MASERU — Controversial famo artist Lephatsóa Lebajoa has accused national broadcaster Radio Lesotho of stifling his career by imposing a ban on his music.
Lebajoa, popularly known as Selomo, this week said his career had suffered because of the political nature of his lyrics.
Selomo, 35, is a card-carrying member of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Lesotho’s biggest opposition party.
“My music has not been doing well because of lack of publicity,” Selomo said ahead of the release of his latest album today.
The new album, Thutsoana ea Chesa Naha No 6, is his 19th since he first appeared on the music scene in 2000.
Selomo said his music has not been as successful on the market as he has been prolific in the studio because of lack of airplay.
“This is because Radio Lesotho management decided to ban my music because of my political affiliation,” Selomo claimed.
The famo artist said the ban was imposed in 2006 when he made public his support for the newly formed ABC.
Radio Lesotho director of broadcasting Dada Moqasa, however, strongly refuted Selomo’s allegations which he said were baseless.
Moqasa said Selomo’s music was still on the radio station’s playlists.
“You can even come and check with our radio station to see that Selomo’s music appears in our playlists,” he said.
Moqasa said Selomo had clashed with Mpho Malie, the former secretary-general of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy who was the acting communications minister in 2006.
“Selomo had a misunderstanding with Malie,” Moqasa said. “They discussed this issue but I’m not sure if their problems were solved.”
He did not say whether or not the “misunderstanding” had led to a ban of Selomo’s music.
Radio Lesotho has the widest coverage in the country.
The other privately owned radio stations only broadcast in and around Maseru, the capital.
Famo music is widely popular with people living in the remote districts of the country.
“It is impossible to reach remote areas through the radio,” Selomo said.
The artist said he was trying to push his sales by holding live shows in the remote areas of Lesotho.
Selomo said he had also tried to advertise his music through Lesedi FM, a South African radio station that reaches most of Lesotho’s remote areas.
“I went to Lesedi FM to advertise my music but their charges are just too high,” he said.