Shemeji Melayeki was born in Arusha region in a Maasai community Northern part of Tanzania. He got educated in the same locality from Primary to Secondary school, and went to Kibaha near Dar es Salaam for his advanced secondary education. He is a holder of B.Sc. Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness which he attained in 2012 at Sokoine University of Agriculture. He is passionate in public speaking.
In 2004, he started publicly speaking at various groups, including speaking to primary and secondary school children and women. He also inspires people to take charge of their own lives and beat their own records of success by securing proper information from trusted sources.
He has been teaching “the power of reading books” at various camps, seminars and schools to inspire Tanzanian children to love reading. By 2014 he started leading the great movement of readers in Tanzania, City Reading Champions with its powerful slogan ‘From Reading to Leading’. “I will cease the use of this saying that ‘If you want to hide something from an African, you will only need to put it in a book’ because time has come and the time is now, that Africans will take the lead in reading books,” he says.
In June, 2013 he published his first book, Principles of Growth: Discovering what it takes to climb the ladder of success followed by Principles for Greatness: Everybody is designed to be a superstar published in December 2014. He has also written The Power of Vision, The Power of Reading Books and The Power of taking the first step which were released in 2015. His current book is Nguzo za Siku: Msingi wa Kwanza, written in Kiswahili released in June 2016.
Here’s a Q and A with the author:
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first book in 2012 and officially released it on 18th June, 2013 at the age of 28.
What books have most influenced your life?
The bible was the first book I finished reading when I was in primary school (I wasn’t even a Christian) and later I was influenced with numerous books of the leadership guru John Maxwell and Dr David Oyedepo’s. These are 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership, Becoming the person of Influence by John Maxwell and Anointing for Exploits by Dr David Oyedepo. Others are The Science of Being Great by Wallace D. Wattles, Goals by Brian Tracy.
You have written six books, can we have a summary of each of your books?
Principle of growth - inspires and teaches people how to grow into their visions alongside giving insights to develop them. It also describes some important character growths that are required.
Principles for greatness is mediocrity fighting book. It basically shows why and how it is possible for anyone to be great.
The power of vision - is the smallest book in hard copy that I have ever published. It simply describes why having vision is very important.
The power of reading books is a book that tells my inspiration on empowering people to read books. It explains why reading book (quality books) is vital.
The power of taking the first step tackles the major problem – wishing. A lot of people wish ‘one day’ they will do something.
In this book much is highlighted in this area using my personal testimony.
‘Nguzo za siku’ is a small book in Kiswahili that gives daily inspiration about life and success. It is a daily dose for empowerment.
How do you develop your plots and characters?
My books focus on real people. I don’t develop characters. I use stories of people around the world who are really inspiring for instance; I used more than 50 people to describe why you shouldn’t give up in Principles for Greatness. This requires research and everything is in my hands-internet.
What was the hardest part of writing your books?
Editing, any mistake published will twist the message. Editors are rare in Tanzania.
Which was your favourite book to write and why?
A principle for greatness is my favourite book simply because it is a book that inspired me to do a lot. Because it has stories from many people, every time I read I get a new inspiration.
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
We have to work hard to make writing pay in Tanzania that was what I got in the first instance. Actually, some people were preaching to me “Nobody will buy your books” and that is the reason I started City Reading Champions Movement to inspire people to read books and the results are tremendous.
What are your future project(s)?
To launch many projects on inspiring Tanzanians to read and nurturing young writers.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Inspirational Speaker and doing church work – which are my other current activities.
What does your family think of your writing?
Family members are very surprised of how I became a writer. My first five books were in English so they couldn’t read except the current one in Kiswahili which attracted them.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I had never thought that books will open many doors for me. I started writing as a passion but now it is a serious business.
As a child, what did you aspire to become?
I had mixed feelings, during my primary school; I wanted to be a businessman, during my Ordinary Level secondary school I wanted to be a doctor. At advanced secondary education I grew a strong fear of bruises and blood, I was even afraid to dissect a frog. I was very disappointed because that meant I couldn’t become a doctor. But later I started reading books about self-discovery and I got great help.
What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Face book page, or link(s)?
Facebook Page: Apostle Shemeji Melayeki
What do you think makes a good story?
I have a simple method when I write “Tackle real issues by bringing real solutions” I don’t want to write a book that will be irrelevant after ten years.