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Free State
Dec 12 2012 11:47AM
 
Writer and theatre activist honoured
REMINISCING: Kedinamotse Modise, the sister of the late Bloemfontein author and playwright Gilbert Modise, speaks about the life of her brother. Picture: Neo Mvubu
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Neo Mvubu

Writers celebrated the life of novelist, playwright and political activist Gilbert Modise who made his mark in the Free State and the country as a whole.

Author and journalist Flaxman Qoopane said he interviewed Modise on numerous occasions in his career.

“I came to know his writings and became introduced to his works as a playwright. He used to have a cultural group in the township and focused his time on bringing to life literature to black people,” Qoopane said.

According to him, Modise was also one of the people who helped transform the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (Pacofs) to where it is today.

“He boycotted some of the plays that were showcased in the township and urged people to fight to make Pacofs a place which blacks and whites could use,” he said.

“Some of the men and women who work in that building do not even know the struggle people like Modise went through to transform the place,”Qoopane said.

According to Qoopane, there were many negotiation processes that took place to make the theatre complex what it is today.

“I can still remember the plays Modise organised in Batho and Kagisanong halls where many were introduced to his works,” he said.

Modise’s sister, Kedinamotse Modise, said she thought young people were beginning to forget him but she was now hopeful that his soul would remain alive.

“He was a comrade and always did things differently from other people. I tried to raise him as well as I could but it was tough.

“He was always suspended at school and even dropped out at some point. He came back later and completed his matric and so I always found his ways different from other people,” she said.

Modise was born in 1964, published seven books and lived for literature. He died in 2002 at the age of 38.

neom@thenewage.co.za

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