In a world where social media, especially Whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook are the order of the day, it is hard to find people who can afford time to read through pages of novels. Even to find people just flipping through pages of a 100-paged novel is a rare sight.
It is even more challenging to find those who can spare time to write books, especially in a country where it is said: “If you want to hide anything from a Malawian, write it.”
As such, writing books in a society where the reading culture has declined drastically or is generally low may not be a fulfilling venture.
But then in Malawi, a handful of writers are crawling out of the woodwork with remarkable stories to tell, whether fiction, non-fiction, anthologies, biographies, inspirational stories and thoughts, religious, educative or informative books, just to mention a few.
All hope is not gone as there’s a new kind of writer in town. The poor reading culture has not stopped Pacharo Kuntembwe from releasing four books at once.
“I have so far self-published four books. The first one is titled Entrepreneur’s Compass for Managing an Irrigation Project. It gives guidance to prospective entrepreneurs who want to start irrigation farms as a business. The book gives the whole process that one must follow to succeed in such a project using modern aspects of project management.
“The second book is entitled Excelling in a Wedding Event Project. This one also integrates modern project management practices into the activities that are undertaken when one is organising a wedding event.
“It gives prospective brides and grooms an idea of how best to initiate, plan and execute their wedding event. It is also handy to wedding committee members as it gives them strategies that are vital for managing a wedding event,” said Kuntembwe in an interview.
It has taken the up and coming writer almost a year to come up with the books.
“I started with the one on Entrepreneurs Compass in December 2014, then Wedding Event in August 2015 and by December, I had two more; God’s Project Success Tips and Win That Scholarship Like a Pro. In God’s Project Success Tips, readers are taken through stories from biblical characters as well as God’s creation project in the book of Genesis where revelations about God as an excellent project manager is brought to light,” he said.
Furthermore, stories about Noah, Moses and Daniel are also examined to unearth great project management tips which are highly regarded in modern today.
“Win That Scholarship Like a Pro reveals the strategies that I utilised during my applications for two scholarships.
“I managed to get both, but opted for Australia where I did my Master of Science degree in project management. The book was, therefore, done to inspire others by emulating the strategies I followed and emerge victorious,” he explained.
A project management specialist and civil engineer by profession, all the four books the 34-year-old has written have an element of project management.
“This is not a mere coincidence. I know that by default we are project managers in one way or another. What makes a difference is how each one of us carries out projects,” he said.
“Having undergone project management training at Masters level, I have realised that lack of skills in this area is one of the major contributing factor towards failure in projects at personal, family, corporate and national levels. I have, therefore, embarked on a journey to make a difference by producing books discussing project management in various avenues where it is required.
“At present, a majority of project implementers in this country do not care about the essence of hiring well qualified project managers. It is understandable since what one does not know does not exist.
“Researchers in project management have proved that poor project management skills are among the major causes of project failure.
“Therefore, the ultimate goal for my decision to produce books on this subject is to enable people begin appreciating how essential good project management is towards excelling in any project. I am hopeful that through such a venture, the whole nation will begin recognising and taking project management seriously as in other nations,” he added.
With the coming of Internet that has made it easier for self-publishing, Kuntembwe’s books will be available online.
“All these books will be available for free on the Amazon, Kindle as ebooks.
“They have 60 pages on average, considering the fact that my target readers generally wouldn’t love to have very big books,” justified Kuntembwe.
Currently, Kuntembwe is running his soon to be registered project management consulting firm, Highlite Project Management Solutions.