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    As the 1st of August marked the African New Year (Selemo sa Basotho), on Saturday the 4th of August 2018 the Executive Mayor of Maluti a Phofung (MAP) Cllr Gilbert Mokotso together with Members of Mayoral Committee and Councillors joined the Free State MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture Mathabo Leeto alongside Traditional Leaders from the Provincial House and delegates from Lesotho to come and celebrate with Basotho’s as they turn a new leave of freshness bringing them closer to God, at their Cultural Village 20 km outside Qwa Qwa.

    The celebration bears a significant meaning to new a life after the dry season of cold winter, as the Basotho calendar commences after the last days of winter season in August known for its strong wind, clearing the earth and invigorating the living land with rains. As the MEC said it has been eight years the provincial department took delight in celebrating the cultural occasion. She said they took a decision as the department to rename the old Bloemfontein route that splits Lesotho and Free State after Dr Jonathan Leabua. Hence it is very important to teach young people about their cultures so that they would grow up knowing where they came from, “We should be proud of our culture as Africans. We need to work hard and ensure that we go back to our roots.” She further said by continuing the legacy of Dr Leabua, later in October they will unveil the statue of this veteran in Manyatseng outside Ladybrand.

    The distinguished guests and the community were mesmerized by great performers from the cultural music of Basotho and other different cultural groups within Free State and Lesotho, such as Thapelo ya Dingaka, Mangaye, Moqoqopelo and Ditolobonya as they thank God and their Ancestors for protecting them and the food harvested. MAP Executive Mayor, Gilbert Mokotso said it is important to celebrate the day and emphasised the importance for knowing our various cultural background “Re lokela ho rutana rele setjhaba hore motho ka mong a tsebe morabe oo a tswang ho ona. Hobane nnete fela setjhaba se sa tsebeng moo se hlahang teng, seka se tsebe moo seyang”. He also highlighted the centenary of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, in the same breath advocated for economic growth and investmet in the avenue of tourism in Maluti A Phofung. African cuisine and traditional food were served to complete the celebration as a sign of a good harvest and in praying for a good year.

    By: Masilo Malakwane