Empty Hands: A Memoir

  • by Sister Abega Ntleko, Desmond Tutu - foreword, Thanissara - afterword, Kittisaro - afterword
  • Narrated by Julisa Rowe
  • 3 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Empty Hands is the inspiring memoir of Zulu nurse and health-care activist Sister Abegail Ntleko. Growing up poor in a rural village with a father who didn't believe in educating girls, against seemingly insurmountable odds Sister Abegail earned her nursing degree and began work as a community nurse and educator, dedicating her life to those in need. "Her story tells us," says Desmond Tutu, who wrote the foreword to the book, "what a single person can accomplish when heart and mind work together in the service of others."
Overcoming poverty and racism within the apartheid South African system, she adopted her first child at a time when it was unheard of to do so. And then she did it again and again. In 40 years she has taken in and cared for hundreds of children who had nothing, saving babies - many of them orphans whose parents died of AIDS - from hospitals that were ready to give up on them and let them die.
Empty Hands describes the harshness of Ntleko's circumstances with wit and wisdom in direct, beautifully understated prose and will appeal not only to activists and aid workers but to anyone who believes in the power of the human spirit to rise above suffering and find peace, joy, and purpose.

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What the Critics Say

"A tenaciously hopeful memoir by a South African nurse who mothered hundreds of children orphaned by AIDS, all in the spirit of ubuntu - the Zulu belief that you are only a person because of other people." (O, the Oprah Magazine)
"[Ntleko's] story is one of triumph over adversity and will inspire and motivate listeners." (Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight)

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Book Details

  • Release Date: 19-09-2017
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books