Young author releases inspirational novel

14th February 2018
PASSIONATE: Mokwadi wa dibuka Source:The Midweek Sun

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By Keletso Thobega -


Budding writer Olerilwe Sennanyana has published a short novel titled Segwaba itaye, an offering that is sure to stamp his name among the finest storytellers on the literary landscape. The 26-year-old has an excellent command of Setswana and combined with creativity and passion for storytelling. It is this talent that motivated him to release his first-ever novel, which took five years to complete. Local company Diphalana Publishing published him. Sennanyana financed the project through a youth grant. ‘Segwabe itaye mmago o sule’ is a Setswana adage, which means that one should be responsible for their own life without depending on others or blaming their circumstances for their misfortunes.

A reserved and soft-spoken unassuming character, Sennanyana doesn’t speak much but his boyish grin brightens up his handsome face when he talks about his writing. He concedes that writing a book in Setswana was not well-received in all quarters as some people prefer to write and dialogue in English, but he asserts that it is important for Batswana to be proud of their culture and language. Sennyanana hails from Kanye but was raised in Lobatse. He discovered his writing talent when he was still a learner at Letsopa Secondary. By the time he proceeded to Lobatse Senior Secondary school (Lobsec), he was a marvel with the pen. He singles out his former teacher Sophie Modiegi Gaborone for believing in him. “She would read out my compositions to other learners, encouraging them to learn from me. This motivated me to write more because it confirmed that I have a gift,” he explains. He however hastens to add that the teacher used tough love, as she would sometimes give him low marks.

“I believe she did not want me to become comfortable; she expected the best from me and always challenged me to push myself and do better,” he says. It all paid off as and not surprisingly, he obtained an A* for Setswana in his BGCSE results. Interestingly, Sennanyana opted to pursue an Electrical engineering course after school. “I am a naturally gifted writer with inborn flair, imagination and skill so I did not find it necessary to study any writing-related course.” He however insists that writing is his first love. Sennanyana states that he would like to see his books included in the local schools ‘ curriculum. He points out that the fact that many Batswana have not adopted the culture of reading for leisure; writers are usually forced to write educational material. This is however has not dettered his love for story telling. He plans to also write scripts for television and theatre. To get a copy of the book email: bmokwadi@yahoo.com.




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