Ghanzi: The spirit of folklore story telling which has dwindled has compelled a 42-year-old man of Kanye to write a short story book.
Gaopotlake Duncan Mongwaketse has produced a fiction book titled A Clean Escape, which is based on a home set-up and also influenced by the experience.
Written for standard six and seven pupils, the book is set in Kanye where the author comes from. It is based on a home and the way of living in the normal rural setting and adventurous stories about children and their daily escapes.
“As you may be aware, children are an adventurous lot and they like to try things -- even dangerous ones,” Mongwaketse said. “So the short stories in the book are all about that.”
Kago and Kabo, some of the characters in A Clean Escape, absconded from school and embarked on a hill-climbing journey. The trip gets to be more dangerous than they had thought as they meet a witchdoctor, come face to face with a python but some-how they manage to escape.
A Clean Escape is also the story of how people can change their behaviour – or perceptions about themselves -- from bad to good; and how enemies can be reconciled to become friends.
There is Thato who bullied Thabo and Kago but the two sides reconciled. There is Keankga, a feared witchdoctor who is later converted to become a man of God.
Mongwaketse said he decided to write the book when he realised that many Batswana read literature from other countries, which may not be relevant to the Botswana culture.
He said he had been writing short stories since he was a standard four pupil. His other works include an anthology of poems. He also said he was working on another short story book, which would have the same characters but set in Ghanzi.
A Clean Escape is published by Jaboyonko Publishers and was first published in 2015. from the Angolan highlands over 18 weeks using mekoro.