Holding On To The Dream: Story Of Resilience
Our reporter, Sympathy Sibanda held an interview with Onkarabile Mokoto a South African author, actor and businessman who shared his journey from being a security guard to a renowned personality.
Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Our readers will be interested in knowing who Onkarabile Mokoto is.
This is a great pleasure and I don’t take this lightly, ‘thank you My Afrika Magazine for this opportunity. Onkarabile Mokoto is an award winning author and public speaker. My company is called Founder of Life Shaping Services and I’m a perpetual student of life constantly amazed at God’s grace for me.
What was your dream growing up?
I wanted to be a musician. This is why I left my home in North West Province to come to Johannesburg and meet 1980s musician by the name of Sydney Mogopodi well known by the hit song (Mama’s baby).He then taught me music where I went to record a music demo of three songs, but then along the way I realised that music was not really my craft.
Did you feel like you were giving up on the dream you left home for?
I will not call it giving it up if I am referring to the music dream, I will call it discovering that was not my purpose. I am now sure of my dream which is to write and speak to change lives. That is one dream I will always hold on to and continue to do it until my time on earth expires. It has not been a straight journey as I had to start out as a security guard.
Interesting! When you were working as a security guard did you ever think you would be where you are today?
Yes I always knew that i would not work as a security guard for ever. My dreams kept me focused on the journey rather than my current circumstances. I did not know that I would take this road of writing and speaking, but I knew that one day I would be touching people’s lives in a way different from being a security guard. Infact, I recall a time when one University of Johannesburg student criticised me that I would never amount to anything else but working as security guard for ever. I remember looking him straight in the eyes, in my security uniform and told him ‘ Ÿou are a lier,I Onkarabile will be what God says I will be.’ I put the effort to be better and now here I am ,an actor, writer and influencer in my own right.
How did you get into acting?
I was an online TV host on Global Conference TV where I once interviewed a business woman by the name of Juliet Seviria Sala. Then one day I had an opportunity of interviewing an actor and comedian by the name of Calvin Mabasa. I then told him that I always wanted to act and that is where he mentored me on acting and connected me with the right acting agencies. He became my destiny shaper.
Any role models and mentors who have carried you on their backs?
Yes of course! I am where I am today because of the mentors in my life. The credit will go to my mentors like Sydney Mogopodi, Ambassadors of Christ, Samuel Matjeke, Joyce Diphatse, Amanda Baloyi, Hlulani Maluleke and the late Dr John Tibane through his teachings on radio..
As sir Isaac Newton said: “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”
What have been your achievements to date?
Two of my books have been selected and recommended by Gauteng Department of Education to be used for school libraries across Gauteng. I just released my new book titled Master Writing( How to write, publish and sell your book). And also working on my eighth book at the moment.
Any future plans?
The will always be a future plans,, planning to write more books and do a lot of speaking gigs. Once everything settles down due this Covid 19 then we branch out our Speaking and Writing programs on other provinces and even African countries.
You have had an interesting journey Onkarabile. Any message for someone on the verge of giving up?
Thank you, it has been the grace of God. My message is don’t give up. As long as God has given you breath then there is hope to achieve whatever you dream about. Dreams do come true. I just gave a testimony not long ago on my social media links on how I met Sydney Mogopodi in 2004 And told him that I wish to see my picture on the cover just like him when he was on his CD cover. He told me that it will happen and today my latest book has my picture on the front cover. It was 17 years ago !So keep on believing and don’t wait for things to come to you, go and get things. The journey continues.
Thank you Onkarabile. All the best in your work
It is my pleasure Sympathy. God bless you!