Awards to celebrate Basotho heritage, culture


Nthatuoa Koeshe | Mohalenyane Phakela

LIKATOLA Horseriding and Adventure will tomorrow host the launch of the Basotho Cultural and Music Awards (BACUMA) in celebration of Basotho heritage and cultural diversity.

The awards will be held on 28 and 29 August 2020. They will have 45 categories among them different genres of Sesotho music which include famo, monyanyako, lesiba and ‘mamokhorong among others. The event is also expected to have other traditional entertainment activities such as ndlamo, mohobelo, mokhibo.

Some of the awards include the lifetime achievement awards, community builder of the year, best comedians and traditional fashion designer among others.

The organisers told the Weekender this week that they have already opened nominations via a short message sending (SMS) platform.

The awards will be held under the tagline ‘Re chabana sa khomo’ (loosely translated to mean ‘we are a united nation).

Six months after tomorrow’s launch, nominees will be trimmed to top three.

BACUMA chairperson Molefi Mabote told the Weekender that the idea was brought forth by the realisation that little has been done to appreciate Basotho artistes who preserve the country’s culture and heritage.

“We spend most of the time in South Africa where we have seen several awards to celebrate the country’s heritage and we have even seen Morusu winning the Best Famo Award in 2010,” Mabote said.

“We felt it was high time that we pride in our heritage and came up with the awards. If we do not do it ourselves, no one will come from anywhere to do this for us.

“We want to appreciate all kinds of Sesotho genres because when we speak of Sesotho music, we do not only mean famo. There are plenty other genres which people do not even know about. We want to include all them to educate people who do not know much about Sesotho music.”

Mabote said BACUMA also intends to bring peace among famo artistes.

“Famo has a bad reputation of high rates of murder and that is not the legacy we want. We want to encourage them to stop the killings and fights that have claimed many people’s lives while at the same time celebrating our heritage as Basotho,” Mabote said.

BACUMA chief executive officer ‘Matshediso Mary Thella said they believe that the awards will bring back famo’s dignity.

She said they want artists to feel appreciated while also bringing together Basotho in South Africa in celebration of heritage and tradition.

Thella said they hope to honour artistes who have kept the legacy of Sesotho music through different genres.

“This is to embrace, celebrate and promote Sesotho language through arts and culture and also promote Basotho crafts. We hope this will also create jobs in the events and arts sector.

“Awards give artistes exposure and when one has won, they should now view their craft as business and not just entertainment,” ‘Matshediso said.

For his part, Khethang ‘Morusu’ Hlalele — the executive director of BACUMA, said the awards will help local artistes feel appreciated.

“Most of the famo artistes are based in South Africa because they feel more appreciated that side through radio airplay and awards.

“I believe being appreciated or celebrated at home would mean much more for an artiste. The awards will also motivate local artistes, especially those in famo, to compete in Sesotho word-play rather than the killings that have taken over. We are bringing a solution to a problem,” Morusu said.

Meanwhile, Jazz maestro Tshepo Tshola, gospel outfit Macecelia a St Paul and famo legends Puseletso Seema and Appollo Ntabanyane have already been tipped for the Lifetime Achievement category.

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