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by Isabella Motadinyane
Illustrated by Ike Mboneni Muila

Bella is an illustrated collection of striking yet subtle poems. Motadinyane died in 2003, and was one of the founder members of the Botsotso Jesters poetry performance group; her surreal and multi-lingual work offers a sharp female perspective on South Africa.

Muila’s drawings capture the essential images and emotional quality of each poem.


Isabella Motadinyane was born in 1963 in Mofolo Central, Soweto. As a result of creative writing workshops, she wrote the poem, “One leg in” which contains the phrase “die is mos botsotsos”. This phrase afterwards gave rise to the Botsotso Jesters, whose publishing arm brought out the two collections, We Jive Like This (1996) and Dirty Washing (1999), and the cd, Purple Light Mirror in the Mud.


For an essay on Motadinyane’s pioneering of the Isicamtho poetry form, see: Sizakele Nkosi’s essay, “Toward a Biography of Isicamtho poet, Isabella Motadinyane” available here.

ISBN 9780620383264
Published 2013
Publisher Botsotso Publishing, South Africa
Format Paperback