A New Dawn for Lesotho

A new government: a new dawn for Lesotho! Or is this just wishful thinking? I suppose time will tell; but the plain truth is that Lesotho is desperately in need of change.

We need a change where each person’s humanity can be affirmed positively. A change where all can get access to services not because they are “Semake le Semanyamanyane“, well-connected so-and-so’s!

Without this change, the idea that being known is to be human might permanently take root in our society and culture. And eventually, it might be deemed normal to equate humans to (unloved) animals — like Rakotsoane does, for example, in his poem “Re hetla morao” 1:

Ha u se ‘nyeo u katana sa Lesotho,
Mohofe oa ho ja ngoatho sa maobeng,
Farakatšana ea sefetjoa mahlatsa,
Monetoa-kamehla ka manotho-notho.

Translated in context, the above snippet by Rakotsoane states:

If you are not so-and-so you are Lesotho’s tattered-rag,
A destitute to eat beyond yesterday’s leftovers,
A piglet to be feed vomit,
A subject of perpetual abuse rooted in unending justifications.

With the above in mind, and a plethora of other equally troubling reductionist views arising from poverty, corruption, etc., I reiterate: Lesotho needs a change. Hence, I sincerely hope that a new government and a new opposition will translate to a new dawn for Lesotho. Further, I hope that we, as citizens, will also do our part.

Kopano ke matla! Ha re neneng e le kannete lisuoa le bobe bohle-bohle: bosoto, bokhopo, boipatlo, boikhantšo, boikaketsi, bomenemene j.j. ! (Unity is strength! Let’s passionately hate conflict and all forms of deplorable ills: malice, meanness, pomposity, arrogance, hypocrisy, dodginess, etc.!) 2

  1. In a book titled Sekoele Basotho! written and published by Lobiane F. C. Rakotsoane.
  2. Please note: I tried my best to avoid any words that may be considered offensive or profane; ho butsoa, ke butsoitse!

Another passionate write from the past

Another skeleton from the past! I have no idea why I wrote this but I suspect it was shortly after I had read our ICT policy. I don’t recall liking it that much. ICT wasn’t well defined within the document itself and I remember taking issue with the fact that the version I had read was written by an outsider…. I mean where are Basotho consultants?

A thought towards an innovative ICT Vision for Lesotho

Basotho during the reign of Moshoeshoe I and a few years that followed were a self-sufficient nation. Today, many Basotho live in severe poverty and under the threat of a new deadly disease, HIV/AIDS.

There is no doubt a need to restore Lesotho to its original state of self-sufficiency and wealth. The question however is: “can this be realistically achieved?” The answer itself is not that simple. However, if we were to look back into our history with the sole purpose of seeking valuable examples from our forefathers, then we could find an answer that would guide us back to prosperity.

For example, history informs us that this nation was not strong only militarily, but that it was such an industrious nation that though horses were a relatively a novel bred to them, in no time they had bred the type of horse that was suited for their territories. Their breed was so tough and sure-footed that the British when shopping for horses preferred the Basotho ponies to the Boer horses. (An excerpt from the inpiration page)

From the above example, it could be argued that just as Basotho did adapt the horse technology to their needs, they can embrace ICTs and adapt them to their specific needs and thereby create a niche market for ICTs. In so doing, Basotho would be able to address some of their needs and challenges that include the eradication of poverty and HIV/AIDS.

Moreover, through innovative use of ICTs and the political will of its leaders, Basotho can be helped to actually participate in “doing development for themselves”. This means using ICTs for the general empowerment of Basotho either as tool or an enabling environment for development.

Oozing gratitude from the shavathon event

The Hamilton building united together to raise funds for the Cancer Association of South Africa. A good day to remember that there are so many good causes out there for which we can all make a difference. And also a good day for one to remember to be grateful about ones health and all other blessings bestowed upon them.

Personally, I am thankful in that I am born without any disabilities from a family of ‘substantial’ intellect (in a sense that many in my family have a university degree and believe with great conviction that education is the key to opening many doors of opportunity). As a result, I am what one would call middle class and I am fortunate to not know how it feels to worry about the next meal. For this, I am grateful because we have many people dying of poverty and many of us in the middle class category often forget to acknowledge how blessed we are. Yes we might not have the wealth of the few in the rich category class but we in the middle class are in a good position to be generous! And this is what today was about in Hamilton, we remembered that we were blessed and can contribute something for a good cause. So we made donations and shaved our heads and/or sprayed our hair in fun colours.

I am too attached to my hair to shave it but I did participate in the fun! I went all white and I am loving it 😉 . I thought I would feel self-conscious and uncomfortable but as I walk the streets I feel totally inspired! In part because I know I am going to look HOT in grey one day!

Ok, I derailed a bit but to finish off this posting, I would like to quote Eric Hoffer who said:

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.

I have started counting mine … hope you all start counting yours in order to gain perspective and be grateful about whatever blessings you may have .

Peace and love to all!

I am a Pan Africanist

In my previous blog posting I unabashedly declared myself to be a black feminist. I thought it proper to finish off my declarations by stating that indeed I am a Pan Africanist! (In case my obsession with the great leaders of Africa like Moshoeshoe I hasn’t given me away.)

I make my declaration well aware of the fact that today the meaning of Pan Africanism has been oversimplified to levels where one can easily feel ashamed of being associated with this great ideal. To me, it is truly unfortunate that it seems we live in a society where it is easier to seek to oversimplify things. Hence, to some it is perfectly acceptable to view Pan Africanism as a movement for protecting black interests or expressing black anger! And yet Pan Africanism is about something bigger and greater!

Pan Africanism as an ideal is about us Africans uniting irrespective of our colour and gender to solve our own problems. Of course this is not an easy task given that we can’t exactly take out the uncomfortable issues in the equation such as corruption and colour of ones skins. But that said, I remain a believer! Yes I believe we Africans can beat poverty. I believe we have it in us to show one another compassion. Most importantly, I believe we have it in us to show the world that the whole collectivism ideal is not a myth but a reality that can be realised by remembering that true service is about serving others . Perhaps this makes me naive or even slightly myopic but I do believe in the true essence of Pan Africanism.

Yes sometimes I get frustrated but who ever said the journey to prosperity would be easy! “Ha esita Maisiraele leetong la ho ea Kanana a ile a rapela melimo ea bosaoana! ” (Translated this roughly states, even the God’s people, the Israelites, in their journey to the promised land failed to acknowledge their own God; they strayed and worshipped false gods! )

So, I am truly not expecting the journey to be easy nor am I expecting it to be short. My point is: I am a Pan Africanist and I certainly do believe in the African dream! I hope therefore that I will live long enough to see it come true. In the meantime, it is my prayer that we as individuals, brothers and sisters of this fine continent will do our bit to end corruption and promote prosperity and peace for all! As Basotho would say: Khotso! Pula! Nala! (Peace! Rain! Properity!)