Pushing Boulders: Oppressed to Inspired

By Athol Williams

Biography & memoir | Paperback, eBook


PUSHING BOULDERS is a rare story of unlikely success as it follows the life of a descendant of slaves growing up during the most intense period of racial oppression in Apartheid South Africa. Born into poverty in an old, converted police station in 1970, Athol Williams overcomes an endless series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, what he calls ‘boulders’, to become one of the first people to undertake master's degree study at five of the world's top universities – Harvard, Oxford, MIT, LSE and London Business School. Athol goes on to establish a highly successful corporate career in the US, UK and South Africa and for a period enjoys a lifestyle that would be the envy of even the privileged, yet at the height of his success he foregoes wealth and status to pursue his passion to use education and his writing to enable and inspire others to thrive. His poetry wins numerous awards and his inspirational children’s books are distributed to tens of thousands of children in South Africa through the non-profit that he establishes. Drawing on his breathtaking experiences, Athol reminds us that though life requires us to push enormous boulders at times, life is not about the boulders; life is about the dreams that wait on the other side of the boulders. This book will make you laugh and cry but most of all it will lift your spirit. It will show you that even your most outrageous dreams are possible, and leave you energised to begin pursuing them. It is an absolute must-read for young and old.


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PUSHING BOULDERS is a rare story of unlikely success as it follows the life of a descendant of slaves growing up during the most intense period of racial oppression in Apartheid South Africa. Born into poverty in an old, converted police station in 1970, Athol Williams overcomes an endless series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, what he calls ‘boulders’, to become one of the first people to undertake master's degree study at five of the world's top universities – Harvard, Oxford, MIT, LSE and London Business School. Athol goes on to establish a highly successful corporate career in the US, UK and South Africa and for a period enjoys a lifestyle that would be the envy of even the privileged, yet at the height of his success he foregoes wealth and status to pursue his passion to use ed...


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Athol Williams is the chairman of Read to Rise, the youth literacy non-profit that he founded after many years as a business strategy advisor. He is an award-winning poet with three published collections and is the author of the Oaky series of inspirational children's books. Athol grew up in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, South Africa and has been educated at Oxford, Harvard, MIT, LSE London Business School and Wits University.




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