Chaba Se Kopane!
‘Chaba se Kopane!’ was written in the last years of Mohapeloa’s life, probably for the choir at the National Teacher’s Training College of Lesotho, because he taught there in 1978-81 after retiring from Morija Printing Works. There are two other songs from his NTTC days similar to ‘Chaba se Kopane!’, which are ‘Liaba’ (JPM137) and ‘Sechaba se Kopanè’ (JPM140), but each one has sufficient differences in music and text for them to be regarded as separate works. ‘Chaba se Kopane!’ is the shortest and possibly the first of the three. It sings the praises of Lesotho’s (then) Prime Minister, Chief Leabua Jonathan, who won the 1966 elections during Lesotho’s independence year. Despite losing the following national election in 1970 Jonathan held onto power by force until 1986 when he was deposed in a military coup, and democracy was restored to Lesotho. The irony of these songs about uniting the nation under their new leader is that Jonathan himself divided the country into years of long and bitter civic strife.