MASERU — The Morija Arts and Culture Festival was officially launched in Morija yesterday.
The festival, which runs until October 6, will see performances by gospel, jazz and hip hop artistes, among others.
The festival’s director, Thabo Leanya, said this year’s event will showcase culture, the arts, crafts and music as well as the new main arena which has been dubbed the Heritage Park.
“Morija Arts and Cultural Festival gives expression to various facets of our collective identity, and helps us to reinvent ourselves, shaping and re-shaping our inheritance as a people, hence our ongoing slogan: Kaofela re Chabana sa Khomo (loosely translated, we intermarried and became one nation through paying bride price in the form of cattle),” Leanya said.
He said this year’s festival will also honour King Letsie III who marked his 50th birthday last month.
The Principal Chief of Matsieng, Bereng Seeiso, who spoke on behalf of the festival’s patron Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso, said the event is aimed at commemorating Basotho’s rich culture.
“Culture should portray a true reflection of who you are and what you are made of. It has to be dynamic and evolve whilst still maintaining our heritage. Do not be afraid of who you are but be proud of your background,” he said.
There will be exhibitions highlighting learning institutions, career guidance sessions, regional and local exhibitors, the private sector, and what the government is doing to enhance education, innovation and sustainable development in Lesotho.
Deputy Minister of Trade Sekhulumi Ntsoaole and Deputy Finance Minister ‘Matsepo Ramakoae were among the government dignitaries who attended the launch.
Motsarapane Molapo from Engen garage who are one of the sponsors, said this was their way of giving back to the community.
“I take this opportunity to plead with other companies to support initiatives that build the nation through its culture,” he said.
A traditional Mokhibo dance group from Morija Primary, ntlamo dancers from Thabeng High School, ‘Malehlohonolo Mpou and Mthibo entertained the crowd during the launch.