2018 Ba re Litfest Programme

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Ba re e ne re Literature Festival Programme

13 January 2018

Machabeng College

“Decolonising learning”

Activity Time
Arrival and Welcome 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Artist Performances (music, poetry) 2:00 pm – 2:30pm
Session A: Panel Discussion: Exploring Critical Literacies 2:30 pm – 3:20 pm
Session B: Town Hall – Perspectives on museum and gallery curation 2:30 pm – 3:20 pm
Break –  Session change 3:20 pm – 3:30 pm
Session C: Combining fine art and literature 3:30 pm – 4:20 pm
Session D: Young writers reflect on writing and publishing 3:30 pm – 4:20 pm
Break –  Session change 4:20 pm – 4:30 pm
Annual Liepollo Rantekoa Keynote Address 4:30 pm – 5:20 pm
Closing remarks 5:20 pm – 5:30 pm

[Session A] Panel Discussion – Exploring Critical Literacies 

Guests: Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa and Andrea Thal. Moderated by Mookho Makheta.

This session aims to show the importance of literacy and highlight that there are various literacies to consider for communication and storytelling. There is the literacy of reading and writing, but also visual literacy of images and that of social codes. This discussion will touch on the importance of different literacies for success as a writer, citizen and creative entrepreneur.

[Session B] Audience discussion – Our Museum: Perspectives on museum and gallery curation

Guests: Nthabiseng Rammaltli and Ministry of Culture. Moderated by Lerato Bereng.

Rather than a panel, this session is structured as a community discussion for all audience members to consider what museums and galleries mean to them and what kinds of art and history should be displayed there. With a new National Museum planned, we’ll ask what aspects of cultural heritage do community members want to see in that space and what kinds of programming would entice people to actually visit?

[Session C] Panel Discussion – Combining fine art and literature 

Guests: Evan Ifekoya and Tumi Mogorosi. Moderated by Liepollo Moleleki.

This session seeks to explore the intersections of fine art and the written word. The plan will discuss the ways in which literature influences art or is incorporated into art, as well as the reverse, how does fine art inspire literature or find itself being written into a story?

[Session D] Panel Discussion – Young writers reflect on writing, storytelling and publishing

Guests: Thabelo Monyaka and Moso Sematlane. Moderated by Leila Hall.

Placing active young writer’s centre stage, we wish to allow them explain their processes and experiences with peers. This session is intended to highlight real challenges in the literary world, but also offer useful strategies for enduring and thriving as a writer.

Annual Liepollo Rantekoa Keynote given by ‘Me Mpho Letima – Decolonising Learning

Introduction by Lineo Segoete.

It is Ba re e ne re tradition to honour the inspiring life of our founder, Liepollo Rantekoa, by selecting a keynote theme that relates to the current state of literary arts in Lesotho. This year’s theme “decolonizing learning” raises the importance of re-centring the learning experience in a local context. In the address, given by ‘Me Mpho Letima, we will hear how instructors and learners can contribute to reimaging the learning process so that it better responds to interests and concerns emanating from the people, heritage and landscape of Lesotho.


Ba re e ne re Lit Fest 2018

Ba re e ne re is extremely excited to announce that our annual event, the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival, will be held on the 13th January 2018 at Machabeng College between 12:30 and 18:00. The theme of this year’s festival is Decolonizing Learning and we are honoured to host members of the global arts education network Another Roadmap School among our guests. Another Roadmap School guests will be in attendance from Germany, Austria, London, Rwanda, Uganda, DRC, Egypt and South Africa.


Audiences can look forward to a film screening at Alliance Francaise on 12 January at 5pm, live performances by local artists, panel discussions (listed below) and a Keynote address by African Leadership Centre 2015-2016 Fellow and Executive Director of Gem institute Mpho Letima.

Additional sessions include:

Session A – Exploring critical literacies: addresses the importance of literacy and highlights that there are various literacies to consider for communication and success.

Session B – Perspectives on museum/gallery curation: is envisioned as a facilitated community discussion for all audience members about what museums and galleries mean to them and what kinds of art and history should be displayed there.

Session C – Combining fine art and literature: seeks to explore the intersections of fine art and the written word. The plan is to discuss the ways in which literature influences art or is incorporated into art.

Session D – Young writers reflect on writing and publishing: is intended to highlight real challenges faced by young writers in the literary world, but also offer useful strategies for enduring and thriving as a writer.


Ba re e ne re benefits from the generous support of partners including Alliance Francaise, Nala Project Community Market and Machabeng College.

BA RE Dictionary: Call for new words

Remember our BA RE Dictionary project where we created Sesotho words? We’re turning it into a printed book and we want you to contribute new words for it.

To contribute, please share a word that you invent or comes from Sesotho slang. The word must not already be in a Sesotho dictionary. Next, we need to you write a definition in English and Sesotho and give us one example sentence in English and Sesotho. Do not worry too much about spelling and grammar, we can edit together.

If you’re interested, please send an email to barelitfest@gmail.com. For examples, see the words we made for the project at the link below.


Khokahanyo ea lipale tse khutšoane (Sesotho)

Anthology 1

Khokahanyo ea lipale tse khutšoane

Khokahanyo ena ea lipale e tla hatisoa bukeng ea pampiri le bukeng ea marang-rang. Sepheo sa rona ke hlahisa bokheleke le boqapi ba ho ngola lipale tse khutšoane ho tsoa lingoling tsa Basotho ba lulang ka har’a naha ea Lesotho.

Lipehelo tse tataisang – bala ka hloko

  • Letsoalloa la Lesotho kapa moahi ea phetseng Lesotho bonyane lilemo tse tharo a ka romella lipale tsa hae. Ba re e ne re e tla amohela lipotso ho ba se nang bo ‘nete ba hore na ba oelella ka lesakaneng le feng le boletsoe.
  • Batho ba nang le thahasello ba ka romella lipale tse sa feteng boraro.
  • Lipale li se ke tsa ba tse kileng tsa hatisoa kae kapa kae pele.
  • Lipale e be tse iqapetsoeng, ‘me li be bolelele bo lipakeng tsa mantsoe a sekete le likete tse hlano (1000-5000).
  • Lipale li ka ngoloa ka leleme la Sesotho kapa la Senyesemane.
  • Lipale tsohle tse tla romelloa e be mosebetsi o qapiloeng le moromelli ka sebele, eseng o qopilitsoeng.
  • Lipale li romelloe lipakeng tsa 1 Mots’eanong le 30 Phuptjane 2016.
  • Lipale li romelloe ka mokhoa oa ho qhoaelloa posong ea marang-rang (e-mail attachment) atereseng ena barelitfest@gmail.com
  • Ka ho romella lipale tsa bona, motho le motho o fana ka litokelo tse ikhethileng ho Ba re e ne re ho hatisa mosebetsi oa bona pampiring le marang-rang.
  • Hang hoba motho a fane ka mosebetsi oa hae o itlama ho sebetsa le bahlophisi ba buka ena ea khokahanyo ea lipale tse khutšoane ho lokisetsa hore lipale tsa bona li tle li hatisoe.

SHORT STORY: ‘The untitled story of my life’ by Mpho Leteka

We hope you enjoy the final chapter of our freedom of creative expression writing series. This is ‘The untitled story of my life’ by Mpho Leteka.

Lately the memory of my mother keeps popping up at unexpected moments. The littlest things spark a memory; they have me wondering how she felt when it struck her that I had really left. Had she been upset and cried for her daughter to return home? Or was she relieved that I had taken the cowardly way out and ran away to spare her people awkward looks as I walked down the streets with a belly the size of a mountain? To get answers I would have to ask her because only she can answer me. My mother is a complicated woman. Sometimes I wondered whether she ever really truly loved me, or whether I was just the product of a past relationship with the absent figure who never fathered me. All I know is that she wants me to be a success.

I left home for the city, where I found myself a pregnant, ‘street-kid’ teenager. I was doing my daily routine of begging for spare change one hot day, when a woman took pity on me. She was a tall dark-skinned afrocentric woman who had dread locks. She had enchanting beauty with a sunny smile and a beautiful voice to compliment it. She asked me if I was hungry and I nodded, afterwards she offered to take me to her house to give me fresh clothes, a bath and a hot meal. I was so dirty I could smell my own sweat, so without hesitation I obliged. She took me by surprise because no one in the city felt bothered to take pity on a pregnant street kid who had gotten herself pregnant by engaging in sex at such an early age. The woman told me I could stay with her for as long as I wished and I thanked the stars thinking I had been given a new lease on life. I felt inspired to better my future.

I wish I had known what the woman was putting on a charade, one that would not last, because one night she woke me up and told me that a man would come into my room and I was to let him do as he pleased with me. I felt my world crash. “Have you not noticed I am pregnant?” I asked ferociously.

“Take this as a lesson to never trust a complete stranger. While you are at it, consider this as your payment for my hospitality… Oh and apparently men are turned on by the thought of having sex with a pregnant woman, a teen for that matter”, she said with a smirk I wish I could have wiped off her face with acid. She walked out of the room unaffected.
Before the man made his way into my room time seemed to speed by, but as soon as he got in it moved in slow motion. I count every second and micro second. “Babes are you ready to make my fantasies come to fruition?” the man said in a cold lustful voice. My body went numb, I felt wounded, confused and drained of energy all in one. I contemplated using the window as my escape, but the iron bars that were installed proved my bright idea pathetic because my stomach would not fit through. I thought to take my own life, but doing so meant taking the life of the unborn child I was carrying.

The man saw how terrified I was and asked me what was wrong and I told him my whole story. To my relief he revealed that he was actually a cop investigating the woman. He told me that she was a notorious ‘Madame’ and was there to put an end to her business. I thought to myself, “The gods must still favour me because they just helped me escape the clutches of rape”. I wonder how my mother will take this news.

ESSAY: “The Right to Be Me” by Mammatli Molefi

In this short essay “The Right to Be Me”, Mammatli Molefi talks about the power and importance of creative expression.

Thousands and thousands of years ago humans used drawings, songs, dance, and simple gestures to tell stories, stories of hunting expeditions, love and death, and a brighter future. If they hadn’t applied creativity, their tales might still live in caves today. Everything we do begins as a thought and some of the best ideas were developed first by being written down. Even Sesotho folk-tales are preserved in books and continue to shape young children as they grow.

In the movie business, thoughts are conceived and written down before they are shot on film. Behind every “genius” leader, politician, famous or infamous celebrity there is a script, written with the intention to be memorable and mind-blowing. The greatest speeches – some for good and some for bad – have changed the world. Martin Luther King Jr. is still celebrated for his speeches because through his creative expression, he did change the world. He influenced many people’s views on racism and equal rights. Formidable leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama also challenged the stigma attached to their ethnicity. These are men who heal people with their words.
Another such inspirational figure is Malala Yousafzai. In early 2009, she was about 12 years old, but she wrote a blog under a fictitious name for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban occupation and her views on promoting education for girls in the Swat Valley. Among many accolades her writings got her noticed by journalist Adam B. Ellick, who shot a documentary on her life and struggles. She received the International Children’s Peace Prize and a UN petition was launched in Yousafzai’s name which said that every child worldwide should be in school by the end of 2015 – a petition which helped lead to the ratification of Pakistan’s first Right to Education Bill. Malala Yousafzai went on to be the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. If one child can effect change in the world through a creative mind, imagine the odds that would be against us without the freedom to be creative.

If we lost our creative freedom we would lose our future. We would be slaves to the thought and beliefs of anyone who hides behind the barrel of a gun or anyone who blends into the shadows of an already darkened world. Creativity is the light that gives us hope and reason. Creativity is the air we all breathe and the heart as it continues to beat. It is life and I for one breathe and live through creative expression.