him good grades that paved the way for him to the university where he obtained various qualifications, including a PhD in Soil Science. Dr Mthimkhulu is now serving numerous communities where he uses the lessons and tools he acquired from his life experiences, which he calls ‘scars’, to motivate and empower other people who are experiencing various life difficulties. Dr Mthimkhulu said the primary targets of his book are young people in tertiary institutions.

Dr Mthimkhulu said the reason for targeting this group was that there is a lot that is common between him and them while he was at the same stage of life – being a university student. “My first-year experience at the university revealed a great deal of gaps in my soft skills that had been created by my childhood life experience. Unfortunately, I thought my experience reflected my identity instead of a shortcoming that needed to be addressed by gathering the necessary tools. It is for this reason that I thought penning this piece may provide university students that are fighting different life battles with tools they can use to develop self – awareness and cultivate positive attitude towards life.

Here are some comments from some of the readers: ‘Hey, I finished reading your book, which I must say is the first of four book I have attempted to finish reading this year. I hope this says a lot.’

‘I truly enjoyed reading the book. Well done. When I first started reading it, I assumed it would be a narration of your childhood and did not imagine how interlinked it would be. As a former bookworm, it definitely kept me up. I just had to finish reading it. … and to read a story with  the bright side to life’s tribulations is not only inspiring, but also soothing. I cannot wait to read more of Dr Mthimkhulu. Siyabonga.

Prospective readers can call Dr Mthimkhulu on +27 076 976 0081.  

For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact MUT Media Liaison Officer, Bheki Hlophe +27 82 432 1805 or via email

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About Mangosuthu University of Technology

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) is a leading institution of higher learning in South Africa, renowned for its commitment to excellence in education, research, and innovation. Located in a township, MUT has extended its global reach through strategic partnerships and collaborations. The university is dedicated to fostering inclusivity, diversity, and social responsibility, empowering its graduates to make meaningful contributions to their communities and society as a whole.