Lerako's love for Setswana lands him into folklore poetry


Molepolole born folklore poet, Omphemetse Lerako's love for his native language started from tender age. In his quest to promote and preserve rich Setswana language that seems to be slowly perishing, the young man decided to do that through poetry.

He is famed for his stage name 'E khukhwa Sehatela.' In an interview with Arts & Culture, Lerako said he was saddened by the fact that young people and some old ones are not proud or do not appreciate their native language. He therefore decided to remind people of the beauty of Setswana language through poetry. He added that Setswana could be used to market the country and attract more tourists and investors.

"I started poetry at a young age. I believe that poetry is in my blood because I am born in a family of poets. Even though I did not perform anywhere while growing, in 2018 I met one of the talented local poets Kabo modibedi also known as Kgooo who encouraged me to establish myself in the poetry industry."

"He also advised me to register for President's Day competitions and I decided to give it a shot and did an outstanding job. I later decided to post my poems on Facebook and got immense support from the public. They made me realise how much I nearly wasted my talent," he said.

Lerako also pointed out that getting recognition and immense support from the public won him a few gigs. He added that he aimed to share his talent with the youth and show them the beauty of Setswana through his poems. He added that he was ready to teach young people eager to learn folklore poetry.

Speaking of the challenges he faced as a folklore poet, he said some of them nearly demoralised him while others give him courage to soldier on. He pointed out that there were people who looked down folklore poets whilst others wanted them (folklore poets) to perform for free.

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