African Composers Edition

Online publisher of African compositions

Ha Eso

Mohapeloa wrote Ha Eso in the 1930s, first publishing it in Morija in 1939 as the fifth of 32 songs in Meloli le Lithallere tsa Afrika ka J.P. Mohapeloa: Buka ea Bobeli [African Songs and Extemporary Harmonizations by J.P. Mohapeloa: Book II]. Mohapeloa continued numbering songs in Meloli II  - his second songbook - from where his previous book, Meloli I ended; thus Ha Eso is song No. 37 in Meloli II, not No. 5. This song complements the previous one in the book, A Re Eeng, telling of the homesickness and disappointment of being in Johannesburg rather than the excitement of going there; and the text begins ironically, for to most black people in Johannesburg in the 1930s it was anything but “beautiful buildings … joy and happiness … plenty of food”. Mohapeloa experienced the contrast between pleasure and regret, excitement and suffering many times during his sojourn on the Reef between 1938 and 1943, and must have seen many Basotho hearts broken.



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