Meet Malebo Sephodi, a writer, and author of the book taking book clubs around the country by storm — Miss Behave. The book, commissioned by Blackbird Publisher Thabiso Mahlape, explores issues of power through the feminist lens of a black South African woman and what happens when a black woman chooses herself.
Malebo says she never imagined she’d be writing books, but from an early age she devoured books and loved words. Her parents encouraged her to pour her love of writing into short stories and it was then that Malebo the writer was born.
She says she wishes to see more books by black authors being used in South African schools. “It’s an affirmation to have knowledge produced by those who look like us. Representation is important.”
Malebo is already on her second book and wants to continue to keep the voice of the black woman alive. She says that to become a good writer you have to constantly write even if it is not for a big audience. “If you know you have a book inside of you, write it. And then if you can’t publish it, use the contents and share them with those closest to you. Start blogs. Crowdfund for your books to be published. Write, and make sure the writing is available for people to engage with,” she says.
I’m deliberate in using black women’s work because for many years, the voice of the black woman has been silenced. Young girls across the world need to know that they are enough and they do not have to fit into boxes that society prescribes for them.
The world is waiting to hear your story and Malebo is a testament to that. Contact her to get your hands on a copy of her exciting debut non-fiction book Miss Behave.