Saturday, February 4, 2012

VBTC Pit Stop Interview & Giveaway with Jonathan Wutawunashe - Fulfill Your Threats

Today we welcome Jonathan Wutawunashe - author of Fulfill Your Threats:Simple Principles to Help You Succeed in Life. Welcome Jonathan, it's so nice to virtually meet you here.

Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe cut his teeth as a diplomat in Washington, DC and New York during the 1980s. Educated and trained in his native Zimbabwe, in Australia, the United States and Belgium, Wutawunashe played key roles as a top manager and leader in key posts and functions in Zimbabwe, North America, Europe and Asia. One of his more widely publicized accomplishments was his presentation of the case against nuclear weapons at the International Court of Justice in November 1995.
Ambassador Wutawunashe is a sought-after speaker and counselor who has motivated audiences at universities, churches, training seminars, trade symposiums and in other contexts in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. His personal achievements include writing for magazines and academic journals from an early age, musical compositions and an extensive discography that has caught the attention of researchers and writers on global culture. He has done creative work for television, for which he has received plaudits, and has also established several audio-visual recording and mastering studios. The Ambassador holds post-graduate degrees in literature and social sciences. He is married to Shuvai, and the couple have three children, Tinashe, Tendai and Paidamoyo. You can read more about Wutawunashe on Wikipedia:

BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...

I am Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe, author of the book Fulfill Your Threats: Simple Principles to Help You Succeed in Life. The “Ambassador” bit comes from my day (twenty-four hours really) job as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to India. I am married to Shuvai, an immensely popular Afro-Gospel singer- a happy coincidence, as in my other life I am a songwriter, musician, bandleader, studio owner and producer/engineer. We are blessed with three children, two of whom have a significant following as composers and performers

BK: Please tell us a little about your book....

The idea of writing this book hit me between the proverbial eyes some years ago, and I can truthfully say that this was not one of those instant coffee marvels where the idea comes and voila, the book is done in two weeks. It brewed and brewed for years, and I kept testing assertions I wanted to make in it against the touchstone of reality, including the realities of my own life and endeavors. Fulfill Your Threats is about generating enough momentum, through simple, achievable steps, to ensure the success of your projects, which may be in the areas of business, social outreach, the creative arts or service-any imaginable area of positive activity. I try in it to communicate, not just a “can-do” message, but a “let’s do” admonition. You can call it a harangue, and you won’t be far from the tenor of the book, because I use its pages to light a bonfire under your chair (ouch!) to make you jump into the exciting fray of productive, meaningful life.

BK: What inspired you to pen this particular book?

I came to a place in my life when I realized that brilliant ideas kept passing through my mind and straight into thin air. What if I were to act on at least one of those ideas? Why not indeed? Let’s see…I am a musician and do have skills. Maybe I should start there. With some trepidation, I went to professional audio stores to enquire about pricing on equipment I would need to build a studio. I started reading industry magazines and visiting recording studios. I talked to bank managers. Momentum began to build, and within a reasonably short time, I opened the doors of my first studio to the public. When my wife came up with the idea of opening a boutique, along with a clothing factory to support it, I dove in with suggestions derived from my experience with the studio, and today that boutique is running on First Street. Quite rapidly, I became something of a consultant, and I am proud to say that many of the people I have advised over the years have attributed the translation of the visions they had into actual projects and products to the advice I gave them. It is from these experiences, mine and those of others, that clear principles of success began to emerge for me. I became a voracious reader of biographies of successful entrepreneurs, and to my excitement and delight, found that the principles that had emerged through my experiences and investigations were borne out in each and every case. At this point my pen became restless. I had to tell somebody-lots of somebodies!

BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In grade school, if truth be told. My teachers always remarked that my compositions had more ideas per sentence than they had bargained for. I just enjoyed spilling it all out. Early in Middle School I started writing for wide-circulation magazines, and had poems published in journals of repute. The short answer is that I have considered myself a writer from the moment I became functionally literate.

BK: How do you keep your book flowing?

Some wise person said “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. To avoid shapeless writing, I find it useful to develop an outline for each chapter, which in turn finds its place in the overall outline of where I want to go with the book. This keeps my writing on point. When I sit at the computer, I keep a few index cards close to hand, in case a new bulb comes on while I am writing. I almost always have a Dictaphone within reach wherever I go, to capture ideas on the fly, and I sometimes use the machine to continue a chapter when I can’t take the laptop along.

BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?

Once or twice, on account of multi-tasking, I have had a hiatus in the writing, and getting back to it has been a challenge, particularly with recapturing the mood of the paragraph I left hanging. My method is to just type the disjointed nonsense that might come in such situations. When the brain objects, it tends to correct the wrongs and to realign what eventually comes out with what is more normal. On at least one occasion, a round of golf, during which the brain was working on the problem in the background, worked wonders, and when I got back to the book, things were flowing again. Perhaps the golf itself was challenging, and the mind found it easier to go back to the writing!

BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?

I work to a template. Sometimes the template is in my head, but more often it is scribbled somewhere. I go somewhere where I can be alone, and where there are no distractions. Interestingly, a room full of strangers who are minding their own business does just fine, as long as the noise levels are not high. Coffee or tea is a must, and a banana muffin does no harm at all. Train rides are great for me. I remember doing the outline for one of the chapters of my book on a Eurostar (the Channel Tunnel high-speed train) ride between Brussels and London.

BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?

I want to see my books in airports. The audio book for Fulfill Your Threats will be out soon, and perhaps the airport presence can start then. I am working on my next book, The Sixth Floor, which recounts life lessons I learnt from a traumatic experience I had recently. When I write books, I am strongly motivated by a desire to use my knowledge and experience to help others achieve their best potential.

BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?

From the feedback I have been getting, a hundred percent of my readers either launch an exciting project while they are reading the book, or make a beneficial change to the way they are pursuing their projects as a result of the ideas I offer in the book. My hope, then, is that each and every reader walks away with a project in hand, or with an improved project in hand.

BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?

My middle school teacher, John Jarvis, advised me not to write anything unless I know what I am writing about. I’m glad I took his advice. (I had written a poem about romantic love when I was thirteen).

BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?

Work your craft, and don’t be impatient to serve it uncooked.

BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?

Yes, I am writing a book on lessons I learned at a very difficult time of my life. I expect to continue to write motivational books that are grounded in reality, because I know real people who are being helped by my first book.

BK: Where can readers find you?

I run a blog at , a YouTube channel at and a website at . I would appreciate it if friends could like my book page at . My email is: .

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.

Thank you very much indeed. It’s been a distinct privilege.

This incisive, well-written book shares profound insights into the psychology that drives doers to do what they do, and to do it with confidence, method and persistence. Its energizing claim is that we can all be effective doers if we take simple steps to yank our ambitions from the realm of idle thought and idle talk, and to mobilize those dreams and aspirations into projects that achieve results that can be seen, touched and experienced. Wutawunashe draws from experience and observation to illustrate how business ideas, personal development efforts, social influence and other schemes can be pursued in a manner that assures effective, sustained impact . In an engaging style that melds entertaining anecdotes, humorous turn of phrase and powerful didactic principle in a uniquely seamless manner, Wutawunashe delivers a powerful manual that could well come with a warranty, given the ease with which the reader can apply these lessons and see results.


In this my first book, I offer the thesis that success is the outcome of a simple process based on deciding, doing and learning. These activities are locked in a sequential loop that can be linear or non-linear depending on specific circumstances. Whatever the sequence at any point, however, one element is constant, and that element is you. You take the decision, you do the things you have decided, and you learn the lessons that are necessary for you to succeed. I readily admit that this is a blatant truism, but venture that too few people realize how powerful and liberating this obvious fact is. Most failures in life are failures in commonsense.


We have a few Giveaways for this tour so leave a comment and good luck.

1. Leave a comment, visit any of his sites and send email to Jonathan to receive a free download of one of his famous songs!

2. See the Rafflecopter below to enter the big giveaway for a Kindle Fire and Amazon Gift Cards.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cynthia Garcia said...

Fulfill your threats seems very motivational. I have added it to my TBR list. I also love your advice to aspiring authors. Thank you very much for the giveaway. I would LOVE to win. My fingers are crossed!

Cynthia Garcia said...

Woo Hoo! I am soooo excited! Thank you for the great giveaway! Do I need to email someone my address?