Local writers realise their dreams

2020-01-22 06:01
Members of the Botshabelo Writers Club with self-published books already on sale. From the left are Teboho Touto, Mphula Leteane, Thabo Mosole, Kgathatso Tamane and Mlahlwa Willem.Photo: Teboho Setena

Members of the Botshabelo Writers Club with self-published books already on sale. From the left are Teboho Touto, Mphula Leteane, Thabo Mosole, Kgathatso Tamane and Mlahlwa Willem.Photo: Teboho Setena

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The Botshabelo Writers Club (BWC) offers writers a hub where they hone their craft and realise the dream to publish books. A solid foundation was laid in 2016, with six members working to ensure its fruition in 2017.

There are 12 active members who continue exploring means to expand their footprints. They work together and help each other sharpen their writing skills to ultimately publish books.

Serving in leadership positions are Pulane Makatse (treasurer), Thabo Mosole (chairperson), Dieketseng Moqhaka (deputy chairperson) and Mphula Leteane (secretary). Members helping to steer the club are Kgathatso Tamane, Mlahlwa Willem and Teboho Touto. The other members are Paul Modupe, Kennedy Mofubetswane, David Marosa, Majafela Mokoena, Thabo Ntseki and Matseko Ramotekoa

Mosole, one of the founding pioneering members, says that when the group was created, it focused on how to become self-published.

“We started without funding or essential resources like a computer. Over and above we had no knowledge about the publishing industry and marketing. We are still struggling to get financial support,” says Mosole.

The lack of interest from the public to purchase local authors’ titles is one of the challenges facing them. However, challenges have not dampened their spirit, as they persevere to ensure the club stays afloat, even helping prospective young writers who are still attending school.

Mosole says with each published book, the writers keep on encouraging one another. Between them they have managed to publish 12 titles, written in English or Sotho.

Authors who have published titles are Mosole (Mohatsela Wa Jase, The Bond), Tamane (Lesedi), Modupe (Hare ntse re Orile Paola, Tell it in Stories), Mofubetswane (Le Lenyalo), Marosa (Dikeledi Tsa Ntu), Leteane (Thola Ngwaneso, Lenyoloi Laka, Lenna ke Motswaruwa), Willem (Make a Firm Stand, Not a Shaky Stand) and Matsiliso Masapo (Thoteng Mora Tamolo).

The club now has become a place to elevate each other’s work by hosting workshops, as well as reading and training programmes.

The club members are from different backgrounds. Some worked in mines, while others made ends meet through odd jobs.

Tamane says he developed a passion for writing at a young age and that Mzondi Zakama was instrumental in mentoring him.

Willem believes his writing has improved since he joined the club and has been actively participating in its programmes.

The club made it possible for him to understand the pros and cons of the use of a computer. He worked in the human resources department for gold mines in the Free State and Gauteng.

Thankful to fellow club members, Willem says it took patience and commitment during training to adapt to new technology, while previously using pen and paper.

“My writing started back in the 1970’s when I wrote an article titled Try My Level Best. That won me a prize at the Sunday Times. My writing developed at a boarding school in Qwaqwa during the era of Dr Kenneth Mopeli. I became a bookworm there and one of the teachers who inspired me was Jonas Makena, who mastered poetry,” says Willem.

Willem writes and speaks English and Afrikaans.

Mosole says he improved his writing by enrolling in online programmes and receiving mentorship from John Kimbane, while Leteane was helped by Teboho Masakala, a freelance writer.

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