Pretoria – Young author Jesse Mbogoma hopes to have published 50 books by the time his ink runs dry.
And at the pace he is going, he might just have even more books under his name.

The 12-year-old Grade 6 Crawford Preparatory School pupil turns current affairs into fictional storytelling – he has published 12 books so far.

One of the three books he last launched coincided with National Book Week and is based on four leaders who loot state money. Titled Zombie Mayhem, the book tells of three corrupt leaders who loot state money, which leads to protests breaking out. Of the four, one tries to be faithful and fulfills his promises.

Jesse also launched Stego’s Life-Changing Invention and Sponey in the Chef’s League last week as a birthday gift to himself.

JESSE MBOGOMA, 12, has already published 12 books and hopes to reach 50 by the time his ink runs dry. Thobile Mathonsi African News Agency (ANA)

His books include Wax Drawings, Red-X Halloween, Iron Dude, Ghost Party, and T-Rex and Friends. All his books have his own illustrations.

Speaking to the Pretoria News yesterday, he said he first illustrated and gave whatever character he chose as the main one a story. He then showed this to his parents, who edited and prepared them ready for publishing.

He wrote his first book at the age of 6 while in Grade R after a lesson on bean germination. “The first book I wrote was based on bean germination. I would record everything on its germination and thought I could write a book out of it and that’s how it all began. My book was made out of photocopy paper and staples.

“I enjoy art , drawing and story writing. I like writing because I get to express things that I can’t share with anyone. I like to inspire other children and just inform them about what is happening across the world. I like reading and that helps a lot,” he said.

Jesse is an ambassador for children’s hospital libraries he has since been reading books for recovering children in hospitals across the country. He said he would like to become a paediatrician at a book friendly hospital.

“I get to the wards, ask them why they are in hospital and start reading to them. I want to give them hope and make them believe they will be okay they look happy when I read for them.”

His mother Debrah said Jesse only started talking at the age of 3, but could express himself through drawings. “He started talking very late and we thought there was something wrong with him. There were suggestions that we take him to a speech therapist but we just gave him crayons and papers. What’s interesting is that he is not an introvert – he does play with other kids but gets bored easily and comes back to draw,” she said.

Jesse donated 100 books last year during Nelson Mandela’s centenary to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, Little Company of Mary (Life Groenkloof, Loreto Convent Queenswood, Little Graduates School and Mohau Children’s Hospital. His books can be ordered for R100 each.

Pretoria News