Sheila Khala – the pi­o­neer of Lesotho po­etry...

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The pi­o­neer of po­etry in Lesotho….

Sheila No­molanga Khala is one of the best-known po­ets from Lesotho. She is con­sid­ered a "pi­o­neer" of po­etry in Lesotho and even founded a na­tion­wide or­ga­ni­za­tion, Po­etry is Alive. In ad­di­tion, she is ac­tive in the South African po­etry com­mu­nity.


Khala was born and raised in Khu­bet­soana, Lesotho. When she was in Form E at Ad­ventville High School, she par­tic­i­pated in the Po­etry Farm con­test, and was named Lesotho’s best poet.

In 2009, at the age of 19, she pub­lished her first book, For­mula, which brought her new recog­ni­tion in the Lesotho and South African po­etry com­mu­ni­ties. Af­ter the launch of her first book, she moved to South Africa’s Free State prov­ince to study sta­tis­tics at the Univer­sity of the Free State and quickly be­came in­tro­duced to the po­etry scene there, which she de­scribed as "enor­mous."

She stayed in South Africa for a while, per­form­ing in po­etry shows and com­pe­ti­tions across the coun­try, be­fore de­cid­ing to re­turn home to Lesotho to nur­ture lo­cal po­etry. She told the Lesotho Times:

"I am now work­ing with Ul­ti­mate FM in try­ing to ex­tract the raw po­etry tal­ent in high schools around Lesotho. It is part of my vi­sion of ed­u­cat­ing, mo­ti­vat­ing and in­spir­ing stu­dents in the use of English lan­guage. My third book will fea­ture po­ems from those stu­dents. It will be called Septem­ber: A Spe­cial Gift."

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