SHALE TELLS STORIES THROUGH THE VOICE OF BASOTHO WOMEN

By: Tholoana Lesenya

Thakane Rethabile Shale is a Mosotho woman living in Lesotho. She grew up in Ts’ifa-li-Mali, Leribe raised by a single mother.” Growing up in a village where there was no electricity meant that I had no sources of entertainment like television so I used to read as my main form of entertainment”, said Shale. She developed the love of stories and storytelling from that. “I ended up studying law at the National University of Lesotho due to lack of career guidance but I always loved stories”, Shale stated.

She said that studying law turned out to be a good choice because with her love for stories and advocating for women’s rights especially the bodily autonomy, came in handy. Shale said, “So here I am, using my knowledge of the law and my love for stories to tell stories that advance women’s bodily autonomy”. Shale stated that Lipsticks and Scars Media is registered officially as Lipsticks and Scars Publishing but they are branching into different forms of media.

She said that they are a company that is focused on telling Basotho stories through the eyes and voices of other Basotho. “Like I said, I grew up reading books and I have always seen that a lot of our stories are told by people other than ourselves and this distorts the narrative of us in mainstream media”, said Shale.  She stated that a person’s story is essentially who they are and it is something that they should take ownership of themselves. Shale pointed out that  Lipsticks and Scars has been in existence for 2 years and during that time they have told stories that matter and this year they are going to be bringing more stories that seek to reinforce a narrative about Basotho that says ; ‘we are capable, we are here and we are triumphant’.

Shale highlighted that they tell stories and their main aim has always been advancing the narrative of women, especially Basotho women but they also tell stories of Basotho men as well, in fact they have a project in the pipeline that focuses exclusively on one Mosotho man (details to be announced later). “Our underlying message is that Basotho at all times should own their narrative”, Shale said. In conclusion, Shale said that when they started they were focused on books but they have come to learn that there are other ways of telling stories which they will be branching more and more into; digital and online forms of storytelling. “The whole world is moving towards digital and technology based media so we definitely have to move in that direction as well”, Shale sealed.

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