W  H  A  T     I  S     I  T?

Geko Mofolo Prize for Outstanding Fiction in Sesotho is an annual prize for publishing an original Sesotho fiction manuscript.

Geko Prize for Fiction in Sesotho is an annual literature prize for outstanding Sesotho fiction manuscript.


Geko Mofolo Prize for Outstanding Fiction in Sesotho opens on 1 April every year. The Prize accepts manuscripts from all over the world – for fiction written in all Sesotho dialects and orthographies.


The Geko Mofolo Prize is intended to re-ignite interest and efforts in the reading and writing of new, imaginative, outstanding and original fiction in Sesotho in the new and modern age.


The prize is administered and awarded in South Africa. The prize submissions are open to all Basotho in the continent and in the diaspora. The work can be about any subject, theme or story.

W   H   Y      T   H   I   S      P   R   I   Z   E  ?

Walking in the footsteps of the Sesotho pioneer and literary giant that is Thomas Mofolo.

The Prize is intended to ignite interest and efforts in the writing of new, imaginative and original fiction writing in Sesotho in the new and modern age. The prize is administered and awarded in South Africa. The prize submissions are open to all Basotho in the continent and in the diaspora.

The Prize – named after the foremost pioneer and author of Sesotho, Thomas Mokopu Mofolo – opens at the end of March and closes in July of every year. The winner is announced on 8 September every year. The great Thomas Mofolo passed away on September 8, 1948. He was born on 22 December 1876, in Khojane, Leribe, Lesotho.

About Thomas Mokopu Mofolo

Thomas Mokopu Mofolo was born on 22 December 1876 in Khojane, Leribe, Lesotho. He passed away on 8 September 1948. He remains the greatest Basotho author of fiction.

Thomas Mofolo's Work

Mofolo was an accomplished author – and the first Mosotho to write a full-length novel in Sesotho. In 1907, he wrote Moeti oa Bochabela and in 1910, he wrote Pitseng. It was his Chaka (1925), that put him on the map. Chaka remains Mofolo’s best work, and a canon of African literature.
The library at the National University of Lesotho is named the Thomas Mofolo Library in his honour.

Judges & Trustees

Our judging panel is made up of academics, experts and enthusiasts of Sesotho language.
Phehello J Mofokeng
Phehello J Mofokeng
Inaugural Chair, Geko Mofolo Prize
Makashane Ntlhabo
Makashane Ntlhabo
Patron & Trustee
Tebogo Mofokeng
Tebogo Mofokeng
Patron & Trustee
Mathe Ntšekhe
Mathe Ntšekhe
Patron & Trustee
Otsile Matlou
Otsile Matlou
Patron & Trustee
How do I submit my manuscript?

All Basotho who are aspiring to be authors, or who are already authors, are encouraged to submit original, outstanding fiction manuscripts written in their version, dialect or orthography of Sesotho. Submission can be done via this website, or by sending a full manuscript to mofoloprize@gekopublishing.co.za

Selecting manuscripts for the longlist

The closing date for the submissions is July 31. After this date, all manuscripts are collected, counted and read. A longlist is then compiled by the judges and patrons of the Prize; and published on this website. The longlisted authors will be informed. This process takes place in July/August.

Selecting the final shortlist for the prize

The judges and patrons of the Prize will consider the longlisted manuscripts, with the aim to come to a shortlist. The shortlist will be released. It is from this shortlist that the winning manuscript, to be awarded the Prize and published by Geko Publishing will be announced in September.

Announcing the winning manuscript

The winning manuscript is decided by common consensus or by a vote. The Chair and the judges/patrons will give opinions on the winning script. The winner is announced on 8 September. Shortly thereafter, the publishing process of the winning manuscript begins through Geko Publishing.

W  H  O     C  A  N     E   N   T   E   R?

Almost anyone can enter and submit a manuscript!

The Prize is open to Basotho authors and writers, wherever they are in the world – as long as they can write outstandingly in Sesotho. There is no fee to enter or submit a manuscript and more than one manuscript from the same author is allowed. There is no age limit to submit for the Prize.

About the manuscript

Only manuscripts written in Sesotho will be considered. The work must be original – not a translation, transcreation or adaptation of existing work or canon. The manuscript must be a minimum of 25 000 words (there is no maximum length); written in any dialect, or orthography of Sesotho and can originate from anywhere in the world.

The winning submission

The winning manuscript will get a full publishing contract from Geko Publishing (Pty) Ltd. The resultant book will be marketed, distributed and sold by Geko Publishing and it’s trade partners. The judges panel will decide on secondary and subsidiary prizes to be awarded to the winning author. The judges’ and patrons’ decision is final and cannot be changed.

Mofolo’s left Basotho unimaginable treasure in the form of his three canonical novels: Pitseng (1907), Moeti oa Bochabela(1910), and Chaka (1925).

It was Mofolo’s Chaka (1925), that created Mofolo’s myth of orature. Under Mofolo’s pen, the eventful career of Chaka (Shaka) becomes the epic tragedy of a heroic figure whose overweening ambition drives him to insane cruelty and ultimate ruin. The earliest major contribution of black Africa to the corpus of modern world literature, Chaka is a genuine masterpiece; the narrative follows the austere curve of growth and decline which controls the structure of classic tragedy at its best; psychological motivation is sharply clarified at all points; and the author has cleverly manipulated the supernatural element, which is endowed with true symbolic value.

The year
Mofolo was born
Mofolo's first book
is published

Message from inaugural Chair of the Geko Mofolo Prize

Thomas Mokopu Mofolo is the pioneer of Sesotho literature. We are the sons and daughters of his shining light. This light was derailed by the unfortunate emphasis on English as a ‘language of identity formation’ in African literature.

Geko Mofolo Prize ke moputsonyana feela oo e leng e nngwe ya ditsela tsa ho kgothalletsa bongodi ba Sesotho mehleng ena ya ha jwale. Ke boiteko ba Basotho ba ho kgutlela mokgubung wa bongodi le bobadi ba rona bo thonngwe ke mosupatsela Mofolo. Ke lakaletsa Basotho bohle – bangodi le ba itekang – mahlohonolo sekgeleng sena se thakgohang lemong sena. Re tla re ke dipitsi, ra be re bone ka mebala.

Dikgomo bana ba Rammoloki!


Phehello J Mofokeng