Read Women Write 2014/15: Book 21: Wame Molefhe: Go Tell the Sun

Wame Molefhe, Go Tell the Sun, Modjaji books, Botswana, fiction

The past few weeks for me have been manic – work has been crazy, my personal life has been busy, and there just hasn’t seemed to be enough time for me to write or read much. So, instinctively, I sought out a collection of short stories because I knew I’d have the chance to squeeze them in on the train to work, or in the morning with my coffee.

I was aiming for light interactions with fictional friends, but Wame Molefhe was somehow able to transport you right into the heart of a character and get you to feel so much for them in only a few pages. All the stories are set in Botswana, and some share characters which I found really interesting as a technique. It allowed you to get perspective that would have been difficult to sustain in a longer text.

In ten short stories she covers sexuality, HIV/AIDS, death, family struggles, love, heartache and passion. No topic is taboo and each one is addressed with skill and compassion. The characters are allowed the flaws and complexity of real people, which makes them all the more convincing. They are just humans, often trying to do the best they can to get through life.

And that’s all there is, isn’t there – doing your best to work through the obstacles that life presents you with, to achieve the things you want to, with the least harm possible? We don’t know what life is going to throw at us, and sometimes it’s simply not fair, but that doesn’t mean we have the option to ignore it. We must live, and Go Tell the Sun gives us a glimpse of the beauty and pain of that.