By Seipati Thabo


Institute of Development Management (IDM) a recognized public higher education institute accredited by the council on higher education Lesotho observes an international World Book and copyright day (IWBCD) that is celebrated annually around the globe.

IDM celebrated World Book Day by hosting an oratory competition which was aimed at developing the art of public speaking amongst students as well as to enhance their research abilities while also cultivating and instilling a reading culture. This is done through engaging in thought provoking and high level speeches through the use of their education, books, journals and other library resources.

The institute celebrated 2023′ world book day in style as they invited some librarian of higher education such as Lerotholi polytechnic, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology and National University of Lesotho.  This was their very first higher learning world book celebration, under the theme “Making it your own book day “.

The country Director of IDM, Dr Moeketsi Letele said they celebrated world book day because it is important to recognize that without books there is no knowledge, and with this celebration they acknowledge authors of books as they bring knowledge and acknowledge their efforts in making sure that they are always up-to-date with whatever is happening in the world. He also honored library services as they bring a collection of reading services, law makers in ensuring that issues of copyrights are given attention and respected such that those who innovated books are protected from misconduct by those who will be utilizing such resources unlawfully.

The Director deemed the first book day a success as they were able to have in their commemoration the stakeholders such as LELICO; which is responsible for copyright and publication, UNESCO to give their say in world book day and also Lesotho Library Association. He said although the world Book has passed they need to commemorate this day and prepare their students with oratory intervention and build the capacity in delivering speech , which they made some research about topics they were presenting in. He also mentioned that they invited judges to help in assessing the best students in public speaking. Mr. Letele concluded that he felt honored to see this commemoration successful and he thinks that next year is going to be bigger and better than this years’.

Ms. ‘Mankopane khomo, a librarian at UNESCO said it is such a privilege to be invited to an important event of its own and kind. She indicated that annually each librarian marked world book day though most people were not aware. However, she is ecstatic that the whole country gets to celebrate with them and recognizes the importance of celebrating this day. She stated that the world book day was first celebrated in 1995 in Paris to promote the enjoyment of reading books and it is celebrated annually on the 23rd April. She concluded that Lesotho has never celebrated world book day and she encourages all institute of higher learning through libraries and supporting structure to work together in an effort to show structure in the continuity and support for this day.

Director of library and information resource center at Lerotholi Polytechnic and a representative of Lesotho Library Consortium (LELICO) which aims at protecting copyrights ‘ Ms. Mantoetsi Nkoebe outlined some importance of copyrights.  She stated that everyone has a right to access information but one should be very mindful of how they use that information. She also highlighted that it is important for people to acknowledge the sources of information as to not violate intellectual properties and avoid plagiarism.

Mrs. Letsopha Mabitso a registrar at IDM  said events such as this are important for institution of higher learning as they teach students public speaking and gets them out of their cocoon, they provide practice not only academic theory. They better the art of oratory as one can do a lot with it. She indicated that an individual cannot be a phenomenal speaker if they do not indulge in books and reading, reading is very important as it helps in forming opinions and making solid arguments.

There were seven contestants in this competition namely; Violet Mohapi, Ponts’o Mantso, Rethabile Lephema, Monyake Rantsane, Palesa Mokhuts’oane, Katleho Chechela and Selebalo Mpesa who presented on different topics such Emergency and Medically Care (EMC), Voluntary work and necessary evil, how can businesses take advantage on the 4th industrial revolution, voluntarism experience, EMC as a missing link or a hype, advanced medical support and prostitution as a form of employment.

Right after the presentations took place, winners were awarded and every presenter walked away with a bunch of books and fifty Maloti note from the seventh place to the fourth (7-4) from country director’s office. Hundred Maloti for the third winner, one hundred and fifty Maloti from the country director office and three hundred Maloti for the second winner .The first winner got two hundred from country director’s office and seven hundred Maloti.

The winner of oratory competition Selebalo Mpesa said although she was under a lot of academic chaos due to assignments and school work, when this was introduced she joined because she knew she could do it, although she was not expecting the outcome she is grateful for the opportunity. She said looking at the topic she choose, she knew she would be great at supporting her stance, her chosen topic was “prostitution” which is seen as a taboo. She had confidence in her presentation and had valid facts to share on the subject.  She concluded that she is very glad as this oratory has given her a life time experience and she is looking forward to engage in such presentations on a regular.