African Composers Edition

Online publisher of African compositions

Kolo Sena

Almost all the songs Mohapeloa wrote in his first three songbooks were intended for school children, and so one that is about ‘our school’ might be expected. The deeper history is the importance of education in 1940s Basutoland (Lesotho). Schooling was one of the first things introduced by the Swiss-French protestant missionaries in 1833, but until 1929 primarily schooling was the only kind available - and not to everyone. In that year the colonial government in London established two Intermediate Schools, in Mafeteng and Maseru. These were in effect higher primary schools, and it was only as war loomed in Europe that provision was made in Maseru for a government high school. The first classes began at Basutoland High School in February 1939, with 39 boys and 3 girls. But education was still inaccessible to many Basotho and for decades a distinction was drawn between ‘the educated’ and the people in remote rural areas. Music was an important part of school education in Mohapeloa's day, and still is.

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