By Thandiwe Kubere

MASERU – Econet Lesotho in partnership with Bienvenue, in celebration of His Majesty’s 60th birthday and 23 year anniversary, hosted the official theme launch of the Royal Cup.

The mention of the cup is commonly thought of and associated  with soccer or in this case horse racing, but Bienvenue representative Motlatsi Russell, clarified the royal cup will encompass many activities, those with a purpose of promoting and enhancing the love of culture to Basotho, especially among the youth. Explaining the Royal cup, he said it for one consists of horse racing events which will take place in Mohale’s Hoek on September 23rd, 2023- which is three months from now.

He emphasized that the district selected for the event was due to its long-term legacy of hosting horse racing in Lesotho and how the racing has consistently been held successfully in that area. Part of the motive of this initiatives is to boost and give back to communities, especially those in the outskirts so as to improve businesses in those areas and promote domestic tourism.

ETL’s GM: Marketing and Customer Experience, Mapusetso Nts’ekhe declared that even with previous events, Econet has constantly been promoting the celebration of the country’s rich heritage and cultural tapestry of the Kingdom of Lesotho. She said the companies are now proud to unveil the Royal Cup, a horse racing event and designer showcase of the diverse fashion talent in Lesotho amongst many others. “We were created for a time as this. Therefore, this is a call out to Basotho to hold hands in celebrating our culture and being proud of it, and to also empower our youth through different opportunities and invest in their different talents”, she said. Ms. Nts’ekhe emphasized the purpose is to gain a prosperous Lesotho and that can only be achieved by investing in it.

This venture also aims to captivate and engage audiences while showcasing the country’s deep-rooted traditions and creativity. It is aimed to be one of Lesotho’s grandest occasion which beyond the races, will offer a flourishing marketplace with a delightful array of hospitality services, live music and entertainment, captivating fashion shows, and vibrant stalls showcasing a wide variety of products.

Ms. Nts’ekhe emphasized the significance of the Royal Cup within a series of initiatives that Econet is spearheading. She highlighted the company’s steadfast commitment to support endeavours aimed at promoting and preserving Lesotho’s rich history and cultural heritage. “We believe it is paramount that we join forces as stakeholders, leveraging the cherished values and cultural beliefs of Basotho, in our collective efforts to contribute to the country’s development agenda,” stated Nts’ekhe.

Mr. Russell further expressed his excitement for the upcoming designer showcase, which will be presented by the talented Lesotho-born Thabo Makhetha, an esteemed Creative Director and fashion designer who gained recognition through her collection of luxury jackets, capes, and coats titled “Kobo ea Bohali”.

Here, Thabo Makhetha made a call out to talented Basotho individuals countrywide who took an interest in fashion and believe they have what it takes, to apply for the competition since it might be their ladder to making it big. The competition is specifically for individuals and not for companies because the end goal is to help promote and uplift upcoming fashion designers so that they as well get the chance of flourishing and reach the company stage so that they as well create employment for others.

Mr. Russell revealed that in the later stage of the competition five designers will be carefully selected by Thabo Makhetha and will participate in a comprehensive program that encompasses immersive workshops, visits to clothing manufacturers, social media challenges, and a panel session with judges. The program will culminate in a fashion showcase at the Royal Cup, where a deserving winner will be crowned on the same day.

He explained that for horse racing, different procedures will be carried out and the expectation from contestants will be clearly stated and the public will be well sensitized about when the preparations take off. Basotho are therefore urged to come through- join in the celebration and participate accordingly for the Royal Cup which they also have a stake in.