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“A Nun like no other”

By Liapeng Raliengoane

MAFETENG – Give credit where it is due, for time waits for no man in this high-paced life where anything can happen at any time. 

In celebration of her own achievements, Sr. Julia ‘Masina Mafike (H.C.P) contributed to the writing of her autobiography going by the name A Nun like no other, which has recently been published.

The book narrates the life of Sr. Mafike, a Catholic Nun from the religious congregation of the Handmaids of Christ the Priest based at Motsekuoa, Mafeteng.

In an interview with Arts&Lifestyle, Sr. Mafike revealed that this book was written through the collaboration of Washi Mokati and Mimi Machakaire. That is a book about her life journey, getting into beekeeping, challenges, achievements and aspirations thus far. She said the book also consists of a series of interviews with people who have known her for a long time.

In order for the book to reach all Basotho, Sr. Mafike revealed that it is already translated into Sesotho and will soon be available.  

“Sr. Mafike is a nun like no other, not only is she dedicated to her religion and other work done for the church, but she is also a master beekeeper and has been advocating actively for the preservation of bees in Lesotho,” reads a synopsis of the book.

It further goes “Through beekeeping as a business, she has created multiple bee related products such as wine made from organic honey, propolis and other natural immune boosters. Busy as a bee, they say, Sr. Mafike works tirelessly every day, creating more and more opportunities not only for herself but for all.”

Washi Joseph Tšoeu Mokati indicated that he triggered the idea of writing this book while on a tour visit with friends in the farm. “The project of writing the book started as a joke that later ended with this wonderful book where Sr. Julia was requested to play double roles of being an experimental figure and a co-writer.”

“The book writing project took some time to begin due to lack of time and knowledge of qualified writers to compile information and do interviews with people who had known and worked with  Sister Julia. It took me over three months to find a journalist-writer named Mimi Machakaire to begin collecting information and do interviews for the book project,” he added.

Mokati said the main purpose of the book is to showcase good and extraordinary work done by dedicated ordinary Basotho like Sr. Mafike who produces great products but may not be known locally and by the world.

“The book is also intended to motivate other hardworking Basotho with unique products like Sister Julia’s to be encouraged to continue working hard to attain their dreams. One will learn from the book that building a circle of support from institutions of higher learning like varsities does not necessarily require one to have attended them,” he expressed.  

This is the first book from a series of thoughts about books covering good products or services done by Basotho like Sr. Julia Mafike who have gone beyond common activities done by the institutions of nunnery (Nuns) in Lesotho. “There are a lot of many local heroes that are not being celebrated to motivate the coming generations. The book is intended to teach upcoming innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs to focus more on the processes of building products or services before ‘chasing’ for added money.”

Sr. Mafike is the Founder of JMM Beekeeping, a beekeeping initiative that produces and sells organic bee products. The farm produces honey, nine different wines from honey and beeswax, propolis, body creams, bee glue and approved organic honey based herbal flue relief mixtures which helped during the era of Covid-19. The work was done in collaboration with institutions of higher learning like universities in Lesotho and South Africa for testing and certification of organic honey products.