Sesotho writer immortalized

2015-06-17 06:00


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PULE LECHESA, a renowned “ruthless” literary critic and journalist, has released his latest book, The Awesome literary legacy of Dr. K.P.D Maphalla, a gripping and insightful biography that chronicles the life and times of the iconic writer Maphalla.

Lechesa keeps on consolidating his reputation as an outstanding African literary critic and biographer of writers who have done wonders in the literary world.

This much talked about book comes just on the heels of his intriguing book, Bolaji in his pomp, which he wrote to celebrate a Nigerian based author, Omoseye Bolaji.

In an interview with Express, a revered author of Sotho books, TV and Radio dramas and actor, Khotso Nkhatho, hailed the book as a masterpiece and said he reckoned it would surely help to immortalize his friend Maphalla.

“We want to congratulate the young Lechesa for the job well done. Maphalla deserves this kind of celebration as he is one great writer who is skilled in different genres such as fiction, poetry, drama and so forth,’’ he said.

Tseliso Masolane, the assistant director at the department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation and curator at the Sesotho Literary Museum (SLM), who is also a Sotho writer, said: “I think we are scratching the barrel in as far as honouring this grand old man Dr Maphalla. Literary activists such as Lechesa gives us hope and we can see that we are in the right direction of preserving Sesotho literature.”

Maphalla has written well over forty books that have helped him garner awards such as the Lifetime Achievement Award courtesy of the national Department of Sport, the Thomas Mofolo Award and an honorary Doctorate by the University of the Free State (UFS, 2007).

Maphalla said he was happy, but would have been happier if the book was written in Sotho as well.

“I am glad that Lechesa has agreed to translate the book into Sotho. I am a Sotho writer and a book that celebrates me should be written in my mother tongue.

“It is not a sin to be Mosotho and write in Sotho,’’ he said.

Lechesa said his new work could be regarded as a labour of love and explained that he spent years researching and delving into the profound works and persona of the brilliant main character, Maphalla.

“It was always my dream to orchestrate a study on this outstanding wordsmith.

“Apart from reading the copious works of Maphalla, I also took trips to his home turf in Qwaqwa to glean a composite of this great man. One might even refer to him as the Shakespeare of Sotho literature, and in no way would this be an exaggeration,” concluded Lechesa

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