Sabata-mpho Mokae – Mohlohadi wa di booka

 

The JRB presents an excerpt from Moletlo wa Manong, the award-winning Setswana novel by Sabata-mpho Mokae.

Moletlo wa Manong was recently announced as the co-winner of the 2019 Novel Award at the South Africa Literary Awards.

Moletlo wa Manong
Sabata-mpho Mokae
Xarra Books, 2018

Moletlo wa Manong, which means ‘Feast of the Vultures’, is the sequel to Mokae’s debut Ga ke Modisa (‘I Am Not My Brother’s Keeper’), which won the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award in 2013.

Moletlo wa Manong is the story of Otsile Mothibi, a well-respected journalist who investigates government corruption, with dramatic results. In the excerpt, Mothibi has just moved to Kimberley to start work at a provincial newspaper. As he drives into the city he and his wife talk about the contradictions of the city. Mothibi comments on the infamous Big Hole, which he says is like a mouth, wide open as if laughing at the Black people of Kimberley, whose city is known as the City of Diamonds while they have nothing to show for it.

Read the excerpt:

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Teemaneng e ne e setlhefetse, go se bonolo go dumela gore ke e bontsi jwa batswakwa ba kileng ba tla kwa go yona go tla go epa dikgaraga, mme ba feleletsa ba dirile madi a mantsi jaaka matlakala. Ntle le mesima e masea le matagwa a neng a wela mo go yona nako le nako, baagi ba Teemaneng ba ne ba sa supe sepe ka monwana le fa toropo ya bona e ne e itsege lefatshe ka bophara jaaka legae la dikgaraga, e bile e diretse bangwe khumo e e boitshegang.

Mo toropong eo go ne go na le mosima o mogolo, o o boteng, o o neng o bidiwa The Big Hole. Nandi o ne a o bitsa Mosima o Mogologolo. E ne e le mosima o o tshosang e bile metsi a ona a lebega a ka nkga sebodu. Otsile o ne a bolelela Nandi fa a belaela gore go na le batho ba le bantsi ba ba swetseng mo go ona.

‘Ga ke bone fa mongwe a ka ithabuetsa mo metsing a a leswe jaana go ya go batla motho yo o wetseng mo. Ka gongwe fa e le katse kgotsa ntšwanyana, ba ka e batla ba sa kgaotse, mme fa e le motho gone, lebala!’

Nandi o ne a tshwantshanya Mosima o Mogolo le legano le le bulegileng, le le tshegang baagi ba Teemaneng ka ba latlhegetswe ke dikgaraga tse di neng di ka ba direla khumo mme ba sala ba le basetlha fela jaaka naga e iteilwe ke komelelo e kgolo.

Otsile o gorogile kwa dikantorong tsa City News ka ura ya borobedi mo mosong. Badirikaene ba ne ba ntse ba goroga ka bongwe ka bongwe go fitlhela ba felela botlhe ka ura ya borobong.

Selo sa ntlha se a se lemogileng e ne e le gore go ne go se na babegadikgang, le fa e ka nna batsayaditshwantsho ba Bantsho kwa City News. Batho botlhe ba ba neng ba dira mo kantorong ya dikgang e ne e le Makgowa. Selo seo se ne sa mo tshwenya thata.

O ne a ipotsa gore go tla jang gonne bontsi jwa baagi ba Teemaneng jo bo neng bo buisa City News letsatsi le letsatsi e ne e le Bantsho. Tota le ba go begwang ka bona letsatsi le letsatsi, e ne e le Bantsho. O ne a simolola ka go ipotsa gore a mme babegadikgang ba Makgowa ba tlhaloganya matshelo a bontsi jwa baagi ba Teemaneng, ka gonne ba ne ba sa tshele le bona.

‘E tlaa re re re ke dipitse, ra bona ka mebala!’

Kopano ya moso le moso ya bobegadikgang e ne ya tshwarwa ka ura ya borobong fa ba sena go goroga botlhe mo tirong. Morulaganyi wa City News, Malcolm Bells, o ne a itsise Otsile go badirikaene semmuso.

‘Bagaetsho, ke rata go tsaya tšhono eno go le itsise mmegadikgang yo mogolwane yo o simololang tiro gompieno. Rre yo le mmonang fa yo, ke Otsile Mothibi. Ke mmegadikgang yo o dirileng dithuto tsa gagwe tsa bobegadikgang kwa Yunivesithing ya Lejeleputswa, e bile o na le maitemogelo a dingwaga di le dintsi mo kantorong ya dikgang. O kile a direla makwalodikgang a kwa New York le London. Ke mmegadikgang yo o tlhwatlhwa. Ke solofela fa rotlhe re tlile go dirisana le ena ka botswapelo.’

Botlhe ba ne ba opa diatla. Bells o ne a otlolola seatla go amogela Otsile.

‘Rre Mothibi, re solofela fa o tlile go nna le bokamoso jo bo phatsimang mo City News. Re a go amogela, rra.’

‘Ke a leboga, rra. Le nna ke na le tsholofelo ya gore ke tlile go itumelela go dira le lona lotlhe.’

Morago ba ne ba buisana ka tiro ya bona ya letsatsi leo. Otsile o ne a solofetse gore mo letsatsing la gagwe la ntlha kwa tirong, o tlaa pata mmegadikgang mongwe go ya kwa dikopanong le mekgape e mengwe ya letsatsi. O ne a makala fa morulaganyi a mmotsa gore o tlile go tlhola a dira eng.

‘Ke ne ke solofetse gore rre o tlaa mpha mongwe wa babegadikgang gore ke tlhole le ena ke tle ke bone gore mang ke mang mo tikologong eno,’ Otsile a araba.

‘Rre Mothibi, itse gore ga o tlhole o direla lekwalodikgang le le tswang gabedi mo bekeng la Ntome Tsebe. Rona mo City News re ntsha lekwalodikgang letsatsi le letsatsi. Ga re na nako e ntsi ya go tlhola re sasanka le mebila ya Teemaneng re patile badirikarona. O tshwanetse go tla ka leano.’

Bells o ne a mo fa seripagare sa ura gore a tle ka dikakanyo tsa gore o tlile go kwala ka ga eng mo letsatsing leo. Go ne go utlwala gore Bells ga a tshitshinye, o a laela.

‘Banna! Ga e ne, e a komakoma,’ a bua a le nosi mosimane wa Morolong. A tswela kwa ntle, a ntsha mogala wa gagwe mme a leletsa mongwe.

Tiring, tiring. Tiring, tiring. Tiring, tiring.

‘Thaka, a simolotse Makgowa a mpontsha sepoko sa motshegare ke ise ke bee le lešago le le lengwe fa fatshe. Ba setse ba mpatla dikgang ke se na le diura tse pedi ke le mo tirong,’ a bolelela Tshidiso, tsala ya gagwe ya mmegadikgang kwa seteišeneng sa radio sa loago sa Teemaneng.

Tshidiso a swa ka ditshego.

‘Thaka, o se re ke a go tshega. Kana losologolo ditshego, wa mma! O a re Makgowa a go batla dikgang o le magorogomaswa? A ba a tsenwa?’ Tshidiso a mmotsa potso ntswa a itse karabo.

‘Thaka, nthuse ka dikgang o tlogele go nja ditshego. Kana golo fa e bile ke a roroma.’

Tshidiso o ne a mmolelela gore mafokisi a mararo a mo Teemaneng a letse a tshwerwe ka dikgaraga kwa Mangaung mo bosigong jo bo fetileng. Go ya ka Tshidiso, mafokisi a ne a ile go iphanya ka bomme ba ba gwebang ka thobalano mme ya re dimpa di kua mosi, ba gana go ba duela. Yo mongwe wa bomme bao o ne a bona sengwe se se tshwanang le kgaraga mo sejanageng sa mafokisi, mme a se phamola. Morago o ne a ba tshosetsa ka gore fa ba sa duele, o tlaa ya go ba tshwarisa mme ba nagana gore o dira matshosetsi a a sa reng sepe.

Ba ne ba bona a thubega ka lebelo, a leba kwa ntlheng ya seteišene sa mapodisi. E rile fa ba re ba tlaa mo lelekisa, ba tlhoka lesego fa sejanaga sa mapodisi se feta gaufi mme a tsholetsa letsogo go se emisa. O ne a bolelela mapodisi sengwe le sengwe. Banna ba mafokisi ba tlhoseditse molelo ka go leka go tshaba, ke fa go tsoga melodi le mabone a botala jwa loapi, ba lelekisiwa jaaka magotlo a tshaba katse. Ba tswa go thibelelwa kwa Petrusberg e le gore sejanaga sa bona se feletswe ke leokwane.

Tshidiso o ne a fa Otsile dintlha tsotlhe, go akaretsa le maina le dinomoro tsa mogala tsa sebueledi sa mapodisi kwa Petrusberg mmogo le tsa bomme ba ba gwebang ka thobalano ba ba tshwarisitseng mafokisi. Otsile o ne a leboga Tshidiso ka thuso e a mo fileng yona.

‘Thaka, fa bagaetsho ba re “ina lebe seromo” ba bua ka motho a tshwana le wena jaana. O ntlile matshediso fela jaaka leina la gago. Ke a go leboga. A re kopane kgantele morago ga nako ya tiro, re tle re nwe sengwenyana.’

Ba ne ba laelana mme Otsile a simolola go kwala mo bukaneng ya gagwe pele a leba kwa kantorong ya ga Bells go mmolelela gore o tlaa tlhola a tshwaragane le kgang e feng. Bells o ne a itumela thata.

O ne a boela kwa sekhutlwaneng sa gagwe mme a fitlha a simolola go kwala. Kana Otsile le bobegadikgang e ne e le monwana le lenala, e ka re yo mongwe o tlholetswe yo mongwe. E ne e re a kwala, o fitlhele a ja monate e bile leoto la gagwe la moja le ntse le binabina. O ne a lelesela jaaka tlhapi mo metsing.

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  • Sabata-mpho Mokae writes in two languages: English and Setswana. He is the author of the biography The Story of Sol T Plaatje, the novella Dikeledi and a poetry collection, Escaping Trauma. His debut novel Ga Ke Modisa (I’m Not My Brother’s Keeper) won the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award in 2013. He also won the South African Literary Award in 2011. His short story ‘Down Sol Plaatje Drive’ was performed on theatre stage during the Global Express in Iowa City, USA in 2014. His book Kanakotsame: In My Times, a collection of short fiction pieces, was launched in 2015. Moletlo wa Manong was published in 2019 and won a South African Literary Award.
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