The Bitter Olive by Ronald Samuels is a Memoir of hope that triumphs over bitterness, resilience and grace!
If we take ourselves back to the South Africa of 1978 it is a given that most of us will have a personal account or story to tell of a friend, family member or colleague who experienced some form of prejudice, disenfranchisement or even violence at the hands of the Apartheid system.
Some of these tales will be shocking, some distressing, but non so heart-breaking as the story of young Ronald Samuels, who at the age of nine, through no fault of his own, is forced to leave the only life he has ever known and move to the alien and dangerous surroundings of the Cape Flats.
Leaving behind his devastated parents, siblings and grandparents, Ronald becomes an unwilling victim of segregation as he is re-classified to coloured, whilst both his adoptive and birth parents are white.
In this book Ron recounts the tale of his childhood, which came to an abrupt and painful end when he was adopted into a family of colour at the age of 9.
Despite the difficulties of growing up in this hotbed of drugs, alcohol, gangs and violence, Ron insists that the residents of the Cape Flats also passed on some valuable lessons.
Fortunately, Ron was eventually able to reconnect with his lost family and the guidance of a sympathetic teacher, being actively involved in the Boy Scouts and ultimately the discipline and focus of the military, paved his way to a successful future, despite the odds.