“I thought I met all the requirements for a visa, but when my application was declined, I was devastated. I went home and cried quietly, not saying anything to anybody until they understood and consoled me, but the tears kept on coming,” she says.
“Negative thoughts ran through my mind. I was embarrassed and disappointed. I felt like everyone was laughing at me. How was I to explain this to my sponsors? Limkokwing was going to pay for my ticket, but how was I going to tell them that my visa application was declined?”
Determined to build a bright future for herself, this did not dampen her spirits. She opened her computer and clips of Molisana flashed on the screen. She immediately immersed herself on the film, writing a synopsis of the film and crying. “And then it was over,” she says with a smile. “I realized that I couldn’t do anything about it, so I decided to focus more on the film than the nominations.”
Pitted against 166 films from around the world, Khuele was the youngest writer and director to be nominated for the Waco Family and Faith International Film Festival. Lesotho Film Festival was the first to award her a Certificate of Appreciation and then international recognition for her work started pouring in. Three more nominations came her way – Lift-off Global Network Sessions in England UK, selected the film to the first round of the competition, followed by the Moinho Cine Fest in Portugal and lately Pinewood Studios in UK selected the film for First-Time Filmmaker Sessions.
“I would like to see Lesotho with a proper film industry. Every filmmaker must be proud of his or her work. I want to change the film industry so that filmmakers can be paid for their work. A lot of money and energy is poured into making films, but the filmmakers do not earn money from their work. That should change. People should pay to watch films on social media. I think cinema is dead in Lesotho. There is no cinema anymore,” she said.
Khuele says over the years, Lesotho has endured devastating stock theft and violence so much that it has become part of the Basotho culture. “We are living in days where anything you own is not meant to be yours because there are predators who believe they can take it away from you at will. One of the things I felt strongly about in making Molisana is the life of orphans after the demise of their parents, they often get bullied or suffer from depression due to the living conditions that they come across in their new households.”