Children who grew up in large families under the care of grandparents had a privilege of being told beautiful tales by the fire at night.
This was a norm for many extended families in Botswana as it was part of entertainment.
The story-telling nights shaped many young people into responsible adults. Those were the days when there was hardly any television sets and only a few households managed to buy one. Pako Mavuna, a 34-year-old Kalanga man from Goshwe village was lucky enough to be one of the people who had the pleasure of growing in an extended family and enjoyed his grandmother’s stories. Mavuna is now convinced he was born a storyteller.
In an interview with Arts & Culture, Mavuna said he begun storytelling from as early as seven years of age. He recalled how he used to narrate, create and direct drama plays during family events. “I grew up around cousins and my grandmother who would always tell us stories and that was when I developed the love for storytelling. Later in 2019 I opened a page on Facebook called Dust The Bookshelf. Before I opened the page I was just sharing fiction stories on my Facebook timeline and I would get between 1, 000 and 7, 000 likes. People would always want more,” he said.
Mavuna further explained that he then decided to open a page where he could share his talent with the rest of the world. His page Dust The Bookshelf where he currently shares his series of stories in inserts has 22, 600 followers. The young talented writer added that he was inspired by the love that people showed towards his short stories on his timeline. Like other talented young artists out there, he said storytelling was a gift he was born with. He pointed out that he “did not choose fiction but fiction chose” him. Mavuna also boasted that his talent dates
“At the moment social media is one the most powerful tools of communication, there is no other place to share my talent other than Facebook. I have three stories so far. The first was titled Mmamalome, which had season two that I titled ‘How Dirty Can You Get?’ .The current book is titled Married With Secrets. “My stories are inspired by one thing: life and its up and downs,” he said.
His messages vary from health issues, legal issues, marriage, friendships, love and spiritual journeys. However, he pointed out that he was challenged by time to write since he was a full time employee and his job was demanding. Mavuna also explained that sometimes he delivers his inserts late because of time. Moreover, this talented writer explained that he aspires to become a script writer/ producer and director of motion photography. At the moment, Mavuna is just writing for Facebook but he also said he would like to publish a novel one day. He added that he follows the likes of Tyler Perry and Shonda Rhimes as the duo reminds him everyday that his pen should never stop dancing on a piece paper. This multi-talented young man gets his support from his fans even though he does not make money out of his talent. Furthermore, Mavuna who is also an actor plays two roles in two local drama series namely; Botshelo Jo on Botswana Television and Maele on Epic tv.