Gogo Rebecca, a senior Catholic from Soweto:
“you opened a window for me to realise that Bishops are ordinary human beings like all of us. One sees them all the time ngezi qhoko and one forgets that they are ordinary people. For you to be in conversation with u Mhlekazi made all Bishops human once more to me. To also learn that when He was ill he was most humble. His last words to you "if we still have work to do ...." gave me an ahaa moment. They brought this thing called life to a full circle.
...When I looked at seminarians I saw them as one big happy family. Issues of the outside world and unrest within communities seemed to be very far from them. I was saddened by what you went through because of ubu Zulu bakho. Kodwa to be honest nami ngivuswe uwe ngoba, "this is a confession" at times"I treat Priests who come from outside RSA differently" noma ke ngikwenza from afar. May the Lord have mercy.
Fr after reading your book angifisi ukuthi my grandson could be a Priest. Ngeke akwazi ukubekezela half of what you went through. The loneliness specifically when you are ill seems to be to much. Ingaba you go through what we see as bullying?
Overall after reading the book I am a bit sceptical about ukukhulekela amabizelo. Your experiences highlighted all the hardships that one goes through and I believe from the bottom of my heart that the good Lord does not require anybody to go through such. Maybe there is another Priest out there who can relate even worse stories.
I am also very understanding of those who do not complete their studies. I used to think it was all about books only yet this is not the case. There is more.
I appreciate my Priest more as I now understand ukuthi lengane yabantu iphuma kude.
Ngibonga ukungivula amehlo in a world that one will never travel.
Yanga iNkosi ingakupha impilo ende. I would like to read you next book.
Mrs Mjwara, an educator and a staunch Catholic:
“Truth is told, naked as it is, but very clear & enlightened to us. Very interesting book. Made me know more about "ubuPriste" and its challenges. TJo! So much challenges!!!!! Yinde lendlela.” (18 January 2018)
A 36-year old uncompromising (almost rebellous) gay Catholic based in Gauteng:
"Your book "Perspectives @40 refreshes my perspectives. It is like a guiding light in midst of doubt. Thank you for writing this book - itt's one of those books where one cannot just read as once-off but multiple but multiple times. So empowering. A tool to deepen one's faith." (17 January 2018)
Xolani Kubheka, a student deacon from Durban:
"Baba, let me congratulate you on your book 'Collared and Content', I have finished reading your book, as a person aspiring to become a deacon I have learnt a lot. The way you articulate your points, quoting of the Scripture and the Canon Law, you even touched some of the challenges that our Church are facing as well as some guide to problem solving. Thanks once more. May you continue to grow spiritually and I'm looking forward to your 3rd book, God bless" (18 January 2018)
Thuso Mojatau, a coordinator of a Marriage Support group in Jhb: “Fr Similo, your book is making me question many things thatI have always wondered about and never dared asked...so stimulating...thankk you for this” (12 January 2018)
Rev Njabulo Makhanya of Adams-UCCSA:
"Mfundisi, I finished your book (within two days). What a book. I saw my vocations in your book, it lays bare the struggles of ministry across denominational boundaries. We are all struggling with the same issues you raised, ministry is not easy..." (1 January 2018)
Ayanda Vezi, an active Catholic from KwaNdengezi:
"Padre. I just read the first 4 chapters of Collared and Content, I must say, I respect the way you think and analyse things, I particularly like your comparison of iBandla as Indlunkulu, and that Jesus is the head, all churches are the wives of isithembu, I don't agree with church discrimination, we all submit to one God." (28 December 2017)
Nelisiwe Hlatshwayo of Ethekwini Municipality wrote:
"Wow. Fr, you are a really wonderful creation: psychologically complex, unswerving in your morality and fearless in pursuit of truth and individual notion of justice.
What is more intriguing is the courage you had to say some of the things which most would not have come out about. I'm glad to have known such a prominent writer. I couldn't put this book down and I wish it could go on and never end. May God continue the good work He has started in you and may your faith grow stronger" (27 October 2017}.