Kaloli Tsekoa is the author of Africa Reminded; a thought provoking book that is set to be launched in the early months of 2023. We had a conversation with Ntate Tsekoa to get an in-depth knowledge of him and what the book is about.
Who is Kaloli Tsekoa?
Kaloli Tsekoa gi moPhuthi, Khakheni ka Bhulani, ka Mavu, gi mutfhu wha ku thewuka gebulebhu etulu, gi Dlamini, Zizi dzini, ha ka Djama Sjadu!
He is a son, a brother, a father, a husband and an avid believer in making an impact in people. I am a qualified civil engineering technologist and applied my trade in consulting and development finance. Most recently, I am in the small business financing space whilst enterprising in a number of business interests. These range from farming, business coaching, small business investments and of course, being an author.
I love Formula 1, Mixed Martial Arts (UFC in particular), running, soccer and just being with my family. I’m quite a hobbyist and love home ‘DIY’ projects (I’ve turned my garage into a workshop.)
I am passionate about working with small businesses and their respective owners from coaching, advising and consulting. My ‘ikigai’ is to positively contribute to people (Africans), in particular youth and business owners, to become successful in changing their circumstances for the better and in turn them passing on the same success formula to others.
I am a strong proponent of sharing because it is in sharing that we receive more. More so, the next person’s blessing is tied to our gratitude hence we need to live a life of gratitude.
So, mine is about empowering through knowledge sharing and creating progressive conversations whilst building each other.
Describe your book in less than 100 words
Africa reMINDed is thought and discussion invoking. It is about and for Africans. It reminds Africa of how great we were and can still be. It is about dreaming and achieving again. It is about application of the right MINDset to achieve in life as individuals, society and the continent at large. It is educational in more than one dimension as I unpack the principles, techniques and habits to adopt for success [depending on how one defines it for themselves].
What inspired the idea of the book?
Let me start by underscoring the following statement, which forms the basis of why this work. As a people, we have the natural inclination for food, security, well-being and happiness. At some moment in life, one gets to a point where you begin to view life through a different lens. That is the reality lens; a lens that does not lie but rather gives you exactly what the facts and reality are.
It is a glaring truth that there are no jobs for youth in particular; people in general have lost hope. It is disheartening to see so many graduates with degrees and the likes but they cannot be placed in employment for a myriad of reason. Poverty is one illness that cannot be ignored and food security in Africa is becoming a reality we cannot ignore anymore.
The rate at which small businesses fail can no longer be discounted. A lot of these issues and more lead to a society that becomes despondent and resorts to unbecoming methods to earn a living. Unfortunately, that is criminal activities and I am convinced and confident that the status quo can be reversed as long as we, the people, are aware of how to turn the tide and act on it.
With this work, therefore, I seek to share my wisdom with Africa on how to dream big and realise our dreams; how to shape our destiny and become fulfilled in life. This book seeks to share the tools we can apply to become significant as people noting our experiences, mental shaping (over time) and realities.
What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with this work?
Honestly, quite a lot; although within limitation for now. Africans have gone through a lot, both in physical and mental colonization the results of which are still evident today. The question then is, for how long are we going to live with this unfortunate reality? To reverse the situation or at least to attempt to, I therefore challenge a few perspectives that we need to zoom into:
- Mental awareness
- Power of thoughts
- Unquestionable importance of Personal development
- Importance of building a positive self-image
- Being in a state of flow for productivity
- Developing a growth mindset
- Importance of maintaining a balance lifestyle
In essence, I am trying to address the issues of inferior complex and limiting beliefs.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating this book?
That I can actually write (laughing). On a serious note, that there is power in MANIFESTATION. Anything that you put your mind to can materialise into reality. Imagine, visualise, believe [it will happen] and take action towards realising it; as simple as that. I never, ever thought that this book will see the light of day and as I was putting pen to paper and researching more about the contents, that’s when I realised that I can actually have a book on Amazon Kindle. Wow!
3 reasons why anyone should pick up AFRICA ReMINDed and read it
- If you are an African;
- If you want to contribute positively to society; and
- If you are in a literal sense, fed up with life and want to start afresh.
If life’s hard-nocks have put you down but not out, if you want to live a life filled with fulfillment, if you want to be significant and live your purpose on this earth and if you want to leave a long lasting legacy, this is the book for you.
How many books have you written? And which one is your favorite?
This is my first book and certainly my favourite in the absence of any other. It is fair to say that this book will remain my favourite purely because it will set the tone for others to come. I structured it in such a way that it will, for some foreseeable future, be a point of reference for my literary work to come. Inevitably then its importance cannot be overemphasized.
Who is the ideal reader of your book?
Africans in general but youth in particular including small business owners or those looking at starting. The main reason for business is simply that economic empowerment and independence lies with small businesses and until they have power, Africans may continue on a trajectory that leads to nowhere. Great countries today have high entrepreneurial activity and net economic value.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
This particular project was and remains the only book that I have published. However, I have one project as work in progress in the form of an e-book which I should complete in a couple of months. Following Africa reMINDed, there is another surprise for Africa being moulded.
What does literary success look like to you?
I am honoured and count my blessings on the wisdom that the creator has endowed upon me in that now I know better. Now that I am wiser and know better, I realised that success is an abstract and may be more a perception. For me, literary success translates to the realisation of value and creating impact through my writing. In this case, the realisation of empowerment as it manifests through the reader and seeing my audience appreciate and changing in positive ways in life. #Mission2Mpower Pablo Picaso once said, the meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose of it is to give it away. Now that’s literary success for me. It goes beyond personal achievement!
Did you experience any writer’s block during the production of this book?
Certainly, and a number of times. In some instances it was more on now what, after a particular topic or theme. I struggled a lot in creating flow in content as well as proper topic linkages because my modus operandi in writing was more on topic approach. I had to accept to do, undo and do again and again.
One thing I had to resort to was to consult with those that have walked the journey [of book writing] as well as consult with specialists in the various topics. Importantly, it was all about trying to bring everything together for the ultimate reader so that it all becomes easy on the eye and mind.
What does your family think of your writing?
Initially, I kept everything to myself, quietly so at that. After some substantial researching and drafting, that was when I told my wife that “I am thinking of writing a book.” It was only when my first raw draft of about 200 plus pages was complete that I started seriously engaging her about the prospect of a book. This was mainly to get myself in a position where someone close could actually hold me accountable; in a way I was creating an expectation so that I had more reasons to deliver on it.
After having my first draft reviewed by professionals I then blew the lid open by spreading the word to my other family members. This time around I could almost visualise the book, touched it and smelled it. It was one way only.
I remember when I told my daughter that I was going to fetch hard copies of the book, her eyes melted with excitement and everyone was congratulating me. I was over the moon with the fact that what I started as a journey of self-development (during the covid hard lock down) finally had materialized! I cannot thank them more for their support and taking me to take it on. We’re all celebrating!
Has your book changed since the first draft?
A resounding no! The plan, intent and messaging has always been one and never changed. The ‘WHY’ for this work was clear since conceptualizing the book.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
It is certainly my opinion, that a big one can hurt writers. In as much as I am a novice in writing but the journey that I took showed me a thing or two about remaining true to yourself because that can reflect in your work. If one wants to reflect themselves in their work, then a big ego is a no-no. However, there can be room for some slight dose of ego here and there and I think this can work in favour of those that are intentional in expressing the same ego in their work for one reason or another.
For other aspiring authors, how important is professional editing to a book’s development?
Without a doubt, that is a given. There are no cutting corners in delivering a book. In as much as it can become an added cost, the fact remains that it is a necessity. This can save a writer some unnecessary embarrassment due to unforeseen errors in the book but importantly ones image and brand. For me, it honestly goes without saying. I’d advise aspirant authors to rather plan and budget for their work properly, otherwise delay publishing.
From Civil Engineering to Development Financing to being an Author. Why such transition?
Life is about growth and one tight to wisdom. Think of a stream as an anecdote. Water is continuously flowing in a stream and that is a sign of life, movement, progress, freshness, energy, etc. The opposite of which is stagnation, death and terrible smells associated with standing water. The former mirrors me in many forms than less; restless in a positive way, always in the hunt for the latest, curious, soul searching, always learning new things and the list is endless. I am always evolving and I guess that reflects in my life in many ways.
This ultimate and deliberate persona was a result of the life’s hard knocks and the lessons I took out of them. More than anything, I continuously seek knowledge that empowers! My motto says it all #Mission2Mpower. Nothing more, nothing less. In essence, the interesting journey of life led me to where I am today and I think I found my true north and a sweet spot, that of personal empowerment for a life of fulfillment.
Engineering for me was a career and remains one. Development financing was driven more by emotions attached to changing societies through funding their needs. Empowering through knowledge sharing comes second to none for me and I think this is my passion and ‘Ikigai’ (the reason to being or living). Remember we need to live life and not let life leave us!
We need to be aware that the opportunity to live comes once and we need to make the best of it. Until we know why we’re here we have not lived. Remember that a worthy life is that lived not for you but for others. You are here for a reason and that is to be a blessing to someone and in turn that favour is always returned; that’s the law of the universe. This is how (among other reasons) a lot of happy and wealthy people live. Simple!
I always ask my audiences this one question, “Having lived life the way you have all these years and suddenly you were told you had only one more month to live and all resources, including money, were available to you, what would you want to leave behind as a legacy for society? What would you want to be remembered for?” The facial expressions would normally tell a million stories.
Through this book, I trust I have done justice to Africans in general and youth in particular in collating what I strongly believe is the way forward for the black nation given our history. Let this be some contribution of sort for the betterment of our continent.
How can people reach you?
I am available on email ([email protected]), Whatsapp (+27 83 445 4477), Facebook (kaloli.tsekoa), LinkedIn (Kaloli Tsekoa) and Twitter (@kalolitsekoa)
The book is available on Amazon Kindle and in hard copies as well. Watch the space for www.kalolitsekoa.com and more empowering content to come soon. Thank you ever so much and it is an honour to MPower! Indeed the Mission continues.