Completes new book pencilled for launch in November
MASERU – AgriTech Institute of Lesotho boss, Lineo Matlakala, aspires to promote young Basotho business women in literary art and business. AgriTech Institute is a vocational school that awards certificates in agri business. Aged 31, Lineo went to Leribe English Medium Primary School when she began her schooling, proceeded to Hlotse High School thereafter and completed her high school at Molapo High School – all in the Leribe district.
She then enrolled with the National University of Lesotho where she studied Sociology. In 2013, Lineo started Barali Foundation, a non-profit organization whose name translates to “daughters” into English. She says with this Foundation she intended to educate women and girls in rural villages about sexual and reproductive health and rights, because “I knew that this knowledge is central to a woman’s ability to make life choices.”
Like in many of the world’s many countries, reproductive education and services are hard to access in rural Lesotho than in urban areas, and the topic is largely a taboo in societal discussions. Today, the Barali Foundation works alongside various governmental and non-governmental institutions to educate girls and boys in rural areas about sexual and reproductive health and rights.
And Lineo says she and her colleagues have found the arts to be the most effective way to disseminate information on the subject, so when they go to schools and churches in rural villages to spread their message, they perform skits, music, and poetry that guide ensuing presentations and discussions.
She continues that in her experience she has noticed that girls are more comfortable opening up about sex around other girls, “so the Foundation separates girls and boys for programming.” However, Matlakala makes sure that everyone knows how they can access the Barali Foundation and its services, as well as where they can go if they are abused or are in need of counseling.
Matlakala is a well-known human rights activist who has devoted her life into advocating for the rights of women and girls, following her personal nightmarish experience with nannies growing up.
She has created several blocks on social media where stories of abuse are shared and victims are advised and accompanied for action against violence. Among the blocks, Matlakala runs the most engaging page on Facebook – Stories from your everyday girl – where she shares insights on short fictional stories that range from drama to romance
She has also written a book ‘Tales of a barren woman’ which explores the dynamics of infertility of three Basotho women in a patriarchal society, a heartwarming tales of survival, self-actualizing and cementing oneself against all odds.
“I wrote the book to educate and comfort, first I wanted people to be aware of the impact of their words and actions have on people battling infertility, I wanted to tell people who are struggling with infertility to know that they are not alone, they can get help like counselling, gynaecologist,” she says.
“What inspired the book is my own personal experience I have been married for seven years and have been struggling with issues around infertility since I started trying for a baby; I have several miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.
That is when I just wanted to share my thoughts, experience and pain so that people can learn and can relate and I needed that to heal myself let other people who are going through this alone to know that they are not entirely alone and that there is still hope,” she adds. The next book to expect from this female author is called ‘Khomo ha li boele sakeng’ whose manuscript is already complete and is expected to be launched early in November or late October.
“It is a work of fiction novel and a lot of drama, it is about siblings falling for one women and the chain of events that unfold because of that triangle are catastrophic I enjoyed writing it a lot and I hope people love it as well.”
I see myself owning a farm in Pitseng, Leribe, working with underprivileged teenage moms to piece their lives together through agriculture, she says. “I see me compiling short stories from teenage girls around the country and compiling them into books.”