By: Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – The nation of Basotho is known and celebrated widely as a nation of peace and resilience amid problems confronting them from time immemorial.

Seriti Sa Makhoarane Heritage (SSM) and Tourism Network Coordinator Stephen Gill states that Basotho have an important history and should not lose hope amid a sea of poverty.

Gill urges Basotho not to lose hope despite the problems and challenges that have plagued their nation.

He contends that the country has much to celebrate, especially as it marks its 200th anniversary. This milestone, according to him, should remind everyone of the nation’s remarkable achievements and rich history that define the nation, encouraging pride and optimism for the future.

SSM is a community based organization committed to conserving heritage to promote cultural development and, protect the environment through sustainable tourism, research, community engagement, and collaboration with various stakeholders in Makhoarane and across Lesotho.

The organization works to stimulate tourism, drawing visitors to explore the historical narratives and the architectural structures that define the area.

Makhoarane is surrounded by important places which are significant amongst Basotho, nestled amidst places inclusive of Makeneng, Matsieng and Morija.

This organization finds home in a region renowned for its illustrious royal heritage and pioneering educational institutions. This unique setting, where the seeds of learning were sown centuries ago, has produced individuals whose contributions are celebrated both nationally and internationally.

Those include the acclaimed composer Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa and first African to publish the novel Thomas Mokopu Mofolo in 1907.

He believes that these research publications do not only honor the past but also inspire future generations to value and continue the legacy of excellence as Morija is associated with Basotho who have distinguished themselves internationally.  

Through research publications and engaging exhibitions, SSM brings history to life, offering tourists and locals alike a deeper understanding of the significance of these landmarks.

This, in turn, not only boosts the local economy but also fosters a greater appreciation for the preservation of historical sites.

The downside of the internet when searching for information on Lesotho and Basotho is that it is sometimes either too general or contains falsehoods.

As such, as an organization, Gill says the SSM team took it upon themselves to create documentation on the marvels of the area such that people can easily access the history of Basotho.

In order to accommodate more people and extend their reach beyond the Makhoarane area, Gill says SSM made a new age category that is accommodating students, adding that even communities beyond Makhoarane are mounting creative clubs where students write and learn about their country and culture.

He says they foster strong relationships with government entities and other organizations.

The organization serves as a bridge connecting the past with the present.

By collaborating with local and national authorities, it ensures that the historical treasures surrounding it are protected and cherished.