Ga ke Modisa is an excellent Setswana novel set against the background of family relations, love, new money, corruption and politics. It is a South African modern story that casts light on the politics of a small town that is full of secrets, under-the-table dealings and how their exposure can unravel in the most unimagined ways. It is also a story of brevity against the raw, maddening power of political leadership.
Set in the town of Christiana in the North West, Ga ke Modisa delineates the story of two brothers bent to destroy each other’s lives with their good and bad intentions. The elder brother; Thebe Mothibi is a local mayor and he meets an Indian property developer who drags him into the terrible world of dirty money and corruption.
The younger brother is Otsile, as an outstanding journalist, eventually exposes his brother’s indiscretions. This leads to complications between the brothers and their family relationship. The elder brother eventually commits suicide albeit by mistake. Thebe’s star rises as a politician until he meets a greedy property developer and their luck – now intertwined by business relations – changes forever.
Nandi, the love interest of the two brothers, has a difficult choice to make. In the end, love wins, but it is not all roses and daisies. It is a story of the intrigues of politics, the mess of love, the dire straits of two brothers on the opposing sides of the moral spectrum. It is now prescribed texts in two South African universities. Ga ke Modisa won the last MNET Literary Awards for Setswana and Film in 2013. This was the last installment of the prestigious Award.
Sabata-mpho Mokae is a Creative Writing lecturer at Sol Plaatje University, a scholar of Sol Plaatje, a poet and a biographer. Ga ke Modisa is one of Geko’s classics. It won two MNET Literary Awards in 2013.