Sello Mahapeletsa - Left.
We took time to talk to one of our own Sello Mahapeletsa, a teacher at Shapo Primary School and a book writer. Sello Mahalapetsa is a teacher at Shapo Primary School but besides teaching he has also written several books that are available at leading bookstores such as Exclusive Books, and online.
Sello grew up at Eisleben and started school at Maswahlene Lower Primary from Sub A (Grade 1) to Standard 2 (Grade 4). He then went to Itielene Higher Primary where he completed his Primary schooling. After primary school he did High School education at Tabudi High where he matriculated. He then went to Sekgosese College of Education to train as a teacher. After that he furthered his teaching career with Unisa and University of Pretoria. Currently he is studying School leadership and Management with Edutel and studied creative writing with Intec College.
Sello Mahapeletsa - Bookfair.
Teaching and writing cannot be an easy job, especially when you must do both, however Sello managed to squeeze Botlokwa Online for a chat in his busy schedule especially during this time with preparations for final year exams and activities. We asked him few questions, some of them weren't that easy but him being the person he is still managed to answer them with a smile.
So far Sello has written three novels, When Lions Smile (2003), Tears of an Angel (2008) both published by Kwela books and Playing with fire (2017) published by Cover2Cover as part of the Harmony High series. "Writing a book may take time depending on the length of the book, writing a book like "Playing with Fire" took me about a month as the publisher wanted a short, inexpensive book for teenagers", said Sello when asked how long it would normally take for him to finish a book.
Writing has always been his dream as a child, he has always wanted to be a script writer or a storyteller. Sello wrote his first book "When Lions Smile" when he was only 27 years old which was prescribed by the department of education for Grade 10 and 11 learners. Life itself and what he sees everyday on TV and the people around him is where he gets his ideas for books and that's what motivates him as well.
Juggling between teaching, writing books and family is not such an easy job, and without support from family this can also add to the heavy job that one has, fortunately for Sello he has all the love and support from his family. In fact, it was his two brothers that encouraged him to write professionally.
One question that we just had to ask is if he has any suggestions to help aspiring writers become good writers especially from our village Botlokwa and if so, what are they? He emphasized on the fact that they must read and read, that's the only way to improve their skills. They must also write everyday and take any opportunity that arises for their stories to get reviewed.
Sello and Colleague - Shapo Primary
Talking with someone like Sello made us realise how far we still have to go as a nation, we need a nation of readers, we need to show our children why it is important to read. We need to start at our homes by encouraging our children to read, then our communities, at the end we will have the whole nation of readers, we will have book writers like Sello, doctors like Doctor Baholo, actors like John Morapama or Lydia Mokgokoloshi all coming from this beautiful place called Botlokwa.
Sello has also published several stories online for Fundza and two "Chains of love and Matters of the hearts" have been included in their printed collections. He has also translated stories from English to Sepedi for their online stories and did editing for their Fanz section also for Sepedi. Fortunately for Sello all his stories are good reads and the comments are always positive. Some of his stories were even played on the stage and printed in Fundza collection of stories. Most of the stories are about how stories teach life lessons.
You can get Sello's books at any leading bookstores in the country such as Exclusive books or online. So, before you say "Botlokwa a gona talent nagana gape", think of guys like Sello Mahapeletsa born and raised "gona mo gae", think of other famous people that came from "gona mo Ga-Machaka and Ramokgopa". There is a lot of talent "gona mo gae"and you don't need to go far to discover it.
It was nice chatting to Sello and we wish him all the best in his career and hope that you will keep supporting him in his journey, we need guys like him to put us on the map. Keep following Botlokwa Online for articles such as this one, we will be talking to one of the known actors in the country in the next few weeks, we aren't going to reveal his name yet.