Leseli Mokhele is one of the outstanding short story writers in Southern Africa; he hails from Lesotho, and made his debut as a very good writer of fiction with the book, Home grown short stories.
The reader is struck with two things soon after being introduced to Mokhele’s work: his wide diction, and also his fertile imagination. The underworld, the sleazy, different types of women; desperate men – these are some of the themes in his short stories.
Then there is also the violence. A lot of this seems to go too far and a streak of sadism might well run through his work. The sweetness and dangers that go with women are well highlighted, including heartbreak and Aids. The stories are more in the line of the hard school of overseas thrillers. But the beauty is that the background is very much the black world of the locations, and the like.
That Mokhele is well read can be seen from his references to literature and literary giants in his fiction. Like Marechera, he pays tribute to his favourite writers directly and indirectly and spreads some enlightenment in the process.
Mokhele has published another book titled The Charismatic charlatan. It is also a collection of short stories; and the good news is that this book is available in many of the Free State libraries. Lovers of African fiction will do well to read Mokhele’s work.