Growing up in Heideveld, Preston Jongbloed was exposed to the many social ills on the Cape Flats, but never allowed that to determine his future and he will display that at the launch of his debut publication at the Protea Hotel tomorrow, Thursday December 15.
Mr Jongbloed, one of two children, grew up in Heideveld with his parents. He attended Welcome Primary and Garlandale High schools. At the age of nine, he suffered a freak accident in which he was electrocuted and brought back to life by cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
At the launch of his book, Dream Again, Mr Jongbloed will talk about growing up in Heideveld, what he endured as a youth on the Cape Flats, how he almost allowed the freak accident to determine the course of his life, and how he chose to turn his life around and become a motivational speaker with the aim of making a difference in the lives of troubled youths. The launch is fully booked out.
Not wanting to give too much away, he explained how the idea for the book came about. “Eight years ago while doing motivational speaking, I realised that everyone was so inspired by my story and thought that I needed to get it on to paper.
“I also had a very strong influence in my life who was my father and my opposite neighbour who always told me that whatever I do today will impact on my future tomorrow,” said Mr Jongbloed.
“I realised that I’ve been given a second chance in life and I’ve bounced back from being depressed and broken and feeling like a failure.
“At a certain point in the book my life changes and I realise that I’ve got something more to offer. I close the book and speak about how every person comes into life at a certain point and the only way to make it through is if you understand that what you’ve been born into is not your fault but where you end up in life is up to you.
“You can accept where you come from or choose where you want to go,” he said.
Now, he inspires troubled youth and prisoners by motivating them to get out of the situation that they are in, and change their lives for the better. He said the reason he chose to pursue a career as a motivational speaker was because the Cape Flats had become much worse than it was when he was a child.
“I grew up in an era where the next door neighbour was also your parents and everyone took care of each other’s children. I had a lot of support from people who saw potential in me at an early stage and supported me.
“It must be so difficult for the kids living in Heideveld now. I want to inspire them and bring transformation to them, and say that if I could do it, so can they,” he said.
He said he chose the title Dream Again, to encourage people to pursue a life of impact and not to stop living and dreaming when things go “pear-shaped. I made the choice to pick up the pieces and move forward and not blame anyone else so that one day when I look back I don’t look back with regret but at what I have achieved,” he added.
To get hold of the book, visit www.prestonjongbloed.com or call 076 881 8479.