The judges for the Geko Mofolo Prize for Outstanding Fiction in Sesotho 2019 have been announced.
Thomas Mokopu Mofolo was a pioneer in the Southern African literary tradition. Using the pen name Thomas Mofolo, he wrote among others Moeti wa Bochabela (1907), Pitseng (1910) and Chaka (1925). Chaka is his most famous contribution as it is the biography of Shaka, the founder of the Zulu Kingdom. The library at the National University of Lesotho is named in honour of this writer considered the most important in the Sesotho canon.
A new prize in his honour the Geko Mofolo Prize for Outstanding Fiction in Sesotho was announced in February to pay homage to the significance of the pioneer of Sesotho literature. It was also aimed to igniting an interest and efforts in the writing of new, imaginative and original fiction writing in Sesotho in the new and modern age. The prize, founded by Geko Publishing, is administered and awarded in South Africa.
The inaugural Prize will be judged by five people with varying expertise and experience in Sesotho, law, ICT, and heritage. The Chair Phehello J Mofokeng, who is in the header of this post, is a publisher, author, and speaker at many literary festivals. He will be supported by Mr Makashane Ntlhabo, Ms Mathe Ntšekhe, Mr Tebogo Mofokeng, and Mr Otsile Matlou. Mr Ntlhabo is a Basotho heritage expert and professional. Mr Otsile Matlou is a legal professional and a chief executive of one of the biggest law firms in the continent. Ms Mathe Ntšekhe is an MSc graduate and ICT specialist. Mr Tebogo Mofokeng is a special advisor to one of the royal houses of Basotho kingdom.
The prize submissions are open to all Basotho in the continent and in the diaspora. The award opens at in April and closes in at the end of July. The winner is announced on the anniversary of Thomas Mofolo’s passing; on 8 September. The winning manuscript is published the following year in March when the award for the current year begins.