Lebohang Masango is a PhD candidate and has earned her Master of Arts degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. She is a writer and an award-winning poet. She is also the award-winning author of children’s book, Mpumi’s Magic Beads (David Philip, 2018), which is available in all 11 of South Africa’s official languages. The book has been awarded the 2018 South African Independent Publishers Award for Children’s Books, 2019 South African Literary Award for Children’s Literature, the 2019 Exclusive Books IBBY SA Award for Best Writer and a 2020 gold Pendoring Advertising Award in the Publication Design – Whole Design category. She has co-authored Grow to Be Great: Awesome African Achievers with Dr Judy Dlamini (Sifiso Publishers, 2020) and Mpumi and Jabu’s Magical Day (David Philip, 2020) with Professor Claudine Storbeck, the Director for the Centre for Deaf Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. This book was awarded a 2021 Silver Pendoring Advertising Award in the Publication Design – Whole Design category. She has written Nanana Boselesele for Wimpy and Ethnikids’ ‘Our Stories, Your Language’ campaign, co-authored O Šomile, Kolobe Ya Ditšhila for a child protection NGO in 2020 and written The Great Cake Contest as part of the voluntary literacy initiative Book Dash in 2018.
As an Anthropologist, Lebohang is published in Connected Lives: Families, Households, Health and Care in Contemporary South Africa, edited by Nolwazi Mkhwanazi and Lenore Manderson (HSRC Press, 2020) and Anxious Joburg: The Inner Lives of a Global South City edited by Nicky Falkof and Cobus van Staden (Wits University Press, 2020).
In 2021, the South African Reserve Bank commissioned Lebohang to write “A Purposeful Journey”, a poem for their centenary. She also hosted and performed in the South African government’s official Women’s Day broadcast. She is published in Years of Fire and Ash: South African Poems of Decolonisation (Jonathan Ball, 2021) edited by Wamuwi Mbao and To Breathe Into Another Voice (Real African Publishers, 2017), a Jazz poetry anthology edited by Myesha Jenkins. Her poetry, “Ten Thousand Stories” features in MultiChoice/ DStv’s Most Loved Storyteller campaign and has won a gold Mama Africa Award and gold Best Image Promo Award at the Promax Africa Awards (2020). Her poetry also features in Metropolitan’s “Freedom Matters” (2019) video and the Hip Hop song “Endurance” (2015) by Reason alongside the late, HHP. She has read her poetry in South Africa, Zimbabwe and the UK.
Lebohang is a UNICEF Volunteer Program Advocate and an inaugural Zanele Mbeki Fellow in feminist leadership. With her immense passion for children’s literacy, Lebohang regularly hosts storytelling sessions in schools, bookshops, community libraries and virtually, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. She was voted the second runner-up in Daily Maverick’s Youth Champion category in their Person of the Year Awards 2021.