MOU with LOLA (2022)

Petlo has partnered with LOLA, a South African non-profit organisation founded in 2012, to develop creative projects that promote Tswana culture in Botswana and South Africa. The first project is a documentary on Sechele I. LOLA was established to raise the plight of the poor through development and promotion of arts, culture tourism, agriculture &Agro-processing as well as heritage within the Republic of South Africa.


Petlo partnered with Botswana Open University (BOU) to pursue avenues for training members of the community in creative writing, as well as taking Petlwana Journal further in Botswana and across SADC. Stay tuned for more!


The THC Foundation partnered with Petlo Literary Arts, with the support of Stanbic Bank, to produce a compilation of creative works on the themes of GBV (gender based violence). The THC Foundation is a non-profit founded in 2012 to support women and children affected by GBV.

24 stories, poems and plays were developed during a two-day workshop at the Cresta President Hotel in Gaborone. The workshop was facilitated by GBV experts from the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, Men and Boys for Gender Equality and Kagisano Women’s Shelter, as well as creative writing specialists Barolong Seboni (poems), Douglas Newell (plays) and Cheryl S. Ntumy (short stories).

The compilation, titled The Devil You Know, was edited by Barolong Seboni and published in 2017, with a foreword by Lt. General THC Masire, Chairperson of the THC Foundation.


Petlo Literary Arts partnered with the Swedish magazine Karavan to host a workshop for poets and writers. The workshop comprised a three-day tour of Molopolole, Kanye and Manyana. The speakers included: Marie Silkeberg (poet, lecturer and journalist), Moroka Moreri (traditional poet, teacher and journalist), Wame Molefhe (writer), Daniel Boyacioglu (poet, writer and musician), Eric Falk (writer and lecturer), Mbali Kgosidintsi (poet, scriptwriter and actress), Birgitta Wallin (writer and editor of Karavan) and Barolong Seboni.

The result of the workshop was the book Writing Between Languages: A poetic conversation between Sweden and Botswana.


Petlo Literary Arts hosted a workshop titled “Writing, Directing and Performing a One-Person, One-Act Play”, sponsored by Investec. The 5-day workshop took place between the 22 and 26 February 2012 at the Oasis Motel, Gaborone. Writers worked with actors to write, develop and rehearse a one-act play based on prominent female figures in Botswana’s history. The ultimate aim was to produce a complete manuscript of one-act plays for possible publication.

The workshop was facilitated by Cape Town-based actress, writer and director Mbali Kgosidintsi, and Joburg-based Jessica Lejowa. They used the five-day period to teach the participants the basic skills required to create, write, direct and act in a one-act, one-woman play.

Mbali Kgosidintsi began facilitating and conducting workshops in 2005. Her self written one-woman show Tseleng: The Baggage of Bags was nominated for a Standard Bank Ovation award at the National Arts Festival 2010. At the end of 2008, she was awarded a writing residency on Sylt Island in North Germany where she worked on her auto-biographical novel with the working title Ntokozo: Happiness is…

Jessica Lejowa is a writer and actress. She wrote the play Century’s Black Apex in 2001. In 2008 she was awarded the Creative Research in Dramatic Art Prize from the University of the Witwatersrand. She was also involved in various projects, such as the Global Partnership for Activism and Cross-Cultural Training and the 1in9 anti-rape campaign in 2007.    


The Literary Arts Association of Botswana partnered with Petlo to deliver a creative writing workshop for aspiring writers in Botswana.


Petlo Literary Arts held a two-day workshop for media practitioners on 10th and 11th February 2011 at Falcon Crest Suites, Gaborone. The theme of the workshop was “Reporting on culture, tourism and the performing and literary arts”. The purpose of the workshop was to train journalists and sharpen their skills in reporting on artistic and cultural events, tourism, travel writing, reviewing books and musical concerts. The workshop was open to journalists, cultural practitioners, tourism marketers, freelance writers, editors of newspapers and media studies students.


In 2009, Barolong Seboni founded a group called the Petlo Literary Artists, comprised of young aspiring writers in Botswana. The writers were a mix of graduates and students from the University of Botswana and met every Sunday to share their work, develop their writing skills and plan group activities. The original members were: Sidiapelo Babish, Refilwe Ferguson, Baboki Kayawe, Pontsho Kodisa, Gothataone Moeng, Cheryl Ntumy, Sharon Tshipa and Lesego Gaotlhobogwe.

The first major work developed by the group was the play Sechele I, which was developed over the course of several months in 2009/2010. It began with extensive research, discussions and outlines, followed by a workshop. The members who wrote the play were: Sidiapelo Babish, Baboki Kayawe, Pontsho Kodisa, Gothataone Moeng, Cheryl Ntumy and Sharon Tshipa.

Editor Barolong Seboni with two members of the Petlo Literary Artists, Cheryl S. Ntumy and Sharon Tshipa, at the launch of the play Sechele I. (2011)
Barolong Seboni with Kgosi Sechele III of the Bakwena and Prof. B. Chilisa of the University of Botswana, who was also launching her book on indigenous research. (2011)


The Petlo Literary Artists embarked on a two-day workshop at Camel’s Inn Lodge in Mmopane to develop a play inspired by Queen Gagoangwe, a wife, daughter, mother and sister of kings and the daughter of Sechele I.

Over the years, the Petlo Literary Artists grew to include Itumeleng Botlhoko, Dudu Lecoge, Neelo Lentebanye, Patience Majasi, Mmathapelo Marumo, Phio Marumo, Bono Mmusi, Pearl Moagi, Lucky Modise, Gaamangwe Joy Mogami, Phodiso Montshiwa, Kibo Ngowi, Daphne Phama, Thelma Seitshiro, Snowy Tonoko, Tlotlo Tsamaase and Chaika Willie.

Since its inception, Petlo Literary Arts has continued to support and mentor young writers in Botswana. While the dates and venues of their meetings have changed, the legacy lives on!

To get a glimpse of the pioneering Petlo Literary Artists, visit the old Petlo Literary Artists blog here. To check out the activities of the next generation of Petlo Literary Artists, visit their Facebook page here.

The Petlo Literary Artists at a writing workshop. (2013)
Petlo Literary Artists at one of their weekend sessions at Oasis Motel. (2015)