Lesotho is a Southern African nation surrounded entirely by South Africa. The largest ethnic group is the Basotho. The Basotho culture is immersed in musical traditions.
Lesotho, officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is an enclaved country–the only one in the world outside of the Italian peninsula–within the border of South Africa. It is just over 30,000 km2 (11,583 sq mi) in size and has a population of around 2 million. Its capital and largest city is Maseru.
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics, and including several countries. The term southern Africa or Southern Africa, generally includes Angola, Botswana, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, though Angola may be included in Central Africa and Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe in East Africa. From a political perspective the region is said to be unipolar with South Africa as a first regional power.
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.
The national anthem of Lesotho is "Lesotho Fatse La Bontata Rona". Written by François Coillard, a French missionary, it appears in the popular computer game "Sims 2: University" as the theme from a videogame console.
A national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people. The majority of national anthems are marches or hymns in style. The countries of Latin America, Central Asia, and Europe tend towards more ornate and operatic pieces, while those in the Middle East, Oceania, Africa, and the Caribbean use a more simplistic fanfare. Some countries that are devolved into multiple constituent states have their own official musical compositions for them ; their constituencies' songs are sometimes referred to as national anthems even though they are not sovereign states.
"Lesōthō Fatše La Bo-Ntat'a Rōna" is the national anthem of Lesotho. The lyrics were written by François Coillard, a French missionary, and the music was composed by Ferdinand-Samuel Laur. It has been used as the national anthem since 1967. Originally, the anthem had four verses.
François Coillard was a French missionary who worked for the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society in southern Africa.
Traditional musical instruments include lekolulo, a kind of flute played by herding boys, setolo-tolo, resembling an extended jaw harp played by men using their mouth, and the women's stringed thomo.
The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, flautist, flutist or, less commonly, fluter or flutenist.
Herding is the act of bringing individual animals together into a group (herd), maintaining the group, and moving the group from place to place—or any combination of those. Herding can refer either to the process of animals forming herds in the wild, or to human intervention forming herds for some purpose. While the layperson uses the term "herding" to describe this human intervention, most individuals involved in the process term it mustering, "working stock", or droving.
Vocal choirs, which sing church music in Sesotho, are extremely popular. These choirs are formed in villages, towns, churches, etc., and can be heard on the radio every evening.
As an enclave of South Africa, it is not surprising that South African musicians have a large following in Lesotho. Most frequently heard on the radio are various sub-Saharan AfroPop styles, jazz, kwaito, and reggae.
Kwaito is a music genre that emerged in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the 1990s. It is a variant of house music featuring the use of African sounds and samples. Typically at a slower tempo range than other styles of house music, Kwaito often contains catchy melodic and percussive loop samples, deep bass lines, and vocals. Despite its similarities to hip hop music, Kwaito has a distinctive manner in which the lyrics are sung, rapped and shouted. American producer Diplo has described Kwaito as "slowed-down garage music," most popular among the black youth of South Africa.
While South African music is generally enjoyed in Lesotho, there is a tremendous following for famo (contemporary Sesotho music, which features the accordion and oil can drum) such as that by Mosotho Chakela. The music recording industry is nascent, but many of the Basotho musicians sign with South African companies - undermining growth prospects.
Famo is a type of music from Lesotho in Africa consisting of singing accompanied by the accordion, a drum and occasionally a bass. It originated in the drinking dens of migrant workers from Lesotho trying to relax after working in the mines in the 1920s but is now a popular form of music for Sesotho speakers.
Mokete Shadrack Chakela, more commonly known as Mosotho Chakela or just Chakela, was born 1963 in Mafeteng, Lesotho in Southern Africa. He is a cultural music singer in a popular Lesotho musical tradition called famo.
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Maseru is the capital and largest city of Lesotho. It is also the capital of the Maseru District. Located on the Caledon River, Maseru lies directly on the Lesotho-South Africa border. Maseru is Lesotho's capital city with a population of 330,760 in the 2016 census. The city was established as a police camp and assigned as the capital after the country became a British protectorate in 1869. When the country achieved independence in 1966, Maseru retained its status as capital. The name of the city is a Sesotho word meaning "red sandstones".
Music of Tonga refers to music derived from the island Tonga in the islands of Polynesia. Music of Tonga today generally falls under the category of traditional music that has withstood the test of time, or into one of the two opposing genres of religious and secular music. Tongan music can be either very emotional and somewhat modern with instrumental makeup including modern brass instruments, or conversely can be very primitive and consist of only drums and voices. In this way, Tongan music is very diverse despite the fact that it is contained to a fairly small island, which means that the different cultures and styles co-exist on the small land mass together without blending.
The Sotho language or Sesotho, is a Southern Bantu language of the Sotho-Tswana (S.30) group, spoken primarily in South Africa, where it is one of the 11 official languages, in Zimbabwe where it is one of 16 official languages and in Lesotho, where it is also the national language.
Kuwait is well known in the region for its exploration of many different and new forms of music and dance. Kuwait is the birthplace of various popular musical genres such as sawt. Kuwait is widely considered the centre of traditional music in the Persian Gulf. The Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre is the largest opera house in the Middle East.
The Sotho people, or Basotho, are a Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa, native to modern Lesotho and South Africa, who speak Sesotho. The Basotho have inhabited that region since around the fifth century and so are closely related to other Bantu peoples of the region.
Moshoeshoe was born at Menkhoaneng in the northern part of present-day Lesotho. He was the first son of Mokhachane, a minor chief of the Bamokoteli lineage- a branch of the Koena (crocodile) clan. In his early childhood, he helped his father gain power over some other smaller clans. At the age of 34 Moshoeshoe formed his own clan and became a chief. He and his followers settled at the Butha-Buthe Mountain.
Thomas Mokopu Mofolo is considered to be the greatest Basotho author. He wrote mostly in the Sesotho language, but his most popular book, Chaka, has been translated into English and other languages.
The music of Zambia has a rich heritage which falls roughly into three categories: traditional, popular and Christian.
Phuthi (Síphùthì) is a Nguni Bantu language spoken in southern Lesotho and areas in South Africa adjacent to the same border. The closest substantial living relative of Phuthi is Swati, spoken in Swaziland and the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. Although there is no contemporary sociocultural or political contact, Phuthi is linguistically part of a historic dialect continuum with Swati. Phuthi is heavily influenced by the surrounding Sesotho and Xhosa languages, but retains a distinct core of lexicon and grammar not found in either Xhosa or Sesotho, and found only partly in Swati to the north.
The Catholic Church in Lesotho is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. Approximately 90 percent of the population are Christians, of whom half are Catholics. Muslims, members of other non-Christian religions, and atheists constitute the remaining 10 percent. Christians are scattered throughout the country, while Muslims live mainly in the northeastern part of the country. Most practitioners of Islam are of Asian origin, while the majority of Christians are the indigenous Basotho.
Morija Arts & Cultural Festival, also known as Morija Festival, is an annual event held in Morija, a large village in the Maseru District of Lesotho. This hugely successful event is coordinated by the Morija Museum & Archives, with support from many groups including, the Royal Family and the Government of Lesotho.
Morija Museum & Archives, also known as Morija Museum, is located in Morija, a large village in the Maseru district of Lesotho. The museum was formally opened in 1956, and entered its present permanent facilities in 1989. The purpose of the museum is to carry on the tradition of Morija, as a centre of learning, innovation and excellence, in Lesotho. Morija Museum is home to many cultural treasures including, traditional Basotho artifacts as well as Lifaqane and Boer War memorabilia. The archives portion of the museum includes documents dated as far back as 1826. This collection is extremely rich in 19th century documentation related to Lesotho.
Morija is a town in western Lesotho, located 35 kilometres south of the capital, Maseru. Morija is one of Lesotho’s most important historical and cultural sites, known as the Selibeng sa Thuto— the Well-Spring of Learning. It was the site of the first French Protestant mission in Lesotho, founded in 1833. The town also houses the Morija Museum and Archives, well known for supporting research and preserving valuable records and documents of Lesotho’s history.
Litema is a form of Sesotho mural art composed of decorative and symbolic geometric patterns, commonly associated with Sesotho tradition today practised in Lesotho and neighbouring areas of South Africa. Basotho women generate litema on the outer walls and inside of homesteads by means of engraving, painting, relief mouldings and/or mosaic. Typically the geometric patterns are combed or scratched into the wet top layer of fresh clay and dung plaster of the wall, and later painted with earth ochers or, in contemporary times, manufactured paint. Patterns most often mimic ploughed fields through a combed texture, or the patterns refer to plant life, and more occasionally to other aspects of the natural world, such as referring to clan totem animal. Litema are transient; they may desiccate and crumble or be washed away by heavy rain. It is common for women of an entire village to apply litema on such special occasions as a wedding or a religious ceremony.
'Masechele Caroline Ntseliseng Khaketla was a writer and educator from Lesotho.
Sesotho poetry is a form of artistic expression using the written and spoken word practiced by the Basotho people in Southern Africa. Written poetry in the Sesotho language has existed for over 150 years however, the oral poetry has been practiced throughout Basotho history.
Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa (1908-1982) was a prominent choral music composer in Sesotho, the native language of the BaSotho people of Southern Africa.