Writer wants different narrative on women


By Neo Kolane

Nascent writer Thakane Rethabile Shale (29) is working on changing the perspective of how women are portrayed. She believes a positive reflection of women is not being told, leading to people relaying the popular and mistaken image of women as angry, sassy and struggling.

Born and bred at Tśifa-li-Mali in Hlotse, Thakane is a lawyer, writer owner of Lipsticks and Scars Publishing House.

Thakane told theReporter on Wednesday that the dream of owning a publishing has been pestering her since 2008, but it only came to fruition in 2020.


“Black women work hard, are innovative, smart and funny but these are the stories not being told about us. Lipsticks and Scars is different from other publishing houses because I am young and my narrative is different from others. I look at things from a millennial perspective.

“I want to give my writers more control because traditionally, a publisher dictates terms the moment the writer hands in their manuscript, but instead I want my writers to be in control of their narratives. I don’t publish any book that comes my way; I want to advance a narrative about black women and children. I want women to be represented in books. If you look at Tyler Perry’s stories, they portray women as always struggling, and I am tired of that narrative,” she pointed out.

As for her soon to be published children’s book called ‘Keratiloe’ by Reathabile Ntereke, she says it will allow children to relate more to Sesotho princesses and queens instead of western princess, like Princess Sofia, for example.

Thakane only got published for the first time when a local newspaper printed her article. 

“I am a beginner and I would say I have no competition because my narrative is different. My vision is to tell black women’s stories. I will not publish anything that portrays women as if they are not in control. I will also venture into men at a later stage. I am against the patriarchal system.”

Thakane looks up to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, because she breaks barriers; she is judge but she speaks her mind.

“I choose a story I can stand by, I cannot put my name on something I don’t believe in,” she stated.

Thakane’s first published book, ‘Tales of a barren woman’ that is authored by Lineo Matlakala, will be launched on October 30 at Mahlakapese Guesthouse at Hlotse.


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