The BEAT editor, Johnny Masilela

Prose inspired by Shakespeare


Johnny Masilela   l   Views: 103

A gentle knock at the main door into the newsroom.

When the door creaked wide open, there he was, the young man with a goatie, clutching at a dog-eared manuscript.

Politely he asked for TK Mashaba by name, with the latter blushing at the stranger who chose him as the port of entry into the newsroom.

The two got talking for a brief moment, and then TK suggested the matter could be better handled by the editor.

The revolving chair was pushed next to the editor’s desk, and the young man and yours truly got talking.

For the past couple of months Kenneth Khoza has been writing an autobiography in long-hand.

The symbolism of it all is that in this age of smartphones, Kenneth’s circumstances forced him to work long-hand, such as was the environment for the greatest before him who include, among others, Casey Motsisi, Es’kia Mphahlele, Can Themba and Alan Paton.

Remember, Kenneth did not visit The BEAT to say he wanted to write like many others, he was ready with a complete manuscript, written long-hand, my foot!

For me as a pretender to creative prose, this was oh so poignant to the point where I had to share this with fellow author and socialite, Matome Sebelebele.

Matome was on his part blown away by this remarkable story, charging that there must be a way that he could nudge on the wannabe writer Kenneth.

I suggested to Matome that the immediate challenge was to photocopy the manuscript, so as to enter it in a literary competition sponsored by the Limpopo sports, arts and culture department.

Matome suggested we make contact with Bela-Bela mayoral acting spokesperson, David Raborolo, for whatever assistance could be offered.

Raborolo swiftly responded to my email, saying Mayor Jeremiah Ngobeni had been equally moved and offered a driver and vehicle for Kenneth, to personally drop off the book entry at the sports, arts and culture offices in Polokwane.

By Monday, 13 November, David and Kenneth were scheduled to touch base for purposes of photocopying and confirming the date for the dream trip to Polokwane.

One of the suggestions Matome and this editor bounced off with the mayor’s office, was that since  Kenneth had shone a light for the crying need out there, a workshop for wannabe writers be convened in due course.

This is something Matome and I are keen to facilitate.

As for Mayor Ngobeni’s generosity of spirit, we thank you, sir, for your understanding.

We hope that even if Kenneth does not win any of the lucrative prizes on offer, the fact that there are aspirant writers out there still working long-hand, someone’s conscience could be pricked among the ranks of the judging panel.

The youth across the Waterberg have so much to learn from this; meaning if you do things without resources, people who matter should take notice.

It does not help to sit back brooding that the leadership is doing nothing for you.       

Write to the Editor at or PO Box 16 Bela-Bela 0480.

5 months ago       16 November 2017