Monday, March 8, 2010

Alison Botha

In December 1994, Alison was abducted outside her home by two men who raped, stabbed and disembowelled her, finally slashing her throat 16 times to make sure she was dead. No-one could have believed that anyone with such severe injuries could live but, miraculously, she did.

The manner in which she survived, her inner strength and determination, her lack of bitterness, and her serenity and humility captured the attention of the whole of South Africa. In 1995, she was awarded the prestigious Rotarian Paul Harris Award for 'Courage Beyond the Norm'. In the same year she was the first recipient of the Femina magazine's 'Woman of Courage' award. She was also chosen as Port Elizabeth's Citizen of the Year at a glittering ceremony.

Alison has been speaking on the professional speaking circuit for several years. Her aim to 'make a difference' has been overwhelming as she has spoken to countless thousands of people which include large business corporations, women and social groups as well as several schools. She has addressed international audiences in over 20 different countries including the USA, Australia, Europe, Asia and Africa. (source: Alison's

Meet Alison Botha. I first read about her in Andrew Matthews’ book: Happiness in Hard times. My heart was in pain when I read her experience. It was really really really bad. The worst thing that you could’ve ever imagined happened to her. When she was 27, two men abducted her, raped her, and brutally hurt her. She was almost dead. But God has another plan for her. She was alive. She met a veterinarian student who saved her life. And that made her going on in this life. She found her soul-mate, got married in 1997 (3 years after the tragic incident). And right now she’s traveling all around the world, giving testimony of her way in dealing with suffering. I Have Life: Alison's Journey as told to Marianne Thamm is the title of her book. The book that inspires the world. Inspires all the people who read her story.

Well, life is really unpredictable. You couldn’t possibly imagine what will happen next. One moment Alison was an insurance broker with a Port Elizabeth business in South Africa, then few minutes after that, everything has changed drastically. The worst nightmare ever happened to her life. But then she could stand up once again and make a difference.

Salute to Alison! Life is not always easy. But the winner will fight till the end. No matter how bad the circumstances might be. And somehow, I find that I’m ashamed of my complaints. After reading her struggle in this life, really, my complaints are nothing compared to hers. And I’d like to have that kind of attitude in this life. I can see God’s grace in Alison’s life. It’s His hands that enable her to do so. Without Him, I think it’s impossible to enjoy what she has now. God has been so good to her.

Thanks to Alison for her inspirational story. And for everyone out there, you can make a difference. As what she said in her website: "No matter the circumstances, you always control your attitude, your belief and the choices you make.."

Today is Woman’s Day. I didn’t realize it until the supermarket’s cashier in our apartment told me so. In spite of the flowers, the gifts, the romantic presents that have been flowing here in Ho Chi Minh City, I’ve learned another lesson from Alison. A very brave woman whose life inspires a lot of people. Not only she can stand on her feet, she also fought back the rapists- brought them to the court- and won it. They finally got life imprisonment. And for Alison? She has won her life battle. She’s an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing your life and your inspirational story to the world, Alison!

Last but not least, her wonderful quotations that I really like: Life is beautiful. Life is worth fighting for. It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do with it.

So, have you found the beauty in your eyes? Could you still see the beauty in the midst of stormy life? Hopefully, today we can learn something from Alison.

HCMC, March 8, 2010


* Happy Woman’s Day!

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  1. @ Lili Renz: Thank you:) At least kita belajar sesuatu dari Alison Botha:)