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Soldier hits authoring bull’s eye


…tops digital store sales for his novel

Chris Theko

International author and Lesotho Defence Force pilot, Private Bothata Kennedy Silase has reached a milestone with his thrilling novel ‘The Recoil’ which has sold over 10 000 copies on the largest online store Amazon. 

The feat has placed the book amongst some of the best sellers worldwide. This after the renowned author was awarded the Mulher Forte African literature 2021 award for Best Novelist at an event held in Botswana. 

The 31-year-old Silase who identifies as an international author, a ghost-writer and speech-writer, orator and a Pan-Africanist, also took part in the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Competition where he represented Lesotho. 

Expressing his delight and gratitude in an interview with Newsday Arts this week, Silase said although he had put his all into producing a masterpiece of literary art, he did not exactly expect the book to do so well especially in the international market platforms. 

“I am overly excited because when I wrote the book I had no idea that it would reach this milestone. I still cannot believe the reception it has been getting especially from the international readers. But now I expect it to do more than it has at the moment because the interest is growing more rapidly now because of recommendations,” said Silase noted.

He said the success of the book prompted him to write a follow up titled ‘The Recoil – The Haunting past’ which was sequel launched in October 2021 at an event which was attended by some big names such as Kenyan lawyer and orator Professor Patrick Lumumba as well as army Commander Lieutenant-General Mojalefa Letsoela.

The Recoil which was released in 2019, was the author’s first novel and he has said he would not be publishing anymore novels after the follow-up title, saying from now on he will be focusing his energy on writing memoirs. 

“My focus now is going to be on biographies and memoirs so I don’t have any plans of another novel any time soon. Maybe going forward the desire and inspiration will come but for now, there is nothing I am working on as far as another novel,” he said. 

The book traces the life of Masilo Mokoena, one of the best intellectuals in Lesotho who enrolled at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) to read for a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Unfortunately, he succumbed to peer pressure, failed the first year of his BSc Computer Science course and ended up committing a series of crimes.

He then decided to join the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) when he lost his funding to attend the University, and he passed the vetting process of the army as his malicious acts had not come to light. The army was impressed with his meritorious service and he was subsequently sent to India to attend a cadet course. Upon his return from India, he was promoted from the rank of Private to that of Second Lieutenant, later on an investigation carried out revealed his previous crimes and impacted significantly on his life. According to him, the story is fiction which he says was however, influenced by some real life events he experienced during his university day at the NUL.

He is an alumnus of the NUL having read for a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science whence he graduated in 2013.

Among his work as far as writing memoirs, Silase has already penned a memoir dedicated to notable legal practitioner, businessman and politician, Advocate Makhetha Julius Motšoari, named ‘Against all odds’ and has worked on the biography about a renowned businessman, Martin Poulo, which he has named ‘The proof of the pudding.’

He is an active Lesotho Defence Force airman with over eight years of service.   

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