By Thandiwe Kubere
The long heard cry for the entertainment industry not being given the acknowledgment and recognition it deserves has finally been heard as tse ntle litjotjela- a group of young talented individuals shakes things up with their unique and diverse approach performing in their mother tongue.
The founder and creative director of tse ntle litjotjelela academy of entertainment production, Rethabile Likoche who is also known as Ncheme explains that seeing how much talent goes unnoticed in Lesotho especially when one is less privileged and how the youth eventually get wallowed in the glitz and glamour that fly by night leaving only adverse consequences, he got inspired to bring them together and nurture their God-given talents. The ultimate goal has been to create an opportunity for the youth to showcase their abilities and talents on a global scale. “I want to establish and expose them to a world of endless possibilities”.
Living up to their meaning of being people with good intentions and willing to be the winds of change, the group graces events rocking their hard to miss attires of back to the eighties, dancing, playing music and poetry in their native tongue. This is to remind the nation of the beauty of its roots and to show the world the magnificence that lies in Lesotho and its language. The initiative matters most now when culture seems to be decaying beyond repair with the western ways taking over. The group has performed for considered legends in the arts and entertainment industry including the likes of Jerry Mofokeng and Silas Monyatsi Taunyana who are respected for their craft in both Lesotho and South Africa. With every performance, tse ntle litjotjeka makes sure to leave people talking and heads turning.
The group came together for a similar purpose of working on a world-class craft and make Lesotho stand out among nations. Ncheme, who is from Ha Mantsébo and a teacher by profession, explained that the academy has been a place of comfort even for those who are from less privileged households because when they are together they are a family. A philanthropist he is, he collected youth from different walks of life, including those who lived in the streets, in order to groom and motivate them to become the people they aspire to be through their different talents. “We have started a project and aim to be a big company to create employment for them, therefore it would mean a lot for us to get sponsorship.” He stressed the importance of be sufficient and not being too depended on the government for jobs.
He hopes these young people get enough publicity that will open doors for them worldwide. Again, he aims to transform those who were likely to fall into the world of crime and drugs to becoming respectable men and women with dignity and a positive outlook on life. “We also have to instill patriotism and eradicate the grinding poverty in our country.” The group is said to be very disciplined and proud of Lesotho’s heritage.
He further said the purpose is to make a living through their talent and the skills they have obtained for toning their gifts, especially now when there is a high rate of unemployment. As bright as the future looks for tse ntle litjotjela, their journey has not been of smooth sail. This is because the group has close to 70 members but no sponsorship or any sort of funding. This means that Ncheme has to take out from his own pocket every time there is a need. He said this is a major challenge because he does not earn much from teaching even though he provides whenever he can. Therefore the group hopes to get attention and support from companies to change lives for better.
Tse ntle litjotjela hopes to be a wind of positive change and defy the odds of the entertainment industry not being highly considered or appreciated in Lesotho. “We want to create a platform for the young ones by breaking the barriers so that they easily follow in our footsteps”. They also hope to open an entertainment school so that even when parents notice that their children do not perform well academically, they are able to enroll them in entertainment school because people have different talents and abilities. He highlighted that throughout his experience as a teacher he has noticed that some students struggle a lot in class but become a whole new character when offered the stage or a microphone.
He stressed that no child should be considered and treated as a reject but should instead be offered support and a platform to deliver what they do best in order to change Lesotho for the better. He guaranteed that no one would want to leave Lesotho for better opportunities because a great empire would have been established. Tse ntle litjotjela academy of entertainment productions is accessible at its two branches being Ha Mant’sebo and Ha T’solo Maseu.