Motebang Benedictus (Ben) Mohlakoana, a self-published author from Flamingo Park, Welkom, is looking to make a mark on the world.
This 25-year-old started telling stories at the age of 12.
“Writing my stories and trying to get them published has been a long journey. Of the three books I have written, only one has been published.
Self-publishing is not easy, but I was blessed to publish Cyber Warz Genesis in 2018,” says Mohlakoana.
Cyber Warz Genesis is the first of a series of short stories.
“It is said that technology sucks people in, so why not tell a story about that literally happening? I have always had a gift of being able to come up with interesting stories with ease. At the age of seven I would draw little characters and make up a story about them,” he says.
In 2015 he studied Information Technology in Bloemfontein. This is when he started taking his storytelling seriously.
“Three of my friends and I wrote a novel titled Power Hunter. I wrote this book as a novel. I have always been a strong Christian and I want our youth to know the greatness of God,” he says.
In 2016 Mohlakoana had a dream, and that dream became his second book, Element.
It is an adventure, action, horror and thriller, all rolled into one.
The book is about Revelations in the Bible, but is written in a way to allow readers to feel like they are actually living in the end times.
In Element,Revelations is 100% literal rather than metaphorical.
“This novel was so good that I wanted it to have a comic book counterpart for the younger readers. I then decided to have a series of short stories published before Element and Power Hunter.
This was when I had a brainchild called Cyber Warz Genesis,” he says.
Mohlakoana wants to use his computer skills to animate his own cartoons.
“I am a storyteller and love to create my stories. I wanted to have two of my books illustrated and made into comic books, but it has not been easy looking for illustrators who are at the level my team and I need. I have met up with illustrators who would only do half the job before cracking under the pressure,” he says.
“I was fortunate to have Cyber Warz Genesis illustrated and published by my publishers.as a short novel with illustrations done by my publishers”
Mohlakoana says publishing was the first and most difficult step.
“The next step is to have my book read and reviewed. Dreams do come true if you have faith, pray and work hard.
“Short cuts don’t give you experience. The longer route is mostly better to help you grow as a person.”
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