Dyslexic Lerotholi pens poetry anthology


 ‘Each poem is part of my journey to self-discovery’


MASERU – Mpho Lerotholi from Ha Mabote in Berea, has transformed his dyslexia into a source of inspiration by writing an anthology of poems titled “The Voice of Dyslexia.” Diagnosed with the condition, he uses his writing to challenge misconceptions and highlight the capabilities of those with neurological differences. Lerotholi describes dyslexia as a neurological difference that affects a person’s ability to read, write, and spell.

He explains that individuals with dyslexia can have normal or above-average intelligence. Dyslexia is a lifelong condition caused by how the brain processes language, particularly the sounds that make up words. Writing became a hobby for him after his grandmother gave him a poetry book by a local writer, poet and historian, Patrick Mohlalefi Bereng.

He believes reading Bereng’s work significantly helped improve his writing skills at school, although his work still contained many errors. “I struggled in class, which led me to attend extra classes or work 10 times harder than other learners to concentrate—a lot of focus is needed,” Lerotholi says.

From his early school days, Lerotholi faced academic challenges, with difficulties persisting into high school. It was only after thorough consultations with specialists that he was diagnosed with two types of dyslexia, affecting his ability to read fluently, spell correctly, and express his thoughts in writing.

This diagnosis shifted the norms of his education from a traditional classroom setting to personalised home-schooling. As part of this new approach, Lerotholi attended extra classes, which led his teacher to challenge him to write a book. He titled his work “The Voice of Dyslexia” to illustrate that neurodivergent individuals — those with conditions like autism, epilepsy, dyslexia, bipolar disorder, and more — are not defined by their conditions but have many strengths.

“My book stands as powerful proof that with resilience and determination, one can achieve great things, no matter the obstacles,” Lerotholi states. Despite the challenges he has faced, Lerotholi says he has transformed his struggles into a source of strength, crafting poetry that not only captures his experiences but also shows that limitations can be transcended.

He explains that his book guides readers on a visceral journey, where every verse is a battle fought and won against the shadows of doubt. “Each poem bears witness to my journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance,” he shares. He further explains that individuals with dyslexia should be treated just like anyone else. In educational settings, they should be given additional time for tasks and extended exam periods, with the option of oral assessments and more lenient grading.

Moreover, Lerotholi notes that dyslexia can affect one’s learning and social skills, leading to challenges such as low self-esteem, behavioural issues, mispronunciation of words, letter reversals, poor memory, and difficulties with copying written text. To those experiencing similar challenges, he advises perseverance and encourages them to reach a point where they can look in the mirror and genuinely feel good about who they are, both inside and out. 

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