Thomas Mofolo only wrote three books, but he is renowned for being the first author of Western-style novels in the language of Sotho. He is also world famous for his last book, Chaka, because it depicted European Colonialism as a bad influence on the native populations and celebrated the Zulu king.
Mofolo was born in Basutoland (now Lesotho) and was educated by missionaries to be a teacher. After training college, he worked at the Sesuto Book Depot for ten years as a manuscript reader and proofreader. He also taught in Basutoland and Cape Colony.
Mofolo’s first book, Traveller from the East, is an allegory about a young African man in search of truth who is brought to salvation through European missionaries. However, already by his second book, Pitseng, which is also a Christian fable, the hero realizes that the Europeans have betrayed the promises of their religion. Finally, Chaka celebrated African culture and presented its hero as a tragic figure, who has been compared to Macbeth. It is considered the earliest contribution of black Africa to world literature.
Most popular work: Chaka
Other works: Traveller from the East, Pitseng