FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sankomota is an important band in the musical memory of many Africans. Finally, a book celebrating and chronicling the details, circumstances and the lyrics of their first album recorded in 1983, has been published by debutant author Phehello J Mofokeng. Launched at the Northern Cape Writers’ Festival in October 2018, Mofokeng’s Sankomota – An Ode in One Album: A Reflective Essay is an important book, but one that only scratches the surface of a long musical history of the region. Mofokeng’s work is passionate, sincere and honest. It is also useful to the revelers of Sankomota in its delineation of lyrics, historical background and excavation of meaning. This book is a revelation of the musical intentions of a band that way ahead of its time and ahead of its peers. The book launch was accompanied by a 9-piece live band and it was a fitting and festive celebration of this truly unique and important band.
“Sankomota: An Ode in One Album – A Reflective Essay is the result of many years of research and obsession about the music and band of Sankomota. The book is a slim offering that offers insights into the first album ever recorded in Lesotho, Sankomota by the band Sankomota. Recorded in 1983, this album became an instant classic.”
Through his interwoven narrative that goes from pseudo-scholarship to delineation of Sankomota’s intense use of language, Mofokeng’s essay touches on mythology, performance, language and politics of this important band that was at the frontier of anti-apartheid and freedom music. In this essay Mofokeng attempts to paint a broad image of the musical landscape of the time and unveil the musical obsessions of Sankomota. By the author’s admission, ‘this book is not definitive, but it is a worthwhile addition to the body of literature and to an ethno-musical understanding of SA’s musical history.’
“I think it is impossible to write a complete book on a titanic band such as Sankomota. ‘An Ode in One Album’ is important, but it is still only introductory. I hope it will open the gates to a broader discussion and deeper understanding of our history, but from a musical point of view,” said Mofokeng.
An Ode in One Album analyses the first album of Sankomota, a body of work that Mofokeng calls “seminal” and a “classic”. Mofokeng said that the book sought to set aside a few myths about Sankomota, including the intricate association of Sankomota to Ts’epo Ts’ola and the possibility that this was the first album ever recorded in Lesotho. By untangling the deep language used by the band in this first album, Mofokeng offers a fresh perspective on one of the most underrated and under-appreciated music icons of the continent. This book places Sankomota – the band and the album – on the musical timeline and somewhere close to the apex of musical contributions. An Ode in One Album also offers a more approximate location and placement of Sankomota in musical canon. Unpretentious, clear and concise,
Tshireletso Motlogelwa, Editor at The Business Weekly & Review Botswana says about the book: “Mofokeng approaches the life and music of his compatriots and one of southern Africa’s iconic groups Sakomonta with a familiarity and vividness of accounts, only an articulate connoisseur of our region’s music can muster. He writes with a language and spirit that is non-pretentious and convivial in equal measure.
This is Mofokeng’s first foray into writing. Over the past ten years, he has been publishing many outstanding authors in English and an assortment of indigenious languages; including the award-winning Sabata-mpho Mokae. Mofokeng is also the publisher of Marikana: A Moment in Time, edited by Raphael d’Abdon.
Sankomota – An Ode in One Album: A Reflective Essay is available at African Flavour Books, Bridge Books and selected Exclusive Books stores nationwide.
The book can also be ordered here www.gekopublishing.co.za
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sankomota: An Ode in One Album – A Reflective Essay is Mofokeng’s first published book. Phehello Mofokeng is a multi-dimensional artist with over 10-years publishing and media experience. He is an organizing committee member of Franschoek Literary Festival. He is an MA student at Wits University and a regular speaker at literary events in South Africa and in SADC. Outside of publishing, Mofokeng has written and consulted on some of South Africa’s successful television dramas and cultural programs; including Isibaya, Isithembiso and Curious Culture. Mofokeng is working on a Sesotho novella to be released in 2019.
Geko Publishing is a black-owned independent publisher owned. Geko Publishing has long been recognised for publishing cutting-edge literature that is relevant to modern South Africa. In a period spanning over a decade, the company has published South African (English and vernacular) literature including fiction, poetry and biographies by some of the country’s multi-award winning writers and academics.
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
Vuyo Seripe is a multi-talented writer who enjoys working with all things digital. She has written content for multiple clients who have commended her for being tenacious and creative. She started writing 8 years ago under the mentorship of award-winning writer, Andrew Miller (Dubstep, Jacana 2015). She has since written for online publications and print publications on various topics about emerging urban cultures, social ills and the development of the digital landscape. Seripe is currently based in Cape Town where she raises her children. She is the Editor for Object Mag, she is working on her first novel and she is a Kids’ Yoga Teacher.