Autobiography to inspire and raise funds for literacy

On 6 October 2016, South African poet and philosopher, Athol Williams, launched his new autobiography called Pushing Boulders.

Pushing Boulders is a remarkable account of a Cape Flats man born in an old police station during apartheid, who overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles in order to fulfil his dreams. Athol Williams tells of how, after struggling through university, political unrest and racism, he managed to construct a lucrative career as a senior executive and found a successful business. Surprising those who know him, he gives it all up to launch a series of enterprises contributing to social development, pursuing his mission to use education to enable and inspire other South Africans to thrive.

With frequent references to his diaries and letters, the book is written with a frankness and candour so often absent in autobiographies. It offers readers a rare insight into the life of a uniquely talented and accomplished person, revealing his doubts and heartaches as well as the secrets to his ability to pick himself up and soldier on. The book reveals how his compassion for others changed his life and gave it purpose.

Pushing Boulders is about pursuing dreams. It shows that, with self-belief and resilience, anyone can push aside the boulders blocking their path to success. It tells a powerful and inspirational story that will have you believing that even your most outrageous dreams are possible, and leave you energised to begin pursuing them.

Athol Williams is the co-founder of Read to Rise, a non-profit organisation that promotes literacy in South Africa. He grew up in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town where he attended primary and high school. He has studied at Oxford University, Harvard University, MIT, LSE, London Business School and University of the Witwatersrand. He has held numerous senior executive roles in business and served on the boards of companies, investment firms and non-profit organisations. He is an award-winning poet with three published collections, and author of the Oaky series of inspirational children’s books. Athol recently won the 2016 Sol Plaatje European Poetry Award, for the second year in a row. His poetry book ‘Bumper Cars’ has been nominated for a South African Literature Award in 2016.

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To buy a copy of Athol’s autobiography ‘Pushing Boulders’ go to or visit selected books stores including Exclusive Books and Bargain Books.

Soft cover: R245 Hard cover: R345

Proceeds from the book go to literacy non-profit organisation Read to Rise ( so that more children in under-resourced communities can get a brand new story book to take home.