Jo M. Sekimonyo, author of the book Cast Away: For These Reasons: Economic Jihad, stopped by for an interview.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Congolese roots, American fermented, and globally bottled Ideological queer (nonconformist). If you ever run into me, within 5 minutes you will know that I am fiercely opinionated. I am allergic to badly patched arguments and people who stand complacent in the face of two major issues that pierce my heart; social injustice and economic inequality. I can be seen as eccentric, because I refuse to listen to music that I cannot find on vinyl discs, but if you look like a hobo walking the streets, you can count on me to give you my last dime. That is me in a nutshell.
What is your book about?
To reassure people who are terrified to pick up a book from the economic or political economy shelves, I shall start by saying what my book is not about. There’s no math and crazy tables. I left it to smart asses who bamboozle the world with crazy theories that does not stand the test of real life.
Cast Away: For These Reasons is a roller-coaster ride through a volcanic ash cloud of capitalism. Then, I lead the reader’s into the new 21st century paradigm that changes everything. And right at the end, I provide a real rabble-rousing solution. The only expected challenge in this book are new terminologies and concepts that I introduce to the readers that they have to adjust to, such as Ethosism.
Why did you write this book and who is it for?
What demon possessed me to write this book? Well after walking by, giving my spare change to people blinded and asphyxiated by misery, in every country I have been lucky or cursed to travel to, I asked myself repeatedly, what else can I do?! I wanted to hear the story of socio-inequality depicted humanely on the global scale. I was tired of capitalist guardians’ buffoonery, angry of the so called Karl Mark reincarnation ineptness, and tired of waiting for a superhero. From that frustration, I decided to raise hell and speak up for everyone who is fed up by the status quo and has been let down by the lumpenintellectuals. I am sincerely trying to awake the general public consciousness and throw out there a thought provoking solution to the global socio-economic plight. Let’s hope that I succeed.
How did you come up with the title?
That’s an easy one. It just reflects my reality. I got kicked out from many places by these new-era McCarthyists and booed by poor souls who cannot conceive any other way to get out of the intellectual glut in the political economy and economic field.
What sort of research went into this book?
I wouldn’t call it research, but bumping everywhere with symbols of injustice and inequality. As I put it in the book introduction, any form of expression that ceases to be an experience and becomes an art form loses its glowing divinity. In the same spirit, my book is an experience, not an artistic acrobatic exercise meant for viewing to remind you that it exists.
What do you do when you're not writing?
Other than ranting about global injustice☺ and commute to NYC for graduate studies? I do cook and travel a lot. I also find myself hunting down vinyl disc to add to my music collection.
When did your first start writing?
During my youth at college alfajiri, a Jesuit boarding school, I made a living trading my services as a romantic ghost-writer. I wrote poems for my friends to impress the girls they were trying to woo. Mind you, college alfajiri was an all-boys school, so the girls’ boarding school was right across our soccer stadium. Right there, I discovered the power of writing, and I never let that notion go.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I am a mix of a lot of author’s essences. To give you an idea, in my childhood my dad threw at me a lot of genre of authors to keep me out of trouble. At 11, I read from the little prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery to King Leopold’s ghost by Adam Hochschild. In Cast Away: For These Reasons, it easily recognizable the tempo of an author I do admire, Malcom Gladwell. You get the same sense of the conversational style; an easy read but evokes a lot of emotions.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
My debut work is called Cast Away for These Reasons: Economic Jihad. The goal is to awaken readers to the realization of how bad things have gotten globally, and also there is an unnoticed new paradigm, ethosism, that is shifting the way commercial interaction is being done. This should make it easier for us to get rid of capitalism. What really motivated me to speak out, was Mama Vincent. She is a single mother and street panhandler that I met in Nairobi and her decaying state of hope was the ultimate blow to my conscience.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Letter to Mama Vincent, because it is a really personal moment. Once I wrote it, there was no going back. This chapter set the intensity and the tone of the entire of the book.
What is best writing advice you can give?
If you want to be heard, you have to speak. And more importantly, speak up in your own voice.
Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?
Your audience might be intimidated to pick up an economics book or by my books’ subtitle Economic Jihad. Then again, some of your fans might be deeply committed capitalism supporters. All I ask of anyone is to get over their fears or prejudice and to pause for a second. Look at the world around them, and ask, ‘Can we do better? Do we need start an economic jihad for things to change? After reading my book, one will come to the realization, all over the globe, Capitalism barbarism is suffocating the poor and the middle-class, and the inherent instability is viscous to the wealthy as well; no one is safe for its furies. However, I also bring on the table a solution.
About the book:
Economic theorists since their inception over 200 years ago, have struggled with the question of how to distribute wealth and continue to come up short. The author is not only criticizing capitalism, but finally has brought to the table, a new thought provoking alternative to the economic cannibalistic system. The author’s unconventional line of attack, will raise your heart rate and make you nauseous. By the middle of the book, you might be searching for a long rope to hang yourself with, thinking that humanity is doomed…but you will be missing out on the spectacular finale. This book is not one more economic liturgy. The author offers a thought provocative remedy to global socio-economic inequality; the rise of Ethosism.
Or for 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
About the author:
|Congolese roots, American fermented, and globally bottled Ideological queer (nonconformist). If you ever run into me, within 5 minutes you will know that I am fiercely opinionated. I am allergic to badly patched arguments and people who stand complacent in the face of two major issues that pierce my heart; social injustice and economic inequality. I can be seen as eccentric, because I refuse to listen to music that I cannot find on vinyl discs, but if you look like a hobo walking the streets, you can count on me to give you my last dime. That is me in a nutshell.|
Or track me down on facebook.com