Award-winning Motswana author, Lauri Kubuitsile, has once more put Botswana on the map by publishing a romance novella, namely, Kwaito Love, primarily intended for the lucrative South African market.
Interestingly, the author was able to use South Africa as a place of setting (as per the requirements of the publishers) and she wisely made her major characters Sotho/Tswana, possibly Pedi and she did it with success, as she was able to throw in some Pedi phrases.
In Kwaito Love the protagonist, Mpho Kgosiemang is an ambitious fashion design student who is busy juggling her studies with a part-time job at a take-away. Mpho is so much focused on her future career that she does not realise that there is something missing in her life, a man, until she meets the dashing and irresistible Thabang Modise, a successful record-label owner. Although Mpho would like to try hard to convince herself that she only has eyes for her career, Thabang somehow manages to wriggle himself into her life.
The two lovebirds' affair seems to blossom until Mpho's over-protective brother, Jakes, who has got a score to settle with Thabang, interferes. Jakes tells Mpho that the reason why his family is struggling is because Thabang, who is a successful entrepreneur, ripped him off by stealing a hit song that he (Jakes) wrote by giving it to his major artist without his consent. Unfortunately for Thabang, Mpho had already seen some moves that she interpreted to mean that Thabang was a self-centred person who did not care about other people's success. Mpho decides to end the relationship much to her lover's dismay. While Mpho is busy trying to put the relationship behind her and focus on her future career, the determined Thabang keeps on popping into her life time and again. This makes it hard for the girl to shake off her feelings, but luckily for her, her school project and job at Monate Take-Aways keep her engaged.
On the other hand, Thabang is agonising over the relationship that has come to an abrupt end and tries to find answers, irritating Mpho in the process.
At the end of this engaging novella, Mpho sees the good side of Thabang as he (Thabang) does everything in his power to make amends and the two lovebirds rekindle their romance.
This book is aptly titled Kwaito Love as the story plays out against the backdrop of Kwaito music, since Thabang is a record-label owner with a runaway Kwaito hit and kwaito music keeps 'making appearances' throughout the book.
Hanneke du Toit designed the beautiful cover, which depicts a lovable, young black couple. The novella is written in a simple yet engaging way (it took this reviewer a night to complete reading it) and it would greatly appeal to teenagers and young adults. Kubuitsile is a full-time writer based in Mahalapye. She has published three children's books, two detective novellas, and a collection of short stories for children with two other Batswana writers.
The author has won a number of awards during her career including BTA/Anglo Platinum Short Story Contest, Orange Botswerere Award for Creative Writing. In 2009, she won the Baobab Literacy Prize (USA) in the junior category.