By Theodorah Mawasha
MPHAME VILLAGE: In the days where the traditional ways of reading books that are written in vernac seem rare, Mokhale Machitela aims to remain resolute in keeping the fire burning and defy the modern age way of reading.
Born and bred in the mountainous Mphame Village, Bokgaga Ga-Maake under Greater Tzaneen, Machitela’s love for reading and writing has seen him earn many accomplishments and accolades.
He regards himself as an author, editor, book reviewer, layout, and book cover designer.
He currently runs a publishing company Seboi publisher, which was established back in 2012.
Impressively he released a novel that he single-handedly wrote, designed, edited, and published and it was prescribed for Grade 12 home language in 2015.
“The love for my language and the quest to prove that contemporary social issues in our country can be effectively told in vernacular is what inspired me to write in Sepedi, said Machitela.
SEBOI BOOKSELLERS AND STAIONERY: Shop No 11, Namakgale Crossing.
“My first book” Ge di boa sakeng ” was published in 2003 and prescribed for grade 11 learners. I won the Mnet literary Award in the Sotho category with my Sepedi novel” Ga di mphelele “. My first Sepedi drama ” Ga ke nyake phosho” was Awarded the 2015 Indigenous Languages Publishing Authors Award and these achievements demonstrate that our African languages are well received and recognized,” he boasted.
However, while the country was abuzz with Heritage Day celebrations over the past weekend, the author looked on in dissatisfaction and an uncelebratory mood.
He told Tzaneen Voice that this behavioral change is because he sees that the theme of Heritage Day is somewhat distorted and people have deviated from their traditions and culture.
“The commercialization of the month, especially the 24th doesn’t sit well with me. Thus, I never celebrate it. I pride myself with Africanism and therefore strive to preserve my heritage, which is language, every day,” he reiterated.
Machitela advised aspiring writers to keep the fire burning and the dream alive.
His books are available on Loots.com, Makro online, Academic book shop Polokwane, Seboi booksellers and stationers Namakgale crossing, and Van Schaik book stores in Polokwane. Alternatively, order directly on Machetelams@gmail.com