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Kevin Woods was sentenced to death in Zimbabwe and jailed for twenty years by Robert Mugabe. For more than five years of his detention he was held in the shadow of Mugabe's gallows, cut off from the world, naked and in solitary confinement. He had been a senior member of Mugabe's dreaded Central Intelligence Organization, the CIO, and was jailed for committing politically motivated offences, on behalf of the white South African government, against the ANC in Zimbabwe.

From Mugabe's confidant to condemned prisoner he recounts his life on the edge, as a double agent. He explains the desolation of being abandoned by South Africa when he was compromised and he details his lone fight to maintain his humanity, self-dignity and sanity in a prison system that belongs to the Middle Ages. Removed from society and with his fundamental human rights arbitrarily withdrawn, Woods has been there and done that when it comes to stress, utter hopelessness and coping while under the most desperate conditions imaginable.

This book will inspire you to take an introspective look at your own life, your careers, your aspirations and ambitions. His story, unlike so many others has a happy ending with him hugging his now-adult children and meeting former President Nelson Mandela being the highlights."Maybe I made it through those 7,140 days and nights by fooling myself so often.

Maybe it was my God. Maybe it was stubbornness and my knowledge that Mugabe and his cronies wanted nothing more than for me to die, of natural causes in that dismal place. (He couldn't just send the goons to kill me, you see? There were too many people and a few governments as well who were watching.) I did not want to give Mugabe that gratification, and that was serious motivation for me to persevere.

Whatever it was, through all those years of having my hopes eroded time after time, just like the waves, I made it. Whether I am sane or not (I figure this is debatable) I did it. We can all do it no matter how dark things get, no matter how sad, how desperate, how fucking morbid. Reach inside and strive to get through, even if it's only 'till tomorrow'." Kevin Woods lives in Durban and has made a career of public, motivational speaking which is both moving and poignant.


PublishedSeprember 2008


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