SPU’s Creative Writing students published in national journal

Sol Plaatje University (SPU) has once again made waves in the publishing world. Two of our Creative Writing students were notified earlier this month that their poems have been published in the renowned Calabash journal.

Oratile Bodigelo and Tsholofelo Lekwene join the ranks of some of the reputable writers of our time as their respective poems titled “The stars are my only witness” and “Black pearl” received praise from industry creatives, and inclusion in the journal.

An initiative of the National Writers Association of South Africa (NWASA), the Calabash creates a platform for writers, art designers and creatives from all walks of life to share their works on the pages of the magazine. Bodigelo and Lekwene were in their second year at the time of writing their poems and are now in their third year in 2023. The poems were initially submitted as part of their class assignments during the first semester of 2022.

SPU Creative Writing lecturer and acclaimed novelist Mr Sabata Mokae welcomed this momentous achievement and lauded the students for breaking boundaries. “This is huge because they are published alongside seasoned writers who have been writing for decades. This heralds the beginning of their journeys as published writers.”

Mr Mokae further signified the importance of this milestone and what it means for the careers of the students if they were to pursue postgraduate studies. “For them to be admitted to a postgraduate creative writing programme’s Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) or Masters of Arts (MA), they need to have portfolios and getting published is how one creates a portfolio.”

Mr Mokae has described the two poets as rising stars: “Tsholofelo Lekwene and Oratile Bodigelo are promising students; they have a bright future ahead of them. They put a lot of effort into the craft. The summer edition of the Calabash journal has seen the student’s work published alongside Sandile Memela, Bade Fuwa, Aaliyah Kara, Abigail George and Raphael d’Abdon, among others,” he explained.

Mr Mokae says this achievement serves as a moral boost for aspirant writers who are still in their undergraduate writing programme. “The ability to produce students whose work can stand its ground in the community of written works outside the confines of our institution makes us very proud as the Creative Writing unit of the Department of Languages and Communications.”

Click here to read the current issue of Calabash that contains the two poems.

Written by 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *