- Category: TOW 2013
Born in Atteridgeville, South Africa, in 1976, Kagiso Lesego Molope is a graduate in English Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Cape Town, where she studied with Andre Brink and Dorothy Driver.
Molope's first novel, Dancing in the Dust, was put on the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) list for 2006, making her the first Black South African to make the list. Her second novel, The Mending Season, set in South Africa in the early 1990s, was published in August 2005. Both books are read in schools across Southern Africa. In 2012, Molope published her third novel, This Book Betrays My Brother.
Globe and Mail acclaims her work as “cinematic in clarity. Molope makes her reader see and understand...feel the enormity of apartheid's atrocity.”
On her views around writing, Molope says: "I always hoped to read books that reflected my own reality in school but I never did. This is why, whenever I have the choice, I go with a publisher who works to bring my work into schools. I think sitting in a classroom discussing current events or experiences that you've had is very empowering; it makes you feel like you have a voice and gives you choices about how to deal with your realities. I would very much like to be someone who helps facilitate discussion. I'd rather have students saying: "I hate that book, the author is wrong", than think that they're not talking about the themes at all."
Previously a Human Rights Project Officer based in Canada, Molope has been involved in human rights advocacy, counseling and documentary film-making.
This Book Betrays My Brother, Oxford University Press, 2012
The Mending Season, Oxford University Press, 2005
Dancing in the Dust, TSAR, 2002; Oxford University Press, 2004