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Kuli Roberts on her debut novel: 'It will bring you all kinds of emotions'

2019-10-23 14:55
Kuli Roberts
Kuli Roberts (Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

Cape Town - From being a journalist, TV and radio presenter, it is safe to say that Kuli Roberts has done it all, and now she is gearing up to launch her debut novel, which will be out in November.

Speaking to DRUM, the 46-year-old said that her book Siren, which she has been writing for a year, would center around a young woman named Zinhle who is trying to navigate her way through the entertainment industry.

"The book is about Zinhle's journey in the industry. Her up and downs, dealing with dodgy management, dealing with functional alcoholism and being roped into situations which she finds herself in, all in the name of making money in Johannesburg."

The story is set in the 70s and the protagonist is originally from Soweto where she lives with her mother who conceived her through a union with a man from the white family she works for. Although Zinhle was raised black, she has to find her place in society as she is neither black nor white.

According to Kuli, the combination of being in the industry and watching all the different personalities around her inspired her to write the 300-page-long book.

"Although Zinhle's story is different to mine, there are elements of me in real life such as where I've lived in the Eastern Cape and some of my experiences, but the story is not about me. It's a novel which will contain a lot of adventures."

While a lot of upcoming authors face the challenge of finding a publisher for their books, one would think that publishing would not be a problem of the Trending SA host due to her connections, but she admits that this was not the case.

"My father is a publisher but there was no way in hell that he'd publish the novel because of a number of reasons. But my biggest challenge was having to find a publisher."

And on the emotions the reader would experience from the book, Kuli said that everyone would relate to some of the situations and feel all kinds of emotions.

"Readers will feel all the emotions from the ups and downs of life to the state of the industry. Think of Vatiswa Ndara, think about the fact that Trending SA has been pulled off air and think about how people have worked hard to maintain their lifestyle and now it's gone," she explained.

Siren will be out on shelves on 1 November 2019 and is the first of many novels to follow by the media personality.