Soldier author speaks of literary award


Working on a sequel to his winning novel


MASERU – International author and deputy director of the PLO Lumumba Foundation-Lesotho Chapter, Bothata Kennedy Silase, has expressed immense gratitude for winning the Mulher Forte African Literature Awards 2021 Best Novelist Award.

Silase was one of three Basotho authors who were nominated for the inaugural annual awards that were held in Botswana recently.

The other two local nominees were Lineo Matlakala and Thakane Rethabile. Silase’s thrilling novel ‘The Recoil’ was up and won against Zambian writer, Ingrid Nayame’s ‘Cupid Arrow’ and his compatriot Matlakala’s ‘Tales of a Barren Woman.’ 

In the publishing category Shale was declared winner for her work on Matlakala’s ‘Tales of a barren woman’ beating South African Sam Nkogatse for publishing ‘The black man in the white people’s yard.’

The 30-years-old Silase is an international author, a ghost-writer and speech-writer, orator and pan-Africanist. He is presently waiting to hear how his book has fared in the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Competition whose results are expected to be announced on May 1.

His first novel ‘The Recoil’ has received acclaim and is recognised amongst the best-selling books on international platforms.

The book traces the life of Masilo Mokoena, one of the best intellectuals in Lesotho. After completion of his Cambridge Overseas School Certificate he enrolled at the National University of Lesotho to attain his Bachelors’ Degree.

Unfortunately, he succumbed to peer pressure, failed the first year of his BSc Computer Science course and ended up committing a series of crimes.

He decided to join the Lesotho Defence Force when he lost his funding to attend university, and he passed the vetting process of the army as his malicious deeds had not yet come to light.

The army was impressed by his meritorious service and he was subsequently sent to India to attend a cadet course. Upon his return from India, he was promoted from the rank of Private to that of Second Lieutenant.

An investigation carried out subsequently revealed his previous crimes and impacted significantly on his life.

“I was very happy when I received an email informing me that my novel had won. I could not believe it because there was another novel from Zambia in the same category I was competing in. I have read the book it several times and I thought it would win, so if the ‘The Recoil’ came out tops it then means I am in the right direction and I plan to do more good,” Silase noted

“The book was inspired by my observations while I was still at the National University of Lesotho; my colleagues were not able to achieve their qualifications due to bad influences found in tertiary institutions. The book was meant to raise awareness worldwide that while in tertiary one must be willing and determined because there are a lot of things which can lead a person astray,” said Silase.

The author has also collaborated with Paula Otukile, the host company’s Project Manager and Coordinator, Maggie Waweru Wairimu from Kenya, Elizabeth DT Taderera from Zimbabwe and Lucky Lumbankira Fernadonas from Tanzania to produce a book titled An African Collaboration with Paula.

The race to the grand finale begun with nominations from Lesotho, Malawi, Botswana, Egypt, Uganda, and across the African continent in different categories that also included novelists, orators, contemporary traditional music, live poetry performances and illustrators.

The host company, Mulher Forte African Literature Awards PTY Ltd, is a Botswana literature company that deals with literary translating, consulting and publishing; they will also be holding literature workshop.

The company’s main aim is to recognize the craft of the authors and give them support; we also shall have special categories such as Legendary Award and Reader of the year Award which was earmarked for an African who has books in diverse literature in more than 20 African literatures, Paula Otukile, the host company’s Project Manager and Coordinator told Life&Style ahead of the awards ceremony which was held virtually.

Mulher Forte African Literature’s bigger intention is to grow literature by uniting African writers and performers gaining one voice through collaboration, which is what informed the concept behind the awards, Otukile told Life&Style.

Silase delivered his first memorial lecture on renowned novelist, Thomas Mokopu Mofolo (1876-1948) at Plus Cafe` on the invitation of Kesmet Network on November 29, 2020.

He is currently working on a second novel ‘The Recoil II – The haunting past’, a sequel to his first novel, and has also penned a memoir dedicated to the notable legal practitioner, businessman and politician, Advocate Makhetha Julius Motšoari, named ‘Against all odds’.

Both books are expected to be launched in June; the launch was delayed by the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He is still working on the biography about a renowned businessman, Martin Poulo, which he has named ‘The proof of the pudding’.

This book is expected to be out in May.

On December 30, 2020, he was named the Global Advisor II of Global Literary Temple (GLT).

He is an active Lesotho Defence Force airman with 8 years of service; he works under the close supervision of literary agent, Thomas Michael Kielbasinski from the United States of America.

He has been named the deputy director of the PLO Lumumba Foundation in Lesotho and is co-founder of The Bothata Kennedy Silase Foundation.

Beginning of April he start work together with former finance Dr Timothy Thahane on his biography.



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