He is the chairperson of the very successful Maun-based Poetavango Spoken Word Poetry Movement which holds the annual Maun International Poetry Festival.
He is a jack-of-many trades as he is also an accomplished guitar player, a fine artist, and a freelance journalist, as well as an accomplished poet.
And now he is a novelist with the publication of his first novel, Josie, to published by Black Crake Books.
Seganabeng teaches Art and Design at Maun Senior Secondary School.
Born in Tonota, he says his love for writing started when he was still doing his senior secondary school education at Lotsane.
From there he earned a bachelors degree in fine arts from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.
Seganabeng’s first success in the prose arena was a win in the short story category of the Bessie Head Literature Awards in 2011. But now he is about to make a big splash with his first novel called Josie.
“Josie is an action-adventure novel that takes place in the early 2000s. It’s a story of a young woman called Josephine, otherwise known as Josie.
The moral of the story is; never try to separate a mother from her baby. This is a story that tells of how determined and strong a person of the female gender can be even when faced with life threatening situations.
The story is set in different places of Botswana. It starts from the village of Shoshong, then quickly to the serene township of Ghanzi and then moves to the fast growing cities of Francistown and Gaborone.
This is a novel packed with suspense,” said Seganabeng in an interview.
He says it took him thirteen years before he felt confident enough with the manuscript to send it out to a publisher.
He started writing the book while doing his national service in Middlepits in 1999.
When asked what the initial spark was that started the novel, he said, “I had just finished my high school and I was living in Middlepits, a village far off from home. Somehow I missed a mother figure.
This feeling of displacement and misplacement begot a yearning inside of me. I, thus, and for the first time, felt the importance of a mother and over the years, as I wrote Josie, I wanted it to be a book that tells of the vitality and strength of a woman.”
Despite the fact that most of us know him as a poet first, Seganabeng said that he spends more time on his prose and that is where his real passion lies. “Although I’m known mostly as a performance poet, my heart is in prose writing.
It has always been. Only about fifteen percent of my writing time is used for writing poetry. I’m always writing short stories, new novel manuscripts, and non-fiction articles for newspapers and magazines.
Only when I take a break from this demanding and sometimes laborious process of writing, do I write poetry.
Poetry is, therefore, written as interludes between my other writings because it’s so relaxing and refreshing.”
Botswana is a tough place to get novels published, bought, and read, but Seganabeng believes that there is a way forward for published writers in the country.
“A nation that is well informed about the literary arts is our only hope.
Batswana don’t know much about writing in Botswana, and let alone about us, the writers. I think the media, both print and broadcast, should give more space and time to promoting local writers, particularly published writers.
As writers we need to unite and form a movement that will stand for us and speak for us. We need book fairs and literary festivals.
But once we are united and have a strong voice, then I believe the government and private sector can listen to our cries and assist where necessary.”
Josie is currently available as an ebook at Amazon if you have a Kindle. The print edition will be out soon.