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Spotlight: Donald Molosi

Spotlight: Donald Molosi

Spotlight is a monthly series showcasing work by a member (or member emeritus) of Jalada Africa. Each month, we explore poetry, fiction, nonfiction, photo/video essays, comics, films: it could be anything, as long as it’s produced by a Jaladan. We also highlight their past and present contributions to the Collective, whether editorial, managerial, or organizational.

Donald Molosi is a Botswana-born actor, writer, playwright, and activist. Molosi debuted off-Broadway in 2010 as Philly Lutaaya in Today It’s Me, making him the first Motswana to perform off-Broadway. In 2011, Molosi won the Best Short Solo Award at United Solo Theatre Festival for his performance as Seretse Khama in Blue, Black and White.  In 2013, Molosi returned off-Broadway to perform Motswana: Africa, Dream Again.

In 2016, The Mantle published a collection of the two plays in a book titled We Are All Blue, for which former Botswana president Quett Masire wrote a foreword. In the same year, Molosi acted opposite Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike and Emmy nominee David Oyelowo in A United Kingdom. Molosi also appears in 2063 (2019), opposite award-winning actor Thabo Rametsi (Kalushi, 2016). 

Molosi’s 2019 book, Dear Upright African won the Best Narrative Award at the African Authors Awards 2019. Watch his TEDxGaberone presentation on this radical and timely ideology.

This month, Molosi shares an excerpt from a choreopoem he is currently working on titled “A More Human Face”.

The Anxiety of Need

when we speak
you give me logic and solutions; 
you leave me alone  in my emotions. 

…then you continue to offer me stoic silences and 
i continue to lose love:

i teeter at the edge of caring –
dreaming death.

…it leaves me bleeding –

wrists when not heart –
each time conversation proves 
too burdensome for you.

when we speak
you swallow all your tender, illogical words 
deep into your masculinity 
as though saving your tongue for 
a better lover than i.

that leaves me broken 
– wrists when not spirit – 

each time. 
but here i am again, naked and needy. 
my own body stands strong against me as i sip more gin.
i feel the urge to give you a show tonight;
you fuck me. 
you finish.

i suppose i should leave before your wife video-calls you.

a long drive to my flat.
i can’t even scream.

i teeter at the edge of jealousy. 

still, within i dare look and to myself i say:
…enough, needy boy. 
wisen and close your body.

Listen to Molosi read the poem below.

Donald Molosi contributed a poem “Wangu wa Maisha” to the Jalada 04: The Language Issue (2015).

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