Advertorial Writer for Pretoria News John Makoni has a debut short story collection in a book titled 10 Sojourner’s Tales. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)
Pretoria - Having spent his entire youth writing stories, Pretoria News advertorial copywriter John Makoni has finally published a short story collection focused on youth culture.

Makoni has been a writer and journalist for many years, and literature remains his first love as he likes to experiment with various forms of narrative for both altruistic reasons and as a pastime.

His pen name is Micho Sangera, and his debut book titled 10 Sojourner’s Tales is a short story collection published by London-based publishers Austin Macauley.

The collection was largely written more than 10 years ago and the manuscript kept in a cupboard until he started contacting publishers last year.

The book was meant to make readers laugh and challenge young people's vocabulary. The collection contains stories taken from the urban environment.

“I have always felt I have lots of stories to tell, and this collection is evidence of that. This fiction collection began to take shape after I left Cape Town circa 2003, and my former job as main writer for South Africa's first news website.

“So I found myself in a new place with fewer friends, which in a way was a blessing in disguise as it gave me the space to finally write that first book I had always wanted to write,” he said.

“This book will interest young readers because it is about human experience, conflict, friendships, loss and unexpected life lessons. With the sort of social media and difficult language I used in the book I wanted them to refer back to their dictionaries and make an effort. I want them to make reading an effort as I see reading as a labour of love.”

Makoni dedicated his writing to the memory of his late uncle Francis Makama Makoni, who died in a car accident when he was in his early twenties. “His lessons have stayed with me since. He also used to give me lots of books and I hope if he can look down upon me from wherever he is, he will find comfort in that his efforts were not in vain.”

Asked what was in store for the next offering, he said he still had lots of stories, so people must look out for a novel or another short story collection. A play was not ruled out, and he could also publish a poetry collection.

Pretoria News