Khala makes mark on poetry scene

khalaBy Mohalenyane Phakela

MASERU — As a poet, author and motivational speaker, Sheila Khala embodies a multi-talented streak.

Born and bred in Khubetsoana, 23-year-old Khala has made a mark on the poetry scene.

One of Lesotho’s best, Khala now increasingly perceived as one of the outstanding poets in southern Africa.

“I was raised like any typical Mosotho child going to school and stuff like that. I started writing poems during my high school days but only stepped into people’s view when I was titled Lesotho’s best poet in a competition hosted by Poetry Farm in 2007 when I was in Form E at Adventville High School.

“I was then offered the opportunity of joining Poetry Farm which I grabbed with both hands,” Khala told the Weekender on Monday.

Her creativity and passion for poetry gave her a huge recognition at Poetry Farm and landed her the opportunity of sharing the stage with the likes of Napo Masheane.

“The two years I spent at Poetry Farm were enough to nurture my talent and vision.

I then believed it was time I stood on my own feet. I then released my first anthology Formula ‘Leading life to Perfection at the age of 19,” she said.

A year later Khala enrolled in studies to pursue a certificate in statistics at the University of Free State (UOFS), something totally parallel to her passion.

It never stopped her from fulfilling her dream as she later on represented Lesotho in the Sadc (Southern African Development Community) poetry festival held in Botswana which saw the likes of renowned poet Tania Tome from Mozambique, among other famous poets in the Sadc region.

Her presence in South Africa was largely insignificant until she stole the show at the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State’s Vuka Festival which hosted the great Kgafela wa Mogogdi, putting her in the limelight.

“The rest of SA started to feel me as I stepped up the ladder. I was then called to perform in various shows around South Africa performing alongside people like Afurukan, Bonsai Shongwe and Sipho Mnyakeni.

“I drafted my experiences in my second book My Pen is a Socialite which was published last year,” she said.

Khala performed in a number of SA shows like MACUFE (Mangaung Arts and Cultural Festival) which landed her a lucrative deal with Bonsai Entertainment to be signed under them.

Earlier this year she thought it was time for her to come home and uplift local poets.

She made a name for herself by performing in local corporate events.

“I am now working with Ultimate FM in trying to extract the raw poetry talent in high schools around Lesotho.

“It is part of my vision of educating, motivating and inspiring students in the use of English language.”

“My third book (to be released later this year) will feature poems from those students. It will be called September: A special gift.”

Khala has recently started a poetry movement dubbed Poetry Is Alive which aims at resurrecting the poetry spirit in Lesotho and put the country’s poetry on the map.

She recently hosted a show that saw Mphutlane wa Bofelo and Hector Kunene grace local stages.


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