Lerato Mogoatlhe, or @MadamAfrika as she is fondly known on Instagram and Twitter, recently shared heartfelt messages of gratitude to members of the African literary scene through her Instagram page. The South African journalist and author attended the African Book Festival in Berlin this August where she got the opportunity to connect with some of her favorite African writers and editors.

Mogoatlhe’s Instagram posts, which we like to call love notes, celebrate the presence of certain members of the African literary community who have been deeply invested in making African lives visible. These people have also impacted Mogoatlhe’s life and writing for the better. The love notes are written to a wide variety of people including writer and publisher Margaret Busby, novelists Jennifer Makumbi and Cynthia Jele, journalist Niq Mhlongo, the hosts and organizers of African Book Festival in Berlin, and our very own Brittle Paper Editor-in-Chief Ainehi Edoro. Mogoatlhe’s love notes made the 2022 African Book Festival an even more cherished event for those present!

Lerato Mogoatlhe is a South African journalist who has written for numerous publications including Global Citizen, Sunday Times, City Press, DRUM, Cosmopolitan, Mail & Guardian, and Marie Claire. She is also the author of Vagabond: Wandering Through Africa on Faith (2019), a travel memoir of Mogoatlhe’s journey through 21 African countries. You can buy a copy of her book here.

Like her raw and poetic travel memoir, Mogoatlhe’s love notes on Instagram feature the same honesty and appreciation for African writers, editors, and others in the African literary scene who help lift African voices up. Take a look at Mogoatlhe’s sweet love notes to the African literary community and let us know what you think!