By ‘Matsie Qhasane
Have you bought your copy yet? Waste no time, this book will be available at all Mazenod Printing book centres and major supermarkets in the country which Mr Khotso has asked to withhold their names for a while. The book is sold for M200 per copy, it’s a hard copy book consisting of 109 pages. The name of the book is “How Can Basotho Move To The Next Level Economically”. The author of this book is Khotso William Mahonko, he attempts to address the socio-economic problems facing Basotho as a nation.
Khotso William Mahonko, is a 31-year-old man who is passionate about seeing Basotho progress and prosper in the economy and markets. Khotso is a psychologist by profession, who took it to himself to conduct an economic research in business and social development.
“This book is pretty much focused on our marketplace; where we are, what the current situation is, the marketplace cultures and habits working against us, the marketplace mind-set working against us, how we change things (solutions), and chapters that are building a reader for economic victories as an individual’’ he said. Amongst the personal development chapters in the book is how one can raise capital to start a business, building wealth from scratch, cash management, generational wealth, creativity, figuring out a business idea, turning a business idea into a lucrative business concept and a business concept into a business plan, then the acumen of business, all are in the book and written in Sesotho.
“One of the concerns I am highlighting is how ownership of Basotho is few/rare are in the big companies. Through observation, you will see that most multimillion Maloti businesses are owned by foreigners; from banks, insurances, city properties, franchise supermarkets, filling stations, factories to mines, all foreign owned. This situation is predominantly happening because Basotho do not have capital to start/invest in such big businesses, be it individually or as a group. Most Basotho were not privileged enough to be born into wealth, they therefore need to fend for themselves to get out of the poverty cycle. Start-up don’t have cash flow and assets, the government has limited institutions which help with access to financing, we don’t have lively capital markets in the country, no venture capitalists, no angel investors, etc, so this financing challenge gives the rich foreign investors an upper hand in the market, “ho ja manoning ha Basotho ba ja masapong moo ho ehisehang”.
Most Basotho live on hand to mouth, on street vending businesses or employed by foreign owned businesses (not that it’s wrong, but being too grateful turns you into a servant of a master forever, it’s not a secret that a salary is not better than profit and dividends)” he said.
“I have come up with a solution to this challenge though, that Basotho must unite and tackle this as a group, combine their disposable income, invest it under a capital company/cooperative/consortiums, with the right management and governance structures. This will help them start businesses which will be at par with foreign owned businesses. I would like emphasize that I have nothing against foreign investors, they bring tax and employment in the country and for that we are grateful as a nation. However I do feel that Basotho are too relaxed, we must mobilize our people to stand up and have a stake in the market” he stated.
“My other concern is that we have allowed others to commercialize our norms and practices; rain boots (likhohlopo), seshoeshoe and our common day blanket which we have made a part of our national identity, are not manufactured by Basotho or in Lesotho. Why don’t we benefit economically from our nationality but internationally we have allowed it? This book is meant to challenges our thinking and starts the conversations about what’s wrong and what needs to happen” Mahonko emphasised.