Author Yewande Omotoso




Literature festival. Our flagship project is the annual Ba re e ne re Literature Festival. This is a multi-day event that brings together hundreds of people from a variety of backgrounds and ages including writers, editors, publishers, poets, students, artists, educators and expatriates to engage about and share literary arts content. Activities include a keynote address, performances, panel discussions, bookmaking activities for children, a practice-oriented workshops. See the video from our 2016 festival here!


Writing competitions. Ba re e ne re engages Basotho students and writers through writing competitions hosted in schools and online. In the competitions Basotho are encouraged to think creatively about a topic and respond with a piece of original writing. Winners of the competitions are awarded prizes and honoured publicly. Student writing competitions are facilitated with the support of Peace Corps. Entries to the online writing competition are also published periodically on our website.


Spelling Bee. 2015 was the first year Ba re e ne re engaged in a national student spelling bee. Students at schools across the country competed to spell both English and Sesotho words at the school level and the highest performers then traveled to Maseru for the National Spelling Bee. This projects was facilitated in schools with support of Peace Corps. See photos from the event here!


Arts education research. Ba re e ne re is part of Another Roadmap for Arts Education. This is a community of Arts organisations and researchers around the world who collaborate on projects and conduct research with the aim of making arts education more inclusive and locally-oriented rather than replicating foreign frameworks and practices. Ba re e ne re is focused on deconstructing and deemphasising the colonial influence on Arts education in Lesotho and Southern Africa.


African language growth. To get young Basotho excited about their language, Ba re e ne re demonstrates the descriptive power and innovative growth of Sesotho by instituting the BA RE Dictionary Project. This project introduces and catalogs new Sesotho words with definitions and example sentences. Our audience is encouraged to share their own creative sentences with these new words and suggest their own words. The words are often influenced by slang, afro-futurism, new technology and complex emotions. We are planning a writing competition where writers will be required to use our new Sesotho words.

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