Monday, April 4, 2016

Speech by Victorine Mbong Shu at her book Launch on 'Stop Complaining! and Bring Back Involved Parenting'

Title: 'Stop Complaining! and Bring Back Involved Parenting!’
Date: 3rd March 2016, Johannesburg
Venue: Profound Conference Centre-Johannesburg

Today, the 3rd of March makes it exactly 2 months away from the month I started writing this book 4 years ago. The feeling was overwhelming and the Journey was difficult. You really don’t write a book alone. Today, I am grateful that so many people have travelled with me, supporting me emotionally, intellectually and physically. And I most certainly could not have done it without all the people who allowed me to tell their often very private and sometimes controversial stories of parenting.

I continue to thank those who have been incredibly critical of me as a parent, but mostly to those who have scrutinised my writings. I have listed some critiques in the book and others I have not. However, I share equal gratitude to all for empowering me and my family. The numerous chapter editors, chapters and book critiques, Pauline Visser (the main editor), I thank you all wholeheartedly. I thank my colleagues for their incredible support. Even though I feel like squeezing the Design Unit of Profounder Publishing for putting me under pressure, all I have for them today is appreciation.
I thank my friends who supported Emmanuel and I in parenting during this journey. This book is dedicated to the best people in my life and they are Sydney, Synclaire, Stacey, Shanon and Emmanuel. One after the other, they contributed to the content of this book. In fact, they almost entirely wrote my favourite chapter … ‘Chapter Funny’. I give special thanks to my favourite partner in every venture Dr. Emmanuel Fru. He continued falling asleep beside my space every night, even though he knew that I would write through the nights.
It took a lot of time, energy, believe, and compromise to write this book. Of course since the book was finished, I have been worried that I may not be able to pull the launch off … but you are all here. And some of you have travelled a long way to be here. Thank you to all the speakers and participants for making me feel so special. Dr. Daantjie travelled all the way from PE. Anna Botha gave up her busy schedule. Nikki Bush must have cancelled appointments; I know that she is too humble to say that. Judith Sephuma stooped so low to make it up to me. Dr. Fru, I know you did it for love, but you gave up a lot. Stacey stayed past her bedtime for me and Tereska Muishond, you shuffled things around too many times to see this happen. Like every single person here present, you gave it up for me, but you did it for Involved Parenting right? I feel very supported and loved right now and I really appreciate it.
When I first started writing, my narrow mind told me that every woman has to deal with parenting, caregiving or guardianship at a one point in their lives. Mine was the question and the challenges of motherhood. But as I interrogated parenting further, I realised that this is not it. That my writings should be focused on parenthood. My books will be controversial because for many, parenting is the most draining and least rewarding profession ever. This is because of the choices that we have made and taught our children how to make, parenting seems to be more tedious day after day. But does this not start from the fact that pregnancy disfigures the parents, repositions relationships, distorts career paths, and infringes into social statuses?

As I tried to write in a manner that seems like fathers are parents also, my research plunged me to present day reality. The one that continue to see most men today focusing on making women pregnant, but letting women to raise these children on their own.

Involved is simply defined as doing with. I encourage mothers and fathers but generally women and men figures, institutions, policy-makers, governments, etc. to raise children together with children. So as we separate today, my hope is that the series of books that I will write will contribute to the ongoing discussions on the importance of effective involved parenting to the extent that most parents, caregivers and guardians will find the task of parenting less exhaustive. 

My hope is for their children to benefit from their attitudes and reap the benefits of involved parenting. Thank you for sharing and connecting with me and the concept of involved parenting. Let’s keep in touch.

Victorine Mbong Shu.

Author and Conversationist on Involved Parenting

 Availability of book

Copies can be bought from the following avenues;
 Victorine on +27 82 548 6385
My works on 
Publisher on +27 11 346 8300/ 
Xarra Books:
     Online in South Africa: 
     Hard Copies: +27 11 440 7501- Johannesburg or 
Amazon books on (search by book title) or eBook on  
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