Book funding campaign is live!


The campaign to publish our short story collection is live! Please contribute if you can and spread the love to support the literary revolution in Lesotho!

Be part of Lesotho’s literary revolution

Ba re e ne re was founded in 2011 when local visionary Liepollo Rantekoa hosted the first Ba re e ne re Literature Festival. Liepollo passed away tragically in 2012, though since then, we, her friends with the support of her family, have rallied together to strive for her vision of a more literate and creative Lesotho.

To expand the opportunities writers in Lesotho have to share their stories, this year we set out to design and publish a book of all new writing, which we plan to launch on the opening night of our literature festival in December. This essential book, which we’re calling “Likheleke tsa puo”, meaning “wordsmiths” in Sesotho, contains 23 original stories that have never been published before. They are written in both English and Lesotho’s original brand of Sesotho, because it’s incredibly important for us to promote indigenous language and allow writers to express themselves how they are most comfortable.

Though some of the earliest southern African literature came from Lesotho, such as Thomas Mofolo’s Chaka, there’s not a lot of publishing of non-academic fiction happening in Lesotho these days. And that’s exactly what makes this short story collection so special. Having hosted our literature festival in Lesotho for the last few years, we can tell you that Basotho writers are hungry for opportunities to get their stories out there and revive our nation’s literary tradition. We can’t wait to share their voices with you.

When people think of Lesotho, they might imagine mountains, horses, woven hats and sadly, HIV, but we’re determined to break the stereotypes of Lesotho by presenting new diverse narratives created by talented Basotho writers telling their own stories. These stories in particular, tackle the nuance of relationships, dreams, religion, sex, and culture in exciting new ways.

What We Need & What You Get

We need your help in bringing this book to life. When this project is funded, not only will contributors to this campaign be able to earn a copy of the book, you will also have been an important part of igniting Lesotho’s literary revolution. At the different reward levels you can earn a signed copy of the book, get your name printed in the book, and be an official sponsor of Ba re e re’s book launch event!

Our goal is to raise $900 to cover the book’s design, editing, printing and registration. We’re doing as much of the work as possible in house to keep costs low. Here’s the breakdown of what we’re asking for:

  • $520 will go to the book printing
  • $100 will go to book editing
  • $100 will go to the book’s design
  • $100 will go to the book’s registration
  • $80 will cover transaction fees

Impacting Lesotho’s literary future

All sales of the book will go into a BA RE E NE RE BOOK FUND to support the production of future books published by Ba re e ne re so that we can continue to provide a platform to Lesotho’s talented writers. So your contribution will continue to multiply!

The more books we produce, the more Basotho youth can be inspired by local voices, further developing the cultures of reading and writing in Lesotho, and restoring Lesotho’s incredible literary tradition.

Other Ways You Can Help

We realize some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help:

  • You can share our campaign with anyone who you think would be interested
  • Connect with us via email to share ideas for future projects:

Ba re e ne re Story Anthology Book

Super excited to announce the list of stories selected to be in our upcoming short story collection. Thanks again to everyone who submitted, it was a pleasure reading every story. In the coming days we will launch a campaign to raise funds for the book publishing. Please share and support!

“Nonyana tsa siba leng li fofa mmoho” pale e ngotsoeng ke Mansabeng Lifalakane
“Our little mystery” by Rethabile Manong
“Vain struggle” by Mojabeng Moholi
“‘Mamotimpana” by Selloane Tseka
“A letter from a suicide victim” by Ntimana Konyana
“Summer Blues” by Tebby Letsie Schoeman
“Maseru City” by Moso Victor Sematlane
“Hoja ka tseba” pale e ngotsoeng ke Lucy Kolobe
“Veneered” by Lerato Mensah-Aborampah
“Liatla tsa motsoa-ntle” pale e ngotsoeng ke Mamoholi Mokhoro
“The praying wives club” by Refiloe Mabejane
“Epiphany” by Nicole Tau
“Mohla Puseletso le Lineo ba Shobelisoang” pale e ngotsoeng ke Mpho Mokone
“Everything is relative” by Pont’so Mpholle
“Lerato? Fokol!” pale e ngotsoeng ke Ts’eliso Monaheng
“The gifts” by Lipuo Motene
“The ultimate vengeance” by Mpolokeng Leteetee
“Bophelo bo naka li maripa” pale e ngotsoeng ke Litsoanelo Nei
“The north beckons” by Folane Makututsa
“Samaritan” by Khosi Rajeke
“Kamora Setsokotsane” pale e ngotsoeng ke Masello Sello
“The two” by Kaizer Matsumunyane

“Summer in the south” by Katleho Phenduka


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
  • 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.

Announcing the 2016 Lesotho Story Anthology

Friends of Ba re e ne re, we’re extremely excited to announce that starting 1 May 2016 we’ll be accepting submission for a short story collection we plan to publish this year. Please read the guidance below (also on our website) and submit your stories. Thank you for spreading the word!

Anthology Submission Guidelines – please read carefully.

-The anthology will be published as a print book and e-book to showcase original fiction writing by writers from and based in Lesotho.

-Any person of Lesotho citizenship, or long term Lesotho residency of more than 3 years may submit stories. Questions of eligibility will be determined by Ba re e ne re.

-Writers may submit up to 3 short stories for consideration.

-Stories must not have been previously published.

-Stories should be fiction stories of 1000-5000 words.

-Stories may be submitted in English or Sesotho.

-All submitted writing must be original works of the writer’s creation.

-Stories must be submitted between 1 May and 30 June 2016.

-Submissions must be emailed as attachments to

-By entering, writers grant non-exclusive print and digital publishing rights to Ba re e ne re.

-By entering, writers agree to work with the editors of the book to prepare their story for publishing if selected.

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.

SHORT STORY: ‘A journey of discovery’ by ‘Mamohau Thetsane

The “Freedom of Creative Expression” stories continue with “A journey of discovery” by ‘Mamohau Thetsane

It felt amazingly weird at first; everything around me seemed to have rhythm, an inexplicable yet beautiful melody that I could not understand. More amazing was the uncontrollable urge for me to reach for a pen and paper, to jot down all I saw and heard. Leaves rustling, worms slithering about, even dogs barking without purpose, not to mention the sweet yet mysterious endless chirping of birds in the highest branches of trees.

It felt weird because I have led a life abundant with overwhelming emotions yet speech fails me and I get an unstoppable urge to pour out on paper.

It began when I was in Durban. I stood at the window looking silently at the phenomenal beach view. My mind was invaded by thousands of thoughts that came in the manner of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk. I proceeded to take a short journey to the bedroom, reached for my pen and put down all that I saw, heard and smelt on paper; the sandy beach shore, the gentle breeze from the sea, the inhabitants in their varied beachwear and cheerful young ones building sand castles.

When my mother got home, she took the paper and commenced reading it with blatant interest and I saw her face lighten up. “This is a beautiful piece of writing, I think we may have a writer in you”, she commented. At the time, I felt like she was simply mocking me.

The exquisite art of writing was revealed to me again when I took over shopkeeping at my mother’s uniform shop. I lost the store key one day unfortunately and I got into big trouble. Amazingly, that horrible incident got turned into a great written story entitled, “The Lost Key”.

At times I was reluctant to write about extremely personal matters like family issues. I would think “what if daddy finds it?” or “what if it gets into the wrong hands?” Then spontaneously one day I just wrote: about the father who drank himself to a coma every weekend and a mother who stayed in the obviously failed marriage for the sake of her helpless children. Every word I wrote relieved me of a heavy burden I had carried on my shoulders for a very very long time.

Every ink stain on the paper melted the gigantic lump in my throat which had been there and stayed there for as long as my memory could rewind and I felt lighter. That day I learnt a crucial fact; creative expression is a remedy that possesses enormous healing power.

I wrote more frequently thereafter and my words were born into rhythm. My own words made me feel like I was listening to lyrics that beautifully struck. I tingled with joy, ticked. Writing gave me the sort of fulfillment that I had never experienced before my entire life.

With time my sentences grew shorter and more mysterious with deeper meaning entangled in them. I speak of personified metaphors, irony and rhetorical questions, which I quite liked if I should say so myself. Those who heard me named it poetry. Stanzas made more sense than paragraphs, different, compared to other forms of writing I formerly indulged in. The feeling writing poetry gave me was inexplicable yet extremely pleasurable. A thought would spring to my mind, and then linger, then pen would start inking on paper. It was calming. My mind and I put down lots of words on paper, words inspired by all that surrounds me. My hand and pen dance joyful a’s and b’s on paper to a beat produced by the drum of my thoughts, my deepest emotions, sights my eyes rest upon and the scents my nose captures. Creative expression is my life!

SHORT STORY: From the lips of ghosts by Mafa Maiketso

The “Freedom of Creative Expression” stories continue with From the lips of ghosts by Mafa Maiketso.

The white-bearded ghost howled and screamed in blood curdling grunts which shook and rattled the stern-looking trees, robust rocks, wet stones, rusting gates and decaying buildings in the vast wasteland nearby. The ghost was going to die again. Again it was going to be paralysed into a limping spectacle. Its mind, its illusions, its thighs and its legs, would freeze then melt. It would go into silence, into voiceless bones buried once again to be forgotten, perhaps for eternity. It would be confined to a very lonely place, a colony of half-finished streets, and semi-inhabited houses.

That was where one would hear fierce whistles, the heaving and heavy throbbing of ghosts turning over in their graves in their attempts to return to life. They were fearful that they would perish beyond redemption and fail even to revel in hisses, shrieks, puffings and screeches.

The old by-streets swarmed with disheartened ghosts. The liberty to articulate words, the eloquence of non-verbal cues and the freestyling of arts and theatre, had all been shrugged off with indifference on that side of the grave. On the other side, the one beyond re-death, the silence was unbearable. The ghosts wanted to live again. But some were dying yet again unless they grabbed with every ounce of their strength and every drop of blood left in their veins the freedom that no one ever affords to anyone; the freedom of self deception, self image, self expression, personal identity, self existence, the freedom of uniqueness.

There was something remarkable about the manner of gesticulating the ghost was fond of. It was remarkable enough to attract anyone’s notice. His figure was foreshortened and shadowed.

It was a mystery that it had succeeded to return to life. It would be scandalous if it died yet again having come so far. It would do poetry. It would sing. It would do storytelling. I cannot describe the thrill that seized upon me. The ghost was going to live. His poem was tantalizingly close, but vanished as easily as it had come. The song was beginning to form, but no music played. The story was unfolding, but the audience was snoring. The ghost was enraged and it transformed into a giant octopus. It began to grab and choke everything in its path. With its massive tentacles it wreaked havoc. It could crush a small truck like a tin can with its strength.

Then it saw me doing the bum jive, mumbling “ba be bi bob bu” to the tune my fellow ghosts sang at my thirteenth funeral. It grew seven times more livid. I watched him intently. It bore a look of mourning. He had the attitude of tombstone figures, morbid. A vague vibration hit the earth and air just then, which quickly developed into violent pulsation and an incoming rush from behind that forced me to turn around and stare.

I sensed pity in the old ghost. I had been housed in my coffin for decades and I was beyond emaciation with my desiccated skin pulled tautly over my bones. With bones protruding, my complexion ash-gray, and my eyes pushed deep into their sockets, I looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disinterred from the grave. What lips I had were tattered and bloody. An adhesive tape covered my mouth, but I did not stop doing the bum jive and humming a hymn that the giant octopus knew nothing about.
Then the octopus smiled, beckoning the angry glow of the sun to soften its sadness. It opened its mouth, revealing tentacles serrated with teeth so sharp and hooks so deadly they could slit human skin like a razor. It drew circles in the air with its open mouth. The octopus meant harm to no one except to express itself.

Its voice, tucked within the corridors of bones going brown with age was whispering fragments of prayer, gems of wisdom, songs of freedom, hymns of liberation, verses of warning, and doom of the second death. The octopus attempted to recite a poem whose lines were still swirling in the smoke of its fantasy, but the voice of fear strained its rotting vocal chords whose purpose had been abandoned in the previous life.