By: Andile Maqanda

By virtue of birth people become, they attain identity. Infants at birth are without any option to choose their preferred nationalities, but rather they grow as part of a nation which nature has directed them to.

However, often times African kids grow with a perception of themselves as more inadequate or inferior when compared to other nations in various continents. As a result, they grow up, feeling it important to adopt foreign practices, interest, and lifestyle. These, clinging to them as their own customs, while neglecting their own roots.

In one hundred and ninety-five (195) countries in the world, Lesotho is among the forty-three (43) countries that are led by monarch. Lesotho is a mountainous country situated like a kidney inside South Africa.

At this point the reader’s attention is directed to Letlotlo International School (LIS), the school founded in the north part of the country, in the district of Leribe, Maputsoe, Ha-Nyenye.

Early January 2023, LIS embarks on a mission to initiate ‘Patriotism campaign’ for its pupils. What provoked this noble action, was the observation of a need to preserve and resuscitate the country’s image among young people, since most who are privileged enough to attend international schools ultimately loose interest or less regard their own culture.

Also, as LIS offers international curriculum, it does not in any manner intend to promote foreign cultures as more sophisticated or timeliness than the Basotho culture.

Therefore while providing pupils with quality education, the aim has always been to instil in them also a love for their home country, and become patriots.

This is also to give children an assurance that they are Basotho neither by mistake nor accident, therefore they ought to embrace their default nationality.

In an interview with LIS Principal Leboea Rankaki, he deeply expresses his concern in regard to Basotho behavior and attitude towards their own monarchy.

He exclaims that Basotho monarchy ought to be pride of all Basotho, but to his dismay Basotho mock and criticize the Head of State.

He mentions this to be more evident especially during the phase of His Majesty King’s birthday.

The point Mr. Rankaki’s elucidates is that, Basotho seem to be disconnecting themselves from their own country, perhaps with the understanding that the grass is greener on the other side.

They neglect their own kingdom, whereas it is the only thing which makes them stand apart and unique from the rest of the world.

The mountain Kingdom is the unifying power but Basotho are not in harmony with its spirit. Thus, lest Basotho are united, the nation cannot be a peaceful nation as it is often praised to be.

It was further asserted that Lesotho is Basotho’s home country, and Lesotho in its own way is unique. It is up to each citizen to contribute towards the Lesotho that everyone wants, rather than to desert and flee from it. 

Each individual must be willing to do whatever is needed in restoring and building the anticipated Lesotho.

For LIS, every Friday is patriotism day. Every student is seen with his Lesotho flag at the assembly.

They carry out all activities that relate the spirit of patriotism, and also sing National Anthem. The National flag is of utmost significance in restoring identity, as it mainly distinguishes Basotho from all other nations.

Though the colors may be identical with the flags of other countries, the Lesotho flag shall remain distinctive enough. Any place globally where the Lesotho flag may be seen shows Basotho property, signifying Basotho power within that specific area.

This unique route affords LIS to be honored by the visit of Minister of Tourism, Sports, Arts, and Culture (MoTSEC), Hon. Motlatsi Maqelepo on Friday, May 3, 2024 as a way to witness what came to his attention through social media.

Hon. Motlatsi Maqelepo through his social media platform indicates that,

“With aim and purpose we raise the national flag, because we are Basotho. Certainly we are proud of that, because it is not by coincidence that we are Basotho,” the minister wrote on his wall while inviting each citizen to partake in the quest to show patriotism, if they feel that they are in truth Basotho. 

Furthermore, as we commemorate 200 years, the minister mentions Letlotlo International School to have set a good example, and that Basotho must be proud of their homeland and take pride in it.