|Kabelo D. Kgatea|
|K. Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award|
| Mabinagotsholwa” Kabelo Duncan Kgatea, Mokwena Sechele Oo-Motswasele, Moanakwena wa Mminaphuti, was born on the 31st January 1961 at Madibogo village, Motsitlane section in the North West Province. He is the seventh child of Kgatea Tlamelo Michael Kgatea and Ncazana Lucy Thetyana wa ka Skhosana. His parents enrolled him at Motsitlane Bantu school in 1969. in 1975 he met Sekate Johannah Gaakgomo one of the multitalented teacher, who helped him to recognise and develop his talent as an actor and poet.His parents and grand parents were great story tellers, and that is where he inherited the culture of story creating, telling and sharing. And he was inspired to write by the life and history of a legendary writer Solomon Tshekisho Plaatjie (Sol Plaatjie), who became a court interpreter, author, translator, the editor of the first Setswana newspaper, a politician and nation builder without any formal education. Sol Plaatjie’s highest standard passed was standard 3. This was enough to convince Kabelo that, writers are born to create words of nation building and a mine worker from a poor disadvantaged background can also prove himself in the field of academics.Kabelo Duncan Kgatea comes from one of the poorest families in the country. He left school in 1976 after completing his high primary. Like an African boy he decided to work at the farms around Vryburg and Swaezerenneke from the age of sixteen to eighteen to provide for his family because he was too young to get a dompas (Identity document) or employment at the mines.
In April 1979 Kabelo managed to obtain his first identity document and joined Impala Platinum mines on a six months contract as stope lash. -Looking for greener pastures, Kabelo joined Anglo Platinum mines in Rustenburg in December 1979 and he was engaged in 1980. his father passed away in October 1979 and Kabelo become a new breadwinner. He took his three young sisters back to school and he started to study through a long distance colleges (Damelin and Lecyum) to upgrade his literacy level, and get his Junior and Senior Certificates while working underground. It was not easy for a young boy to work underground in those apartheid years, but his other name that is not mentioned in his identity document (Kafore) gave him courage. He was always reminded that he was a “Kaffer” and he realised that education was the only way to his freedom. Working with people from different countries who speak different languages inspired him to be proud of his language Setswana and to start expressing himself in his own language.
In 1999 Kabelo was recognised by the late Mike Mtakathi, after contributing to the company’s house magazines as a voluntary writer, and after winning his first Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature with his first youth novel, titled Njeng Manong fa ke sule (Devour me vultures when I am dead) he was also recognised and honoured by the first CEO of Anglo Platinum Mr, Barry Davison and was promoted from underground where he worked for twenty years to communication and since then he has been developed in Public Relations and communication. Thanks to the man who took him from underground were he worked as a single drum winch operator, Sandy Venter, and the support and mentorship of Peter van Dorssen, Daddy Moloane, Thandi Buthelezi and Thabisile Phumo
Today Kabelo has a Certificate in Basic Principles of Public Relations with PRISA (the centre for Public Relation and Communication) and has just completed his Public Relation Writing course at PRISA. He is now a Charted Public Relations Practitioner and he also has a Diploma in business Communication, a Certificate in Journalism and Media Studies, and a Certificate in comprehensive writing, Certificate in Sports Management and Administration. He has short courses on TV and radio drama presentation, speech and drama with Mmabana Cultural Centre, and a course on feature film writing with South African Script Writing Institute.
Kabelo Kgatea contributed a lot as main actor in different Anglo movies and he was featured in two SABC educational documentaries titled Mantswe a Bonono 1&2, and he is one of the founder members of the Anglo Platinum Radio. From 2008-2009 he was the Setswana editor of the abolished RPM newspaper titled Morongwa (The messenger)
Kabelo was invited by Dr Thomas van der Walt of the University of South Africa (UNISA) to speak to academics as a writer from the disadvantaged background at the first conference of the International Research for Children’s Literature in Africa held at Klein Kariba, near Belabela South Africa in 2000. He took that opportunity to introduce himself to academics from over thirty-one universities in the world.
After the conference Kabelo was invited to speak at two South African children’s Literature Conferences organised by the university of North West (Potchefstroom campus) were multilingualism is promoted. In 2003 he presented a paper in Setswana for the first time in an international children’s literature conference held at the same university.
Weeks after the first NEPAD meeting held in Senegal in 2002, Kabelo Kgatea was invited by the Senegalese government to help in their literature transformation from French to English and promote African literature. He always visited schools and organise writers and teachers workshops in the Senegalese capital city. And gave a talk at a day dedicated to South African Literature at the International Dakar Book fair.
He conducts workshops for juvenile prisoners in the North West Province on comprehensive writing and promoting the culture of reading. And also donate his books to the prison libraries. He visit schools and as a motivational speaker to encourage young people to do something good with their lives.
Kabelo translated two of Minnie Postman’s books (In the beginning and Mosoeunyana the yellow girl) from English to Setswana. He is the co-researcher, co-presenter and co-author with Professor David Dickinson of Wits University and their work was published by African Journal of AIDS Research (Accredited by the International Bureaux of social sciences) and the first year medical students at Wits University are reading this work.
Kabelo was inspired to write by the life and history of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatjie. On the 25-27 February 2010 he was invited by the Northern Cape government to visit school in Kimberley and talk about his writing at the book fair.
He was invited by Sabata-Mpho Mokae to visit Sol Plaatjie’s (his role model) house which in now converted into a library and museum, and he was happy to visit Sol Plaatjie’s statue and Sol Plaatjie’s grave to pay his respect to the man who inspired him to write regardless of his academic background
Kabelo have written fourteen Setswana radio dramas broadcasted by SABC radios in his name. He has written eight books published by different South African publishers. His poems, stage play and short stories are included in 4 anthologies. He has won seven literary awards, and four of his books are prescribed for grade 12 nationally. This man of many talents is also a bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Rustenburg.
His published books:
His work included in the following published anthologies:
His unpublished books 1. Ngwana wa dikgomo
His broadcasted thirty minutes radio plays
Main actor in the following industrial films:
His Literary awards 1. Njeng Manong fa ke sule
Mayor South African Awards