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Final-year student Pens breakthrough novel

NEW NOVELIST: Author Abotseng

Despite his hectic academic schedule, a final-year Baisago University student has still found time to write and publish a book.

The impressive Tumelo Abotseng, a 28-year-old scholar on the verge of completing his Law and Public Administration Bachelors Degree, chose a Setswana proverb for the title of his debut novel.

The Lesenepole native is the proud author of ‘Tlhapi Solofela Leraga metsi a tshele o a lebile’, which he explains translates as ‘The fish must prepare for uncertainty as the river dries up.

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Launching his book at Thapama Hotel in Francistown last Thursday, Abotseng explained the novel is divided into five chapters, each focusing on a particular life challenge to be overcome.

“It is important for an individual to continue going forward regardless of the obstacles facing them,” stressed the first-time novelist.

Outlining why he shunned English to pen the book in Setswana, the well-spoken wordsmith said, “To revive and promote Setswana, as it is our native language, instead of limiting ourselves to speaking one language.”

Like the fictional characters in his book, Abotseng had to overcome several hurdles to see ‘Tlhapi Solofela Leraga metsi a tshele o a lebile’ through to fruition.

“In the quest of fulfilling my book dream, there were challenges that I faced like lack of time since I am a full-time student, difficulty in publishing the book online, and finding a viable proofreader,” he revealed, citing piracy as another major threat facing self-published writers.

“Despite the setbacks, I never gave up; God’s guidance was present to help me achieve my goal of publishing this book,” said Abotseng, who hopes to have his maiden literary effort adopted by the Ministry of Education, Skills, and Development.

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The book is currently available at both Exclusive Books in Gaborone and Francistown Book Store and retails for P130.

As well as the man of the moment, the launch was attended by various speakers, including veteran teacher, Jeremiah Dikgang, who gave an insightful word of encouragement, Lesedi Mankwe, a Media Studies graduate from UB who spoke in-depth about nurturing creativity, and numerous Baisago representatives.

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