Kagiso Molope has just come from the White Raven Festival in Munich, Germany where she was one of the guest authors. The festival in its third year showcases children’s and young adult literature to a German audience. Part of the work done by Kagiso one of my favourite authors, Dancing in the Dust rocks, is to speak to some kids from the WEG school. Here is a transcript of that experience from the view of Jessica Westhues and Kathrin Renz who were on the ground.
“On Monday, 21st July 2014 the 10th graders of WEG had the amazing chance to meet South African author Kagiso Lesego Molope, who was in Germany as one of the authors reading at the White Ravens Festival in Munich. The pupils had the chance to listen to her presenting and reading from her latest two novels. Molope grew up in an all black township and did not speak English until she was 14 years old. In her books she describes life in the apartheid system and connects her stories to her personal experiences.
We all listened intently to her reading from ”The Mending Season (2005)”. This novel chronicles the path of the protagonist, Thidiso, which leads her to a Catholic school open to all races. ”The Mending Season” was written in the context of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990.
Molope also introduced her latest novel, ”This Book Betrays My Brother (2012)”, which covers the topics of loyalty, family and the question of what is right or wrong. When 13yearold Naledi witnesses her brother raping a young girl, she is forced to make a decision: should she tell the truth or lie in order to protect her brother?
At the end of the reading we had the opportunity to ask Ms Molope some questions and got detailed information about her own life, South African history and the changes that need to be made to rid South Africa of its high rate of violence.
It was a great experience for us and we learnt a lot of new things about South Africa and the apartheid regime. We would like to thank Kagiso Lesego Molope for taking the time to visit us and give us this stunning lecture. ”
If you are at a place with an African author I will be happy to post any piece you have about that experience on this space.