Lesotho Times

Morija Arts and Cultural Festival preparations underway

MASERU — Preparations for this year’s Morija Arts and Cultural Festival are now in full swing with organisers conducting road shows throughout the country.
The festival director, Thabo Leanya, told the Weekender on Friday that they are going on an aggressive campaign to promote the arts and crafts.
The Morija Arts and Cultural Festival, which is the biggest arts festival in Lesotho, will be held from September 28 to October 2 in Morija, about 45 kilometres south of Maseru.
“We have already started with our road shows to create hype throughout the country,” Leanya said.
“In March we launched our partnership with an already established group of people called Maleta-thojane who are listeners of radio Lesotho’s Maleta-thojane programme at Thaba-Bosiu as part of our road show.”
He said they decided to partner with Maleta-thojane because they already had various traditional groups and professional artistes who had expressed willingness to participate in the festival.
“We are also reaching out to crafters so as to enhance our local arts and crafts exhibition which will happen throughout the festival,” Leanya said.
He said they were also moving around the country in search of talent.
“We are running adult cultural competitions based on districts, which is different from traditional school competitions,” he added.
Leanya said promotions for the other aspects of the festival will begin in the next two weeks.
“After the district competitions, arts and crafts and talent search throughout the country, we are going to start rolling out the readiness promotions for other components of the festival,” he said.
The festival is being marketed by MM Entertainment.
Leanya said telecommunications giant, Econet-Lesotho, decided to remove their name on the festival’s title this year to “allow other companies to take part”.
“Econet decided we keep the name ‘Morija Arts and Cultural Festival’ to accommodate support from other local companies.
“They felt it should maintain the unity identity and inclusivity,” Leanya said.
The plan is to include other companies as well. In the past few years the festival was known as Econet Morija Arts and Cultural Festival’.
“We are not only looking to boost the arts and craft segment but also music. We are looking to have all the genres represented.”
Leanya said the full programme for the festival will be unveiled on August 16.
He said they had moved the festival from October to September to avoid clashing with national exams which kick off that month.
“Most of our weekly activities are held during October when students will be writing their examinations.”

Lesotho Times

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

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