Book fair bids to re­vive lit­er­ary scene

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment - Mo­halenyane Phakela

IN a bid to re­vive the wan­ing lit­er­ary cul­ture in Le­sotho, lo­cal au­thors are set to hold a book fair at Le­hakoe Club on 30 May.

Speak­ing to the Week­ender this week, one of the event’s or­gan­is­ers, Bantu Lerotholi, said the Ba­sotho Book Fair will show­case the works of es­tab­lished au­thors to serve as an in­spi­ra­tion for bud­ding writ­ers.

“We will be hav­ing mo­ti­va­tional speeches and show­cas­ing the works of some of Le­sotho’s prom­i­nent au­thors so that they can share their lit­er­ary jour­neys in or­der to mo­ti­vate the up-and-com­ing gen­er­a­tion of writ­ers,” said Lerotholi who wrote the novel From High­lands to Riches about a poor per­son from the ru­ral ar­eas who man­ages to defy the odds and at­tain suc­cess.

Speak­ing of his book, From High­lands to Riches, Lerotholi said it paints a vivid pic­ture of ru­ral life in Le­sotho and its in­ter­re­la­tion with moder­nity.

“It has come to our at­ten­tion that we, as Ba­sotho writ­ers, do not be­lieve in our work although our writ­ing skills are at par with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, so we have lined up a num­ber of speak­ers to help in­still con- fi­dence in our up-and-com­ing writ­ers.

Among the speak­ers set to make pre­sen­ta­tions at the fair in­cludes Calvin Mote­bang, Mohau Mosoe­un­yane, Chief Jus­tice Nthomeng Ma­jara, Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Ma­hali Phamotse and Lerotholi him­self.

He added that the ini­tia­tive was also ne­ces­si­tated by the marked decline of pub­lished works in the coun­try and the fair is meant to re­vive Le­sotho’s lit­er­ary le­gacy.

“We had very good writ­ers back in the day such as the late Thomas Mo­folo whose novel, Chaka, was adapted into a play and movie. His works serve as an in­spi­ra­tion for us as we strive to re­vive that le­gacy.

“Le­sotho also has many cul­tural her­itage sto­ries that need to be told. There­fore, the event will also help us spot and groom young writ­ers to tell those sto­ries to en­sure that our le­gacy is re­layed to the com­ing gen­er­a­tions so that they know where we come from.”

“There are far bet­ter writ­ers than me in this coun­try who just need ex­po­sure to get off the ground,” he said.

“So we are hop­ing to strike a deal with Morija Print­ing Works to print a num­ber of nov­els ev­ery year as we in­tend to make the fair an an­nual event.”

Au­thor Bantu Lerotholi

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