One of the leading local authors, Lauri Kubuitsile has won yet another prize. Kubuitsile won first prize for her story, Lorato and Her Wire car in the annual Baobab Prize. The prize is designed to encourage the writing of African literature for young readers.
According to the organisers of the prize, it has been birthed from a recognition of dearth of fictional African literature that focuses on the youth and encourages them to explore and develop an interest and pride in the African continent.
"I am quite excited about this prize. I am really trying to improve my writing for children - and somehow I seem to be drifting in that direction," said the Mahalapye-based author in an interview with Showbiz.
Lorato and Her Wire Car was competing in the 8-11 year-old readers' category with other stories namely, Good in the World by Marion Drew (South Africa), The Story of My Life, Fiona Moola (South Africa), Abena and the Corn Seed by Vivian Amanor (Ghana), and Live and Let Live by Jenny Robson (South Africa). Robson used to be based in Botswana and her works are well-known locally.
Lorato and Her Wire Car is a nicely crafted story about a young tomboyish or rather assertive girl called Lorato who sets out to show her male counterparts that she is a force to be reckoned with by making a beautiful wire car. Her nemesis is none other than Motshereganye who taunts her: "Look at that! Whoever heard of a girl playing with cars?"But the determined girl is not deterred by the rude remarks that she gets and continues to impress. The equally determined Motshereganye soon 'dethrones' Lorato by making a wire car that can light and he becomes the envy of everyone.
The girl spends a few days sulking because her family's financial status does not allow her to buy the things that can make her car light too. In a surprising turn of events, Motshereganye offers Lorato an olive branch and the two bury the hatchet and start working together to improvise their cars. The gist of the matter is: lights or no lights Lorato is the best 'car-maker' in her village.Kubuitsile revealed that she is currently working on two more children's books, which she hopes would equally be successful.
"So as you can see, I am slowly drifting towards writing more for children. This prize means a lot to me as it tells me that I am doing something right. For me, prizes are always about that, a reaffirmation that you are on a correct path," said the award-winning author.
Kubuitsile's other story, Birthday Wishes was short- listed for the 12-15 year-old category, but the ultimate prize went to the Zimbabwean, Ivor Hartman for the story Mr Goop.
The author, who until recently used to be based in Lecheng, has recieved many awards under her belt.
In 2007, she was chosen Author of the Year in the Orange/ Botswerere Artists of the Year competition.
In another development in the literary world, the long awaited anthology of short-stories by Batswana writers has been published by Botsalano Press.
The book titled Green Lemon Tea and Other Stories was sponsored by the British Council and Alexander McCall-Smith.