After completing his medical studies in psychiatry and working at highly respected medical institutions in Europe, 37-year-old Nsununguli Mbo decided to dabble what he always loved, writing. Little did he know that it would lead to him being an accomplished author.
“I developed the love for writing when I was still at high school where I used to have a small notebook in which I wrote stuff and read to myself,” Mbo said.
When he enrolled at varsity he focused on his studies, but his love for writing never subsided, as he pursued his studies until he graduated. It was in 2004 when he was working at a medical institution in Dublin, Ireland when he decided to focus on his writing. Out of that was the birth of his debut fiction book, Wrong Turn.
“By then I used those old model computers to type my book and stored the information in a floppy disk, which I misplaced and could not find,” he said, adding that this put a hold on his writing as he was still recovering from the horror of losing all fruit of his hard work.
Only four years later while going through old boxes Mbo’s brother found the floppy disk where Wrong Turn was stored.
“That’s why it took me four years to publish my first book”.
This was the beginning of the authorship journey, which has seen Mbo publishing seven books
His medical profession and expertise has played a pivotal role in writing. As someone who majored in psychiatry he mastered the art of observing and understanding the way human beings behave and act.
“Prior to writing, I always go around town, to observe people in different places,” he said.
He stated that sometimes he risks his life by going to dangerous and crime-prone areas for his observation sessions.
“When writing a crime-related novel I sometimes have to hang around dangerous people so I observe the way they act and behave in their dealings,” he said.
Mbo mentioned that these observational sessions help him formulate characterisation in his books and to also add a reality feel to it. He recently released a book titled The Other Four.
Despite spending 15 years in Europe and Australia, all his books have a Botswana setting, including fictional places that have native names.
The author who reads crime novels religiously said when he is not working at the hospital he spends about 12 hours writing and working on his novels.
“A novel takes me three to four weeks to write, then nine months to edit,” he said.
He is also a bookworm who spends most of his time reading books, a number of which are stored on his phone.
However, the author from the North Eastern part of the country is not pleased with the local reading culture and standards.
“People are not reading books. We do not have a reading culture. Libraries are filled with academic books and less novels,” he said.
He urged people to adopt a reading culture and buy books as reading keeps the mind up to date and active.
Mbo believes the local scribe industry has a long way to go in terms of improving certain standards as he gave the thumbs up to the likes of TJ Dema and Lauri Kubuitsile for reviving the industry with their works.
He advised young and upcoming authors to be passionate and hardworking.
“Young authors tend to rush for fame and money. Fame can kill you,” he noted.
The Other Four author is currently working with a local film production company to turn some of his novels into scripts for film. He is also working on three upcoming novels. All the three books are based in Verda.
He has also published books such as The Village Doctor, The Missing Corpes, The Five Litre Container and The Basketball School. His books are available at the University of Botswana (UB) bookstore, Exclusive Books and online at Amazon.com.