Moses Seletiša doubly contemplates his acceptance of an invitation from then-president Kgalema Motlanthe to perform at the official launch of his foundation as both his proudest moment and biggest mistake. It is ill-advised for an artist, he opines, to declare one’s political affiliations publicly. The Sepedi performance poet and author hails from Ga-Matlala ‘a Rakgoadi in rural Limpopo, and boasts a burgeoning career seemingly unencumbered by his perceived faux pas. His poem Mahlalerwa earned him a Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award in 2017, the first recipient writing in a language other than English or Afrikaans. He penned Tšhutšhumakgala, a Sepedi biography of struggle stalwart Tlokwe Maserumule, which earned him a South African Literary Award, and Ke Hwa Natšo, a short play about honouring one’s oaths. Seletiša has also received recognition from the National Heritage Council of South Africa and mentors young authors seeking literary guidance.
I accept that failure will always be present through my journey, but it is how I respond to it that will determine whether it is a learning opportunity.