Maseru-In remembrance of the day on which the founder of the Basotho Nation, King Moshoeshoe I was born, Lesotho once again celebrated his birthday on Saturday, March 11 2017 with the main event taking place at Thaba Bosiu’s Lesotho Evangelical Church of Southern Africa (LECSA)’s grounds.
Marked annually, the day is celebrated in both traditional and cultural events and fun-filled music, dance and drama. On Saturday the day was filled with all things traditional and cultural including Mokhibo, Ntlamo and Litolobonya performances. The Lesotho Defense Force (LDF) jazz band also graced the event.
Moshoeshoe’s Day is usually marked annually with activities conducted across all districts of the country with various political and ceremonial speeches being read, in an effort to encourage the public of the importance of peace, love and resurrection.
This year, His Majesty King Letsie III, alongside principal chiefs and other dignitaries commemorated the day by visiting the sites where the great Moshoeshoe I was laid to rest on top of the Basotho fortress ‘Thaba-Bosiu’. This mountain holds great history as it is said to have protected Moshoeshoe I and his people during times of war against the attacking Boers from South Africa. Folklore legend has it that the mountain grew at night hence making it difficult for his enemies to climb.
The King and his entourage went up the mountain where Moshoeshoe was buried and laid a traditional wreath on his grave as a sign of respect and honour. Praises and ululation could be heard during the occasion that was followed by a prayer. After this, King Letsie III went down the mountain to celebrate with the masses who had gathered at the church grounds.
Officiating the ceremony in prayer was Reverend Ts’eliso Masemene from LECSA who took the platform to pray for peace and emphasized that it was important for those who trespassed against one another to forgive each another.
“Forgiveness means letting go of everything in order to free oneself,” he stated.
King Moshoeshoe I left a legacy which up to today still lives on and he is remembered as a great diplomat and a great leader who emphasized peace and love over war. Moshoeshoe, unlike other leaders of his era, was not only known for his generosity but also showed his kindness to the casualties of war, even if they were his enemies.
He is further remembered of having worked hard to preserve Basotho people’s language and culture, among others.