Often, Batswana are castigated for not being a reading nation, a disparaging sentiment which rookie author and publisher, Segolame Macheng seeks to overturn. Sego, as she’s affectionately known recently published her first and new book dubbed Anchors- a spiritually filled collection of passages to spur a moment of reading and positively change mindsets.
“So they say, if you don’t see a book you want to read in a book store, then you should write it, if you don’t find someone whom you want to listen to, then you should start speaking, if you can’t find someone to mentor you then start mentoring yourself and other people, if you can’t find someone who can’t be an exemplary leader, then you should be the one,” said Sego when she explained how her book writing came about.
Born some 36 years ago in Rakops, Sego is a vibrant believer who serves as an intercessor at her local church. Professionally, she holds several professional certificates, a bachelor’s degree in Marketing as well as Master of Science in Management from the University of Derby.
In our banter, she explains that Anchors is an inspiring weekly devotional with messages and prayers to help one stay rooted in God’s presence throughout their week no matter the season. Furthermore, Anchors addresses everyday life issues in the form of restorative and refreshing words of hope and encouragement suitable for believers across all walks of life.
However, with Batswana’s reluctancy to read or publish, characterized by low volumes of locally published books, Sego has a new twist to it, she says many Batswana have readily available manuscripts sitting unpublished with the main handicap being the tedious process to reach out to printers, designers which is time consuming.
“It’s a long process to be a self-publisher, however, fulfilling because you have full custody of the book, and therefore control prizing and autonomy of the book. We have many books waiting to be published but resources have denied Batswana a chance to read locally. Being a first-time publisher, there is no information about how to go about publishing – most of the potential authors don’t know you can put your work on online platforms such as Amazon, which is free. Until one can afford to publish a hard copy, then this option is good. However, we need to work at our standards of creating locally,” said Sego.
Inspired by many authors of different works, even though she’s not at liberty to mention names, Sego points at her surroundings as her primary source of inspiration.
“Many of my inspiration comes from different people, some are not publishers, I get wisdom from even farmers, maids, informal sectors. I read a lot, listen to podcasts. I have a great support system from family from a young age. They always believed that I am a writer,” she acknowledges.
She encouraged all upcoming authors that COVID-19 has pushed all the creatives to think on their feet and ahead of their time, and as such they should never despair. She says writing the book has renewed her mentality to unearth other untapped ideas and monetize. “This is the best time to put up all the ideas you’ve always shelved for the future. The future is now.”