Brandon tanu, who suffered from being bullied in his school days, chose to put his feelings, thoughts, and tips into a new book entitled Bully Aja, I don’t Care. Having started off as a personal project, Brandon decided to publish the book and take it one step further to help those who were going through the same situation he had experienced.
“I chose to write this book to make the wider audience understand that the person bullying has, at some time in his or her life, gone through the same situation, be it from their parents, their extended family, or even friends,” explained Brandon, who was also compared with and bullied by his extended family. “At the end of the day, they are human too and have the capacity to change.”
Brandon’s mum, Wanda Ponika, and mentor, James Gwee, stood steady at his side when he was a victim. Wanda made sure that she consoled Brandon, who was adamant about not being affected and instead made sure to focus on his capabilities.
“I always told Brandon that body size does not matter as long as your intellect and heart are big,” said Wanda. “I always knew he was a good speaker; therefore, I enrolled him in public speaking sessions to develop that quality further.”
Brandon was bullied because of his body size when compared with girls who were much bigger than him, and because of his mature personality. But now, Brandon is a public-speaking mentor to children younger than him who dream of being public speakers.
Bully Aja, I Don’t Care revolves around the bravery of Brandon in having to face his bullies. “It is so important that we don’t react to their acts, but instead understand why they’re bullying,” he said. “It’s most likely that they are or have been victims of bullying as well.”
During the book’s recent launch at Plaza Indonesia, Brandon joined hands with an initiative known as Shoes for NTT, which has been providing free shoes to the underprivileged children in Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT). For every Rp100,000 gathered from the book sales, a pair of school shoes will be bought for and delivered to the children of Desa Roe in NTT.