After meeting Bongeka Mhlongo virtually for the first time, her colourful & bubbly personality were obvious. It came as no shock then that her manuscript mirrored her personality. Full of quirky humour and colourful emjoi’s this book demands your attention. The author’s though-provoking words threaten to linger long after reading.
Your author name
Your book title
Give us the elevator pitch for your book?
Thinking in Full Colour is thinking out loud and on paper about some of the most important human experiences and conversations happening in our world. This book encourages us to add colour to the often black and white way we see the world and have full colour conversations with and about humanity. In the book, Bongeka shares unique colourful insights, tools and practical ideas to help us live out full colour thinking in our everyday experiences.
The book presents 77 essays intending to trigger thinking in the reader’s mind and start conversations in various social settings. These ideas are grouped under three main sections, namely: thoughts for nation building, thoughts for workspaces and thoughts for everyday human experiences. The book also adds to the growing movement of African content creators and storytellers who aim to ensure that African people and history are no longer at the periphery of the knowledge enterprise but rather at the centre.
How long did it take for you to finish the final draft of your book?
I started writing the book in October 2018 and concluded it in 2021, so I launched the book on 13 August 2021.
What makes this book different from others on the shelf?
Most books on the shelf are similar in that they have the same or similar page colour, font and layout. I wanted to create an unconventional book to encourage people who do not read to read more. So I researched what would encourage people to read. From the insights, I gathered that people want books that can transform complex human experiences into something everyone can easily understand. So I decided to write my book as a collection of essays that succinctly deliver an idea and messages.
I also wanted to bring the social media element, considering that we live in a time of heightened social media usage. So my book is a bit disruptive to literature standards as I have emojis, social media elements and lots of colour graphics to illustrate or emphasise specific points.
What was the hardest part of the writing journey for you?
My hardest part was staying encouraged when I was unemployed in 2019. That experience occupied my mental space as it was not easy to focus on my writing in the way I would love to during that period.
Your favourite place to write?
I love writing in the comfort of my own home, ideally early morning. My best writing time is between 06:30 am and 12:00 pm. I also love writing in places where I can see the view of nature (peaceful green landscapes or overlooking the sea).
What kept you motivated to write during the times you felt stuck?
I listened to podcasts and videos on YouTube from some of my favourite thinkers. Often the words they spoke would incubate my hope and provide me with fuel to try again. But many times also, when inspiration failed, I reached for discipline. I found that inspiration and ideas came when I committed to saying, for example, I will write at “7 am for the next 3 days”.
Tell us something about yourself that readers would not be able to guess?
I think I can cook the best breyani in South Africa! 😀 Hahaha, growing up in Durban made me love Indian cuisine, and I am excellent at cooking it.
Have you written any other books?
No, Thinking in Full Colour is my first book.
Assuming you may not write full time, what is your day job?
I work as a Change Management and Communications Consultant. I am also the founder of PEN THE VISION, a content creation organisation focused on creating awareness around purpose and equipping those who have more profound questions about living out their purpose.
How should someone get in touch with you?
They can go to our website: www.penthevision.co.za
YouTube = PEN THE VISION
LinkedIn = Bongeka Mhlongo
Instagram = @bongzmhlongo