Local author Mohale Mashigo on being selected for an international residency in France: “It doesn’t feel real at the moment”

Mohale Mashigo. (Photo:Getty Images/Gallo Images)
Mohale Mashigo. (Photo:Getty Images/Gallo Images)

The 37-year-old shared the news on Twitter on Friday morning and fans could not be prouder.

Retweeting the initial announcement made by the French Institute of South Africa, she wrote, “So . . . This is happening”.

 “Ariel is an innovative international author’s residence,” their website states.

“It is a space for authors all around the world to be made a focal point through being introduced to the University of Lorraine and the general French public.”

The Cape Town-based storyteller is well-known for her 2016 award-winning debut novel, The Yearning, which got her a University of Johannesburg prize for South African debut writing. Mohale also writes for comic book series Kwezi and was involved with the film Beyond the River, writing a young adult adaptation of it.

The Soweto-born singer-songwriter, who goes by the name Black Porcelain, has also won awards for her debut album Invincible Summer. Her two Wawela Music awards, which she won in 2013, are a recognition of her work as a Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) member.

Speaking to DRUM, Mohale reveals more details about her move and how she feels about it.

“I am very excited about the opportunity, but it doesn’t feel real at the moment. This may be because I’m working on other things and haven’t really had an opportunity to process it all. The residency begins in October and ends in January,” the writer says.

Mohale also reveals she’d applied for the residency late last year and forgotten about it. This was until they got back to her and told her all about the good news.

She took to Twitter to explain how the news is “exciting and lowkey overwhelming”. However, that doesn’t stop her from wanting to celebrate the big move.

“As an author, there are many reasons why moving is important,” she says.

“Some writers may find that writing in the same place helps with their inspiration while others feel that changing spaces helps with generating new ideas. One of the reasons I will be there is to get some writing done, which is something a lot of writers need but don’t always get because most of us have jobs etc,” she explains.

“I’m currently working on my next novel and the next issue of Kwezi. I don’t know when the novel will be published and I get that question all the time,” she says when asked about her plans for the year.

Congratulations, Mohale!

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