LOCAL poet and author, Sheila Khala, through her company Sheila the Eagle Productions, is set to unveil budding poet, Makhala Soaphe, with a debut anthology slated for the National Library on 6 December.
Born and bred in Mazenod in the outskirts of Maseru, the 19-year-old Soaphe’s anthology is titled Imaginations of a Young Girl.
An avid fan of poetry, Soaphe used to perform at her school, Likuena High School in Mohale’s Hoek, where she just wrote her COSC final exams. Her dream go further with her passion became a reality after meeting Khala.
Khala has authored such books as Formula-Leading Life to Perfection and My Pen is a Socialite. She has also featured in the anthology PoeTree, a compilation from poets who performed at Mangaung Cultural Festival last year.
Soaphe first knew about Sheila at a poetry competition the latter held in Mohale’s Hoek last year for high school students. Although they did not meet in person, Soaphe set out to find the renowned poet’s contact details and managed to secure a meeting.
“I visited a number of schools last year around the country in search for raw poetry talent,” Khala revealed this week.
“To be honest, I was not aware of Makhala at the time until she contacted me sometime in July this year and said she needed guidance with regards to the book she wanted to publish.”
At the time, Khala, was recovering from a car accident which took place when she was accompanying Bloemfontein poets who had graced her Poetry is Alive show in Mohale’s Hoek. Despite having earlier vowed to take a break until she had fully recovered from the injuries, she was compelled by Makhala’s evident talent to assist her.
“I was not planning to do any work as I was undergoing certain treatments for my recovery. But then, when I went through Makhala’s draft, I realised the potential within her,” said Khala.
“Her poems carry a very strong message that needs to be shared with the masses.
“I felt compelled to help her as publishing is a major challenge in this country. I started working on the book in August till early this month and it is a finished product ready for the market.”
Sheila also lauded Makhala for the initiative she took to seek assistance, adding that more young poets could have the same spirit.