MASERU – Literary group Writer’s Space Africa-Lesotho (WSA-L), intents to gain recognition globally by producing the best art material. The group is a non-governmental organization established in April 2020 for local writers in any genre of storytelling. The organization is a subgroup of the continental group established in Nigeria in 2018, Writers Space Africa (WSA).
The group is present in 34 African countries that include South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Botswana and Tanzania. Their vision is to empower writers to changing the world. Their mission is to encourage cross-cultural learning and sharing of creative ideas, thoughts and concepts that would impact society positively.
WSA-L president, Halieo Motanyane, tells Life&Style that: “The reason I brought the organisation to Lesotho is because I realised a huge cap from Lesotho to other countries, a lot of Basotho can write very good but in terms of promotion we are not there yet, take for instance in schools majority of the books read are from abroad.”
She says she knows of two publishing houses in Lesotho, compelling the group to strive for Lesotho to be recognised internationally and achieve what other countries have achieved.”
“Currently we are still witting story about Moshoeshoe and we will later look for actors and shoot a theatre drama about it,” she said. Motanyane says they also want to host creative events in the country where they showcase their poems, essays, short stories and articles in that way they will have enough exposure and attract a lot of people.
“We are also planning to have a creative art school in Kenya where some of our good writers can be given a sponsorship to study in it; the school, apart from poetry, short story writing and essays there will also be theatre and drama.
Currently the organization has 64 members in Lesotho and the intention is to share group’s stories with the whole nation through various local newspapers about any topic no specifics like Gender Based Violence, poverty and many more.
They also plan to see the Lesotho’s growth, economic and otherwise, left in the hands of knowledgeable leaders, leaders who read for growth. The organisation works with other writer’s organisations and NGOs like UNESCO, JAM and Uprising Kingdom. Motanyane says everybody is welcome to join, as an artist or simply a friend of the group.
Each year a writers’ conference for all the countries held, and last year it was held in Zambia. The conference is meant for writers from various countries meet and mingle and hear how they operate in their respective countries; tackle each other with ideas and select a topic to discuss about. At last year’s conference Lesotho won an award on the Best Child Story – the story is to be published later this year.