Nkogatse: ‘I believe in driving change through creative art’

Sammy Nkogatse is an author, founder and the director for both STRONGMIND PRODUCTION IN WRITING (Pty) Ltd and SAMNKO BOOKS (Pty) Ltd which they specialise in publishing and book distribution.

Tenacity  Magazine had a chance to interview the author, and here is what he had to say:

Tenacity Magazine: Please tell us who is Sammy Nkogatse?

Sammy Nkogatse: Sam Nkogatse is a publisher, radio producer and presenter, speaker, author and entrepreneur, event MC and a father. I am creative, polite and God-fearing person. I always strive to bring change to my community, to my work place and friendship. I am goal-driven. He is born and bred from Zebediela South, Kliphuiwel Village, Limpopo. Sam is the founder and director for both STRONGMIND PRODUCTION IN WRITING (Pty) Ltd and SAMNKO BOOKS (Pty) Ltd which they specialise in publishing and book distribution. He is the author of the best-selling title, THE BLACK MAN IN THE WHITE PEOPLE’S YARD, which was published in 2014 and LOVE & LIES – MY PAST TENSE, 2018.

He is the founder and chairperson of SAMNKO EDUCATION FOUNDATION, NPO that aims at empowering and developing young people. It deals with social issues and it is goal and solution driven, focus at the different problems faced by various communities and come up out with solutions.

The other project that he is involved in is the Literature For Charity, it is where he donates 10% of his royalties. Each book he sold, he donate for to the project so that he can be able to assist in any issues and for the organisation to raise funds. At the organisation, he run projects such as career expos, business seminars, health campaigns and any programme relating to making a difference. There is a recent running project, Donate-A-Box Capmaign which is the charity project to give toiletry parcels every December. He encourage donations from deodorants, body lotion, bath soap, toothpaste and brush and sanitary pads for ladies. He is passionate about writing and community development.

Tenacity Magazine: When and why did you start writing?

Sammy Nkogatse: I started writing at the early age, is been a while and to me I believe in driving change through creative art. I believe writing chose me, that is what I always say to me to start writing was for many reasons but to mention a few was because I had to answer a calling that I have, of which is to write. I write because I want to communicate with my fellow peers, to deliver certain message and contribute to a rising bar of writing for young people. I always wanted to own my title, a book  that will always be my product to use as my tool to shape our young generation.

Tenacity Magazine: As an author, where do you get your ideas?

Sammy Nkogatse: I believe my ideas are from the things I see in my daily life, some are from my experience in life, be it incidents of my love life, memories and even things I always come across. I usually write fiction, stories that are not based on true story but evolve around daily feeling that people always face – since well I travel a lot, I get to explore different places which they inspire me to have stories to work around on.

In a nutshell, to me, ideas emerge from everything I do, everything I know, face, passed, met and so on.

Tenacity Magazine: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to the readers what they want?

Sammy Nkogatse: I always make sure that I remain me. I do not try but do my best to be original because if I do not, I will end up being like the next existing writer and of which is not a good or advisable thing to do or follow at all. I always know what readers want and is up to my creativity and senses to deliver to them what will be a relevant content to them.

Tenacity Magazine: Who are you inspired by to write books?

Sammy Nkogatse: I am inspired by writers who write fiction like I do, Niq Mhlongo is my all-time favourite because his stories are always relevant to African literature and also, his work as an author always speak positively for others to see a reason to write. I have lot of people but will least mention few, Danielle Steel, the late Bessie Head and many more other local writers that always strive to give us relevant content.

Tenacity Magazine: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Sammy Nkogatse: To be honest, publishing my first book has given me an opportunity to work as a writer. I used to think I am not good at all but through responds of people who read my work, I am always well to write more. To say, I can proudly add that, my process of writing did not change but gained a second few steps forward which now involve understanding of creative writing and handling responds that are given by readers. Some are critics, some are inspirational and some are provoking but at the end of the day, I learn a new thing or two.

Tenacity Magazine: How many books have you published so far? Are they available in stores?

Sammy Nkogatse: I have two books published: 1. THE BLACK MAN IN THE WHITE PEOPLE’S YARD (2014) and 2. LOVE AND LIES: MY PAST TENSE (2018) The first one is only available online and the second one is available from me with our mobile seller.

Tenacity Magazine: What are the challenges you have came across as an author?

Sammy Nkogatse: Challenges are always there especially if you are committed to what you want to achieve. I am always faced by challenges, at first before publishing my first book, it was a finance to self-publish my work because I was rejected so many times by publishers to publish my work, I did not even understand any publishing procedure, did not know how to market it, how to sell, who to consult, where to print and who to edit. But today I am proud to own a publishing company that specialise with publishing.

Tenacity Magazine: What is your favourite childhood book  and Why?

Sammy Nkogatse: I always read the books by Bessie Head, When rain clouds gather, because her books are always challenging and to me I always want to read a challenging story, something that will allow me to cross question myself. One more thing about her books is that they tell African stories that we never heard before.

Tenacity Magazine: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Sammy Nkogatse: I want to have my own library that will be aiming at giving a broad attention to all the book lovers to refer to local books and feature emerging authors on the shelf, to be a recognised writer that deliver relevant content, a bestseller and household brand through literature. I believe in hard work and since I am not only the author, I always wish to see myself working with my communities through development and education. In the media world, I want to be part of game changing through radio.

Tenacity Magazine: What advice can you give to someone who want to follow in your footsteps?

Sammy Nkogatse: I will say to them that they have to be faithful to who they are, and what they have. They always have to express themselves in front of the people than impressing them. Be a God fearing someone, be polite to everyone, seek help, ask questions, be realistic, admit failure and work hard.

Tenacity Magazine: What do you want the nation to know or remember about you?

Sammy Nkogatse: I want to be remembered as a leader who is a non-political activist that improved the lives of the African child. Books I write should be books that will be read even when I am gone. I want to be known as ‘that bestselling author’. They have to know me as a hard worker, remember me as the go-getter and selfless individual.

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