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SPU student addresses social ills in new poetry book


A Sol Plaatje University student has tackled various social ills with the release of his poetry book.

Kagiso Sejamoholo Phutiagae, who is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Education degree, has published a Setswana book titled ‘Aforika Tsoga O Bone’. Picture: Soraya Crowie

A SOL Plaatje University student, Kagiso Sejamoholo Phutiagae, has tackled various social ills with the release of his poetry book titled ‘Aforika Tsoga O Bone’ (Africa, Rise and See).

Phutiagae, who is in the process of completing his Bachelor in Education degree at the Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley said it took him about four years to get his book published.

He said he opted to write the book in Setswana as he wants to promote indigenous language literature.

“I started my book in 2018 when I took a gap year. Although I completed the book that year, securing a publisher was, however, very challenging. It took almost four years for me to find an affordable publisher.

“At the time I did not have the funds to afford a publisher and I worked out a strict budget plan in order to be able to pay a publisher. I really wanted to have my book published so I sacrificed many things.

“It would be a great honour if my book or one of my poems should be selected to educate children at school, especially Setswana-speaking learners. We need to instil a sense of pride in our languages and show children that we need to preserve as well as celebrate our languages.

“There are certain words one cannot translate or explain in English. The only impact a word or statement will have is when it is said in its original language.”

He said the book addresses many social ills faced by communities.

“This book speaks about the aspects of the economy which affect the disadvantaged communities. We currently have so many young people who are slaves of drug abuse. There are issues of gender-based violence that are plaguing our country and women, which urgently need to be addressed. The book has shown me that there are various ways of spreading the message on these issues. We cannot always protest and burn tyres to address such matters. A simple written word can spark a revolution.”

He said the book also contains some poems aimed at reviving the heart and spirit of the reader.

“There are also many inspirational poems that are aimed at encouraging the reader. Like many other poetry books, this book also talks about the different kinds of love, romance, heartbreak, life and family. It also covers the importance of African culture and traditions that some of the youth have forgotten or have decided to dismiss. I also give praise to our Struggle icons like Nelson Mandela and the miners who died during the Marikana protest.”

Phutiagae said he wants to promote Africanism amongst all occupants of the continent.

“We have so many diverse cultures and people on this continent. We need to celebrate and embrace our differences. We have a lot to learn from each other and our differences are what make us unique.

“My dream is to publish many more writings that will be recognised and read across the world. However, I will for now focus on what is happening in my community and country.”

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