‘Bocha ha bo na motsoalle’, a book composed of ten short stories – all in Sesotho language – is full of pieces of advice to youths of today, especially those who are trying to get themselves a better way of living, and those living a very challenging teenage life.
It is in the same book where a teenage girl Selloane, under the story titled ‘ngoana mahana a joetsoa’, who grew up as a double orphan because her parents died in an accident, lives a very challenging life. The girl used to live like there was no tomorrow. The death of her parents led her to live the life anyhow she chooses. As a young school girl, she would date married men then get into fights with their wives. That did not change or bother Selloane as long as she had financial benefit from the relationship. The girl eventually got pregnant with the child whose actual father she did not know.
As the story ends, Selloane is seen feeling guilty for all she did because she did not take orders from anyone while she was enjoying her life to the fullest.
Not only did Mookho Mohloboli, 23, had a suspicion when she won the best composition writing award in her primary school level that she was the best writer and a composer, but when she launched her first Sesotho stories ‘Bocha ha bo na motsoalle’, in September 2018, she confirmed her suspicion. He short stories are full of advices to youth and go as far as warning against early child marriage, human trafficking and drug abuse.
Mookho from ‘Mate Leribe, a mother to her kid and a wife to her husband, says she loved writing stories when she was in her primary school level where she would draft everything in her notebook, and brainstorm ideas about the stories she could write about.
Just when she completed her Cambridge certificate, and failed to meet with Ratokelo Nkoka, an expert in Sesotho language, and had no laptop to write her stories, that she nearly lost interest in her writing dream. But in 2017, she met with her friend, who had published her book, with whom they worked very hard to see that her stories too get published. She was inspired and got motivated, then she knew that she was going to make it to her writing profession.
Bohlokoa Jafeta, who read the short stories, said the reason for reading all the stories is that she wanted to support the local product. “Mostly, the book is interesting, and it has changed lives of people while at the same time gives solutions to the problems they encounter. What I learned from the book is ‘never give up in every hardship, always fight for what you want to achieve’. Again ‘never let fake friends to be-friend you, rather choose wisely’.”
Mookho admits it was a smooth sailing to publish her first book. She has undergone some challenges - from financial to material. She said having no money to buy a laptop was a big challenge as she had to use her personal cellphone to type her stories. And for that matter, as a wife, it was not easy to be on a cellphone all day and night trying to finish her work. There were other family matters she had to attend to, but above all, her husband was all the time supporting her in all her deeds.
“Again, I find it difficult to produce interesting Sesotho stories as more youths have lost interest in their home language, but I am willing to make a difference and make sure that Basotho live Sesotho, and it becomes a well-spoken and read language in Lesotho,” she said.
Mookho has a dream of seeing her stories becoming part of the recognised and top read Sesotho stories in schools. “Above all, I want to inform and educate the youth about how best they can live despite having difficult background.”