AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Lesotho

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Monday, October 6th, 2014

Ba re e ne re: The rebirth of a literary dream in Lesotho

In Sesotho, the language of Lesotho, the words “Ba re e ne re…” mean “They say it was said…” Similar to once upon a time, this is how folktales begin in Sesotho. The words have another deeper meaning however, they represent the life and legacy of a phenomenal spirit called Liepollo Rantekoa. Liepollo was born

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

South African Hip Hop–An Outsider’s Perspective

One evening while channel surfing at home, I stumbled upon what sounded like a rap cypher* on the radio. Quickly, I got up to look for an empty cassette tape nearby. Once I found one (a see-through Sonotech C-60 if...

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

There is more to Lesotho than blankets, mountains and horse rides

“The Forgotten Kingdom,” the new feature film by American director Andrew Mudge, depicts the story of a rebellious young man called Atang, toiling in inner city Johannesburg. When Atang’s father, living elsewhere in a Joburg township, passes away,...

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Lesotho Media and the Growing Intimidation of Chinese Shop Owners

Earlier this week on my regular social media run, I came across this status update on Facebook: “I wonder if makin death threats on these asian traders will really address anythn , the commotion on radio is...

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Lesotho Hip-Hop: The New Breed

I am based in-between Maseru, Lesotho and Cape Town, South Africa throughout the year. Recently, when in Lesotho, I decided to see how far the Hip-Hop scene had progressed, seeing that I have been involved directly in...

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Lesotho gets the Kristof Treatment

Earlier this month, on his latest escapade to the African continent, the illustrious New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof paid a visit to the Kingdom of Lesotho. The occasion was his annual “Win a Trip with Nicholas...

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Lesotho votes today

In this guest post on Lesotho's elections, photographer Zachary Rosen (who spent time there), previews the elections. "Perched high above South Africa, Lesotho usually does not receive much international media attention. The little coverage it does garner...

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

My favorite photographs N°1: Zachary Rosen

We’re starting a new weekly series today. We ask photographers who make portraits of African subjects to introduce us to their work. Basically they pick their five favorite photographs, describe the subject matter, what brought them to...

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

How to celebrate International Women’s Day

March 8, 2012. It’s International Women’s Day, and so how to celebrate? Over the weekend, The Independent on Sunday ran a piece entitled, “Revealed: The best and worst places to be a woman.” 20 categories of “surprising...

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Sending South African miners home to die

Epidemiologist Jonathan Smith is working to complete a documentary called “They Go to Die,” about the lives of four former mineworkers that were sent home from the mine after contracting TB and HIV in the South African gold mines....

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

‘See me on television’ (in Lesotho)

From Maputsoe, Lesotho comes a new video for Kommanda Obbs’s ‘Hona Joale’, recorded in the city of Maseru and on the Thaba Bosiu sandstone plateau (where the previous–under the rule of King Moshoeshoe in the nineteenth century–capital used...

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Lesotho’s Independence Day

When I was growing up, Independence Day was quite a big deal in and around Maseru, Lesotho. Besides it being a public holiday, it carried with it the promise of festivities which usually occurred at our national...

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Music Break / Kommanda Obbs

It was Core Wreckah who first put us on to Lesotho rapper Kommanda Obbs a while ago. Asked for some background about this video, Kommanda tells us that “Ts’epe was shot in the mountainous villages of Bela...

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Sesotho Cipher

Before moving down from Maseru to Cape Town in 2008 and exploring the Cape’s hip hop scene, Core Wreckah was already heavily involved in Lesotho’s capital hip hop scene. When we saw him plugging his new song...

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Konfab’s Lost Tapes

Pioneer Unit’s on fire. Yet another release by the Cape Town label, this time a collection of ‘lost tapes’ by Lesotho-born musician Konfab, who describes himself as a “presently disadvantaged, previously dissed and damaged, seriously pissed-off, with...

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Sesotho Rap

I just discovered Core Wrecka, above, one half of the Maseru, Lesotho rap duo, Corporate Nemesis. These guys have been going since 2001 (read their blog). Late last year Core Wrecka released the song “Yesterday” (link below)....

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Nutty Nys, ‘Nika Mo Dira’

I use to like kwaito (and some house music) in the 1990s, but I can’t shake the beat of this song which I heard the first time last year. (I won’t say much about the video) “Nka...