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Madibaland Online Literary Festival: Tracy Going

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TITLE: Brutal Legacy

Publisher:  Melinda Ferguson Books, imprint of NB Publishers
Published: 2018

Tracy Going promised herself as a little girl that her life would be different from her mothers; that she would never be beaten up. But then she broke her own promise.“As I stood before him all I could see were the lies, the disappearing for days without warning, the screaming, the threats, the terror, the hostage holding, the keeping me up all night, the dragging me through the house by my hair, the choking, the doors locked around me, the phones disconnected, the isolation, the fear, the uncertainty.”

Brutal Legacy is an unflinching account of survival and healing. In stunning detail Going tells the story of a romantic relationship that quickly turned violent back in the late 1990’s and how she staggered into a police station battered and bruised. She shares the harrowing details of her humiliation in the court room, the immediate collapse of her career due to the highly public nature of her assault, her overwhelming despair, her decline into depression, and the decades long journey to undo the psychological damages in the search for safety and the reclaiming of self.

The legacy of violence forms the backdrop as Going re-lives her childhood, isolated on a plot outside the small, industrial town of Brits, laced with the unpredictable rage of an abusive, alcoholic father.

Brilliantly penned, Brutal Legacy is ultimately uplifting in the realisation that healing is a lengthy process and that self-forgiveness and acceptance are essential in order to fully embrace life.


Tracy Going is an award-winning former TV and Radio news anchor, best remembered for SABC 2’s Morning Live and as a primetime news anchor for Metro FM and Kaya FM.


“I have shared my story both to gain and give insight into the horrors of domestic violence. I have written this book from the perspective of a child, who despite being helpless tried her very best to protect those around her, and I have written it from the perspective of a woman who thought ‘it’ could never happen to her.
I have written in outrage and protest to what I see happening around me and I hope my book will be the catalyst for change, however slight that might be.”


Sisonke Msimang, author of Always Another Country

“Searing, heart-breaking, triumphant: Brutal Legacy is for anyone who’s been punched in the face by someone they loved and then stood up again. It’s for every mother, sister, brother and for the children who have watched. Every South African should read it.”

Eusebius McKaiser, Talk show host, journalist, author

“Tracy’s story is stunning and hard, compelling and gentle, raw and then some…”
Author & Radio talkshow host, Eusebius Mckaiser.