Ringfence: A Novel by Samke S. Mhlongo

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Publication Date: March 2022

They say the fall is only as great as the ability to rise, and The Belters know plenty about going both ways. Growing up in the best schools and moving in the continent’s aristocratic circles, the road to carving out their ideal life is clear. But that path is rarely straight, and for the four university friends, the sharp turn into teenage pregnancy, infidelity and the erosion of love’s grand illusion delivers blows that would derail most.

Chic and haughty, entitled and oblivious, Lolo, Nala, Runako and Qhayiya, aka The Belters, grow to realise that while flair is hard work, it doesn’t work hard enough.

Nala learns the hard way that a trust fund is finite, but death isn’t. Lolo discovers that everyone betrays everyone sometime in life. Runako realises that the heavier the carats, the harder it is to run, and Qhayiya finds herself in a world where saints, monsters and bystanders are the same people.

With sharp wit and the wisdom of hindsight, Ringfence reflects on four lives that touch the foot of heaven, fall to the depths of hell, and grow to become women whose hard-earned insights cut right to the heart of Africa’s elite.

“Ringfence is not only effortlessly witty, humorous and captivating, but Samke also manages to provide financial and legal insights crucial for a woman at every life stage. Ringfence could not be a greater gift for women living during a time such as this. A time where women’s financial circumstances force them to remain in abusive relationships, making them susceptible to gender-based violence.”
Foreword by Josina Z. Machel - Maputo, October 2020, www.justice4allwomxn.org