Today at Self-Publishing Africa (SPA) we are joined by Karabo Edward Mashaphu (KM). He started writing at a tender age of 14, influenced by Hip-Hop at age 11 as a rap artist, by being able to master rap lyrics from A-Z, executing them precisely with few default, this inspired him to start writing his own lyrics when he was 14. That was basically when his writing journey started. writing lyrics also influenced him to record rap songs to an extent of releasing his own Hip-Hop mix-tape which was self-released in 2010 titled “Esoteric”, containing songs which were recorded from 2008-2009.
In the year 2011 he decided to discontinue with music as he had to focus on his studies. He might have stopped recording but he continued to write lyrics and embarked on a journey to elevate his writing skills to another level by being a poet. This activated his mind into turning his writing abilities into becoming the author that he is today. Karabo strongly believes his words are intelligent and educational enough to awaken mankind.
He thus continuously aspires to expand people’s consciousness and enlighten them about the depth of life as well as by transcending human knowledge.
Karabo believes his words are not only to be kept to himself after writing, but to be spread to many people as possible. He also believes his words of wisdom should be spread globally, that he came into this world with a purpose and one of his purpose is to share his knowledge embedded in his writing with mankind around the globe.
He further mentions that he is not here to motivate anyone, but here to enhance knowledge and enlighten people by sharing his thoughts with everyone who has access to his writing. He explores the endless depths of existence beyond illusions, deceptions and over the veils of ignorance.
(KM) Thanks to Self-Publishing Africa for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed, I am very much pleased.
(SPA) Can you start by giving our followers a brief background of yourself and where you are coming from?
I furthered my studies right after matric at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) where I obtained my Diploma in Entertainment Technology.
I basically started writing when at the age 14, however I started off as a lyricist, grew up being heavily obsessed and influenced by Rap and Hip Hop music. So that is where I got my inspiration from, I changed from being a lyricist into becoming a poet and that’s how I managed to publish my first anthology book in 2013; from being a poet to becoming the author I am today.
(SPA) Where do you get your ideas from?
(KM) Anything I write pops into my mind out of nowhere, I believe and know these ideas come from the way I observe and analyse the world. I am a very inquisitive person and very observant and started becoming very obsessed about gaining knowledge when I was 16. That was when I actually started watching documentaries, I must say while my friends were talking about watching movies and collecting movies; my obsession was to gain knowledge and collect documentaries.
I have literally watched more than 200 documentaries. There is also a possibility that I have watched more than 300. I would say they also had an influence on how I view the world. I would not say my writing ideas also come from there, regardless of the influence they had on me. However I would say documentaries I have watched actually confirmed things I know about, some I have never experienced but somehow know. It’s like I have once lived many years ago before and came back as a new born. I believe and feel I am an old soul. Because of my lifestyle, how I view the world, write and how my decisions are initiated.
So as a result, in terms of writing; my mind tells me what to write just like a leaner during an exam given an essay to write and just like musicians writing lyrics they make up. I am very obsessed about knowledge and wisdom. One of the ways to captivate me, is to feed me with knowledge when talking. In a book I wrote in 2015, I have stated that: “Knowledge is fascinating in puts a smile on my face, for I crave it like a nymphomaniac craving the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge”.
(SPA) Why do you write?
(KM) I write to spark and instill knowledge in peoples mind, wisdom too if possible. I write about daily situations which take place. However, we as people do not always pay special attention to, events and situations which should trigger our minds; to think profoundly and expand our consciousness so that we can comprehend life in a deeper sense and for what it really is. Being able to interpret the smallest of signals life is sending. I write to teach readers to be open-minded and never ignore their intuition, for I believe it is a message that the universe is sending.
I deeply believe and feel that one of the reasons I was brought into this world was to influence and make a positive difference in people’s lives through my words. I give life to words; I basically give birth to words that trigger certain neurons in people’s minds to think profoundly and expand their way of thinking. The knowledge and wisdom in my words is very powerful. My words should be like the undying music that is never forgotten even after millennium years, people should quote me and my work should spread and known globally and God willingly, I will not rest till I get there or achieve that goal.
(SPA) What do you find most appealing about your chosen genre?
(KM) It is very unique, only few people write about concepts I write about, especially South African writers. I write about life, brainwash, indoctrination, propaganda, extra-terrestrials and so forth. It’s weird I know. I write about spirituality, ancestors and God, not only because I taught about some of the things, but because I have experienced those things and have seen them. They are based on personal experiences, some are encrypted, instilled and deeply rooted in my DNA and my soul. I discover, unravel or decipher them gradually as I grow up.
(SPA) How do you deal with bad reviews, rejection and criticism?
(KM) I take them as they come; they are actually a learning curve for me. I actually prefer to be criticized, I take it as constructive criticism as it’s a way for me to grow and improve. I believe there is always something to learn from everyone and always a room for improvement.
(SPA) Karabo, you surely have developed in your writing. Have you published yet? What are you busy with now in terms of writing?
(KM) Yes, I have self-published six books, but I am currently not publishing anything new because I have documentation of scrolls I haven’t published. Once a writer, always a writer and its obvious I still emancipate my thoughts on paper. Writers’ blogs might be there, but I still continue to write and if there is nothing to write about, I never force it. I believe my ideas come when they should.
The Titles of my books are:
- Formation Of Poetic Rap (2013)
- The Mind Is A Powerful Weapon (2013)
- Manifestation Of Esoteric Perceptions (2014)
- Enlightenment (2015)
- Gateway To Infinite Wisdom (2016)
- Exposed (2017)
(SPA) What do you find difficult about book writing?
(KM) Writing continually. I don’t know if I make sense.
(SPA) What is your opinion on self-publishing vs traditional publishing?
(KM) Self-publishing has no boundaries, you can publish in which ever manner you want but has more work because you have to pay the editor, designer of your book, printers with your own money where in traditional publishing, all you have to do is submit your manuscript and if you meet the requirements and write how they instruct you, you get published.
(SPA) What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
(KM) To chase their dreams, be passionate, read and write more. Never wait for a publisher or people to find them but rather chase their dreams and goals of writing. People who are meant to help you, will eventually find you. What is meant to be will always be.
(SPA) If you could go back in time 12 months, what would you advise yourself?
(KM) To advance my marketing skills and interact with more writers and attend book workshops.
(SPA) Who is your favourite author and why?
(KM) I would not say I have a favourite author but rather say I have favourite authors, namely:
- -Jordan Maxwell
- -Credo Vusamazulu Mutwa
- -Manly P. Hall
These people write more or less similar things I write about, I am not saying I have read all of their books, but I have paged through some of their books in books stores and I have mostly read intriguing articles they have written.
(SPA) Do you do book reviews? What type of books do you review?
(KM) I do not book reviews at all.
(SPA) Which email lists are you subscribed to?
(SPA) How do you interact with other authors? Are you a member of a book club?
(KM) I intact with most authors through Facebook, only met up with a few and have not met most of them in person. I was once part of a book club for a short while but couldn’t attend more often because I was too busy with life, it was in Pretoria and because of work I spent most of my time in Johannesburg.
(SPA) What types of books do you normally recommend to your friends?
(KM) That they should read books based on what they like to read about, for that will make it much easier to fall in love with reading , rather than reading a book you have no idea what it is talking about, that will eventually make you despise reading or discontinue reading.
Reading a book is like watching a TV programme, if you do not like the show; you will not continue watching, but if you like or love what you are watching you will continue. The same rule applies when reading a book or if you want to develop a habit of reading.
(SPA) What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
(KM) Listening to music and watching music videos, well preferably Hip-Hop music and coming to my full-time job, I am someone who works in the television Industry, well professionally behind the scene. I have worked for 7de Laan, freelanced with Generations The Legacy, worked on a Telenovela/ Drama known as Keeping Score which is currently playing on SABC 2, worked for Amped Africa which will be soon broadcasted on one of the SABC channels,. I have also worked for one of the shows that was playing on Vuzu TV but it’s best if I don’t mention the name for confidentiality purposes. I have also shot music videos with few industry giants and I am currently working elsewhere but I would like to keep it confidential. I do not always want people to know everything about my whereabouts.
I do not own any pets, but once owned 2 birds when I was 6 years of age, which eventually died and I was extremely devastated, so one day when I have my own house I will definitely have birds in my house.
(SPA) Let’s talk about Karabo the man! Give us a bit of your social and family life.
(KM) I am very much antisocial, but prefer to socialise with few friends and spend more time with family for it is everything. I am also extremely obsessed about music and preferably Hip Hop music, I spend most of my time listening to music more than anything.
(SPA) Any final word for our followers?
(KM) Follow your dreams, don’t be deceived and succumb to anyone, train yourself to be a critical thinker, empower yourself, seek knowledge and wisdom, become very observant and be analytical, there is a lot to learn from everyone and especially reality itself. Love what you do. Break rules which imprison you from your own happiness if possible. Writing is a powerful tool utilize it to become successful.
(SPA) Many thanks for this interview, Karabo. Good luck with your writing.
(KM) My sincere gratitude, it been a pleasure to be interviewed by self-publishing Africa.
Karabo Mashaphu Links and Contacts