An intimate crowd gathered in the courtyard of Sol Plaatje University on Friday evening, seated on cushions on the ground, attentively listening to the gentle readings of author, Wame Molefhe, from her book of short stories, “Go Tell the Sun”.
Hailing proudly from the landlocked country, Botswana, Wame has reclaimed what is rightfully hers by recently republishing her book. “My book was first published in 2011, so this is the second edition. I decided to republish my book because it is about time that I make it my mission to ensure that the wealth I accumulate actually comes to me.”
The book which consists of ten short stories all centred around the lead character, Sethunya, takes us through varying scenarios that women find themselves in on a daily basis. The title of the book stems from her belief that the best way to let your secrets is to literally tell it to the sun, “I write about what I know, and what I know is my birthplace – Botswana. I know that Botswana is dry and hot. The only thing we can really trust is the sun, as it is always there. Sometimes we cannot tell our secrets to people but holding onto them can also destroy. The sun is a safe place”.
The book tackles topics still considered rather taboo in Botswana specifically. Homosexuality being the main one. She unpacks a story of two female lovers who cannot be together because of the fear of going to jail. She was led to the topic by mere observations of the realities surrounding her, “I don’t understand the hypocrisy surrounding homosexuality in Botswana. I cannot also describe the emotions I went through writing the book, but I had to take a closer look at society and consciously observe and question the norms that we have grown up in”.
Wame believes in exploring outside of ones’ norms and comforts. Her advice to young readers and writers is to go out there and read, and to go out there and write, “Just read. Read what you don’t like, this will lead to a different understanding of yourself and then, you just write.”