Onalethuso ‘Mambo’ Ntema is one of the most passionate poet of our time. With a poetry anthology “Soul Seeds” under his name, he is a force to reckon with. He talks to me about how he inter-weaved African social thought into his Reality and Mental Inspiration poetry anthology.
Gaamangwe: So Mambo, you are a very passionate poet. How did your love for writing happen?
Mambo: Thank you for this reasoning session. I was inspired during inter-school Debates, Literature and Traditional dance competitions since the age of 10.
What inspired you? And what still continues to inspires you now?
I developed a reading culture, especially African Social Thought, Literature of Liberation, Anthropology and History. As a Sociologist, I disseminate on social class (politics, poverty, minorities) and gender issues, emotions, nature and culture. I am inspired by circumstances of life and reality, my daughter’s (Deczybelle) and cultured mother (Ndaruka Ntema). My themes are love, dark poetry (pain, grief, death), motivation and inspiration, nature and wildlife, cultural transformation and vulnerable groups’ voice.
That’s amazing. You are inspired by some of the most important ideals in the African human life. You have an amazing poetry anthology “Soul Seeds”! Tell me about it.
Yes. SOUL SEEDS is a Reality and Mental inspirational poetry collection that seeks to explore emotions, thought and reality. It reflects scattered but gathered circumstances through a psycho-philosophical tone and imagery. It promotes nature and conservation, pan African-ism and renaissance, gender issues, spiritual freedom and love and motivation.
Wonderful. Why was it important for you to explore the aforementioned topics? And what do you hope the reader will get from reading the anthology?
Thanks for the question. I seek to inspire and comfort troubled souls for a better day tomorrow, and elevate African Social theorizing and a globalized culture of unity and collected-ness. I seek to raise awareness on relationship building and bonding, self worth, love and forgiveness, history and cultural transformation, spiritual freedom, social class and child neglect, hope and perseverance. The reader will hopefully become inspired, nurtured and surrounded by positive behavior on them and others too. I hope to seed such seeds on souls and beings through relative imagery and metaphors, in particular, the self.
That’s wonderful. How was your creative process writing the anthology? And how did your profession, Sociology influence the book?
It was based on imagination, personal life experience, and past work experience as an Advocate for minority groups (BaSarwa, women, youth, orphans/vulnerable children, disabled), and Social research. As well, peer discussions and networking on various aspects of life and reality. I got motivated and co-wrote some pieces through online dialogue with friends and creative thinkers. I was strengthened by writers and poets such as Pearl Sanelisiwe Ndlovu, Thabo Prince Katlholo, Charlotte Oageng, Nobert Mathumo, Lucky Bulayani, Maya Roze, Mpho Leteng, Juby Peacock, Moemedi Tebogo, Nametso Phonchi, Ponatshegelo Katlholo, Priscah Katlholo to name a few.
That’s interesting. We can only find inspiration from our experiences. How has the reader responded to your work, especially with regards to the poems about minority groups?
The response can’t be expressed; the poems heal the inner self and sense of existence. The reader is empowered, inspired and thoughtful. The anthology is available in 15000+ book retailers world wide including Amazon, eBay, Kalahari. It enjoys a warm reception.
That’s amazing. Congratulations. How was your experience publishing the anthology?
It was a learning curve of many miles of patience and understanding the business processes of self publishing, marketing and sales/distribution. Published in the UK by XLIBRIS PUBLISHING LLC, printed in the USA. It’s self-publishing via XLIBRIS.
Okay. That’s very interesting. how does that work?
The author pays for publication, marketing and distribution, and owns copyright. I also edited the manuscript.
Wonderful. Mambo , it was amazing having this conversation with you. Any last words?
Thank you oneBlood. Mafoko tota Gaamangwe and you are such a joy. I’d urge Batswana and the world to support Creative artworks as ‘Soul Seeds’ to delight their eyes and minds to find joy and elevation. We sow seeds for a green tomorrow, today and the day before. Peace, Love and Harmony. oneBlood
See more of Mambo’s work : www.soulseedsntema.com.