This week, the world commemorated International Women’s Day under the theme ‘Choose the Challenge’.
Following suit on the idea of challenging societal beliefs and expectations is Kutlwano Molathwa.
The 25-year-old Maitengwe native has not let her circumstances define her.
Last week she released her memoir, ‘The magic in my little self’, a moving autobiography that gives readers a front-row seat into her life as a ‘little person.
Delving into the hardships of being different from a young age, Molathwa hopes her book will serve as an inspiration to those that find themselves in a similar situation.
This week Voice Staffer SHARON MATHALA sat down with the actor, model, socialite, and now author for a tete a tete about her latest work.
For those who have never heard of you, how would you describe yourself?
Well, I am a motivational speaker and I am a dwarf. That is my condition, I am a person who is small.
In simple terms, I don’t grow like other people.
Professionally, I studied Human Resource Management.
When did you start writing the book?
I started writing the book last year July.
And where can people access the book?
They could contact me on social media via DM or call us on (267)76071382.
So what inspired you to pick up the pen?
The truth is I did not have the best of childhoods.
Not stemming from my family but from society and the struggles, I faced then and continue to face today.
I felt it was time to put it into history through a book.
It was time I tell my story as a little person without any filter.
And what do you hope to achieve?
I want to motivate many other people like me who either have the same predicament I do or are suffering any other ‘abnormality’ the society dictates.
I want them to have the confidence I have, and for them to just accept who they are because it is a really difficult thing to accept who you are.
It was a journey that is both taxing and difficult.
I don’t even know how I arrived where I am.
Society makes it even more difficult for us to accept ourselves.
What sort of bullying have you experienced?
It started in school to be honest.
Other kids used to make fun of my height and called me names.
Names like ‘Setompie’, and this was not only in school.
Even outside the confines of school, people would meet me on the street and make those nasty remarks which really dampened my self-esteem and made me a little too cautious about where I go.
It was not a good space of my life growing up.
‘Setompie’, people can be so cruel!
I absolutely hate that word, more than anything!
At what age did you realise you were different?
To be honest I never saw my size as an issue until I went to school.
Sure, I understood that I was different but had no idea that people would think I was that different.
It was only after my height was repeatedly commented on that I began to notice something was wrong with me.
I had a lot of questions about myself.
I started noticing how people looked at me differently – all of this is in the book in detail.
What else can we expect from your book?
Well in the book I talk mostly about my struggles and what I feel needs to be done to address issues faced by people like me.
I talked about fears as a little person, as a dwarf.
It is a more personal feel about how people like me feel and how they would like to be treated.
We deserve to be loved just like anyone else and to be treated the same as anyone else.
Tell us more about the title, ‘The magic in my little self’. What was the thinking behind it?
To be honest, initially, the headline was meant to be ‘My journey as a little person then I had a change of heart to say ‘The magic in my little self’ will do because I feel like my life has been sort of like magic.
I honestly don’t know how I arrived at this self-confidence I have gained. And self-love most importantly.
The thing is when you are constantly told you are different and remarks being made about you, you end up loving yourself less.
But now I am in a different space.
I feel different.
It was like magic how my life turned around.
How would you describe this different place you are at?
I have accepted myself.
I feel like I am free and the thing is I don’t understand how I got here.
I am so content for the first time in my life.
I love how I have healed from my past.
It is a different yet liberating place.
There was a time where I thought death was better than living but now I don’t want anything other than to live.
There was a time I couldn’t even take pictures of myself, but right now I take so many pictures.
I just love myself and the way I am!
Why is it important for people who are born different to accept their situation?
It is very important.
Life is about happiness and self-content.
I hope with this book people realise that they should treat other people the way they would want to be [treated themselves].
People shouldn’t treat us like children or even play dolls.
We are human beings just like they are.
This is a book not only for people like me who are born different but also the society in general and they will hopefully reflect on how they treat us.
Would you say societal pressures cause serious mental health for people who are different?
To be honest, most people who are different end up committing suicide or harming themselves.
It almost happened to me.
If you don’t treat us like everyone else we resort to self-harm.
On a lighter note, are you taken?
Away from the public spotlight, what else do you get up to?
I read a lot, especially online articles and novels.
I am a huge fan of ‘Two Wrongs in Maun’.
I never miss a single episode.
Finally, Thank God It’s Friday – what will you be up to?
I will be in Gaborone.
I have to go fetch other copies for dispatch.