Challenging stereotypes

Security guard Onkarabile Mokoto has challenged stereotypes to self-publish two books. Photo: Sarah Koning


A security guard working at one of Sandton’s most prominent hotels has challenged the stereotypes associated with his profession by successfully publishing two books this year.

Onkarabile Mokoto moved to Tshepisong on the West Rand from Mahikeng in pursuit of becoming a singer but soon realised this career option was not for him. He dropped out in his third year of a teaching degree in 2010, feeling a strong call by God to work in the church.

In 2013, he began working as a security guard, preaching part-time under another pastor at Foresight Harvest Church in Tshepisong. At the same time, he started writing his first book titled How to hear God when He speaks. The self-published book took him five years to write, but he is convinced that the topic is much-needed for Christians who seek direction from God in their decision-making.

“I want to change the stereotype that undermines people because of their jobs. People think that security guards are stupid and I want to prove them wrong. They must understand that there is a lack of job opportunities and circumstances have pushed us to be where we are. Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Following the publication of his first book in February this year, Mokoto quickly produced a second motivational book titled Power of Planning, which launched in September.

“For the second book, I studied people that are successful and unsuccessful and noticed that the cause of their success is their ability to plan. The cause of failure is often the inability to plan.”

“If you find yourself in a job that doesn’t favour you, you can use that situation as a bridge to achieve your dream.” He has been greatly inspired by SABC sports presenter Tshepho Maimane, who started working at the SABC as a cleaner and used his contacts to get to his prominent position.

Mokoto has sold over 100 copies of the first book and his friends in Mahikeng have expressed their congratulations over social media for this achievement.

Apart from his work as an author and security guard, Mokoto has also registered a consulting and lifestyle coaching company aimed at motivating and inspiring people to unleash their potential.

His supervisor Norman Mashaba said, “People don’t see us security guards as thinkers. Onkarabile has broken barriers and proved that there are thinkers in this profession. I’m very proud of him. He has turned a corner for us.”

Details: Onkarabile’s books are selling at R150 at Lifestyle Bookshop in Maponya Mall, Soweto, and Kingdom Anchored at Westgate Shopping Mall. To order the book directly from Onkarabile, call 084 841 6104.

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Sarah Koning

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