African Composers Edition

Online publisher of African compositions

Kena ka Khotso

Mohapeloa completed Kena ka Khotso in 1976, publishing it in Cape Town in 1976 as song No. 14 of 25 in Meluluetsa ea Ntšetso-pele le Bosechaba Lesotho (Anthems for the Development of the Lesotho Nation). The song partners Mohapeloa’s earlier song ‘E-eang ka Khotso’ (Go in Peace) published in the collection Khalima-nosi tsa ’Mino Oa Kajeno in 1951. Both phrases -‘come in peace’ and ‘go in peace’ - are important in Lesotho’s cultural life. They are greetings found at the country’s border posts, for example. This song indicates that by 1976 Lesotho had a healthy tourist trade and offers a rosy view of the country, in stark contrast to what surrounding South Africa must have felt like to some travellers in 1976, perhaps. It emphasises the hospitality as well as the natural beauty of a country that is often called ‘the mountain kingdom’ or ‘the kingdom in the sky’ because almost half the country covers the highest mountain range in southern Africa, the Maluti (Drakensberg). For Basotho their country is always associated not only with mountains but also with its founder, Moshoeshoe I, who forged them into a nation in the mid-nineteenth century.



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