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Literature festival beckons


Mohalenyane Phakela

THE 2015 edition of the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival will be held from 5-6 December at Machabeng College featuring a host of authors and poets from across Africa and beyond.

According to Ba re e ne re co-director, Lineo Segoete, the fete would be held under the theme of “Reclaim your story”.

“Our intention with the festival is to strengthen the culture for writing and publishing to ensure a more literate and innovative society,” she said.

“We also intend to motivate young people to express themselves creatively and generate innovative ideas for enhancing the education system to ensure more effective learning.”

Among the festival’s distinguished guests is Michaela Wrong (UK), ‘Pemi Aguda (Nigeria) and South African author Thando Mgqolozana. In addition to being a Mandela Rhodes Scholar and recipient of the Golden Key International Honour for Scholastic Achievement, Mgqolozana was listed in the Mail&Guardian newspaper’s Top 200 Young South Africans of 2010.

“Some of the activities lined up for the festival include panel discussions, a writing workshop, a keynote lecture, creative performances, live storytelling, arts activities for children and an open-mic poetry night at Piri Piri restaurant on the first day,” said Segoete.

“Panel discussions will address a variety of topics, including cultivating new readers, writing for social impact, the state of African literature, the power of poetry and the writer’s hustle.”

Literary lovers can also look forward to a story reading session by South Africa’s Rhythm City actress Hlubi Mboya and poet Napo Masheane. Mboya will also deliver the annual Liepollo Rantekoa Keynote. Other notable personalities will include Moses Kililo who is managing editor of Jalada Africa, a pan-African writers’ collective and prolific African literary commentator James Murua from Nairobi, Kenya.

The local contingent will consist of Mpho ‘Mampeke Makara, Boreng Hlalele, Mpho Sefali and Lucy Kolobe among others.

She said while admission would be free, donations were welcome to support operations of the arts organisation. Segoete also revealed that the festival would showcase new Sesotho words that were invented as part of the BA RE Dictionary project.

“With the BA RE Dictionary project, we strive to demonstrate the versatility and vibrancy of Sesotho to get Basotho youth excited about reading and writing in their own language,” she said.

Ba re e ne re was founded in 2011 by Liepollo Rantekoa to advance literary arts in Lesotho and connect Basotho writers and artists with those in the region and around the world. After Liepollo tragically passed away in 2012, her friends and family united to carry on her vision.

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