By: Koena Mokobocho

Mampho Tjabane, a seasoned legislator representing Stadium Area #32 and one of the organizers of the Basotho Flea Market, understands the challenges that Basotho businesses face, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Observing business challenges and decreasing purchasing power as a result of widespread job losses, ‘Mampho wanted to establish a platform that would connect Basotho products with consumers, boosting visibility and economic regeneration, and she did.

The most recent flea market, carried out this past Sunday, shows an enormous increase in merchants, from over 300 to 500. ‘Mampho is proud of the varied range of things on display, which include household items, cleaners, food, and arts and crafts.

Particularly interesting was the creativity demonstrated by sellers such as Senqu Charcoal, which used the indigenous Sehalahala plant.

Beyond commerce, Mampho envisions the flea market as a cultural hub, with plans to incorporate Basotho cultural acts to provide a tourism component.

With a fully equipped stage ready to host local musicians, the market aspires to combine cultural value with practicality by displaying Basotho-made products that symbolize tradition and utility.

Participation at the flea market is encouraged by registering on the Basotho Flea Market website and following their Facebook page for regular updates on the event.

Mampho hopes that the monthly event, with the next one scheduled for June 1st, evolves to bi-weekly or perhaps weekly occurrences in the future.

Mokhethi Shelile, Minister of Trade and Industry, Business Development and Tourism, commends the flea market for providing a venue for business owners to come together, share ideas, and improve product quality by setting benchmarks.

In order to increase market traffic and sales, he highlights the importance of cooperation between the ministry, business associations, and entrepreneurs. To ensure greater economic benefits; plans are in place to extend the flea market to other districts within Lesotho.

This initiative, supported by BEDCO, the Prime Minister’s Office, SADP II, The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN), and various ministries, promises to be a catalyst for the local MSME community.

Situated along King-sway Road in Maseru City, the Basotho Flea Market signifies not just a marketplace but a beacon of entrepreneurial spirit, cultural celebration, and economic growth for Lesotho.