Dual notation (staff & tonic solfa), Staff notation
choir SATB
Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa Critical Edition

‘Leheshe-heshe’ was written for the installation of the young Paramount Chief Constantinus Bereng Seeiso as King Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho on 12 March 1960. It was first published in the multi-author songbook Binang ka Thabo in Maseru, in 1963. The repeated lines reveal the indebtedness of the song to oral praise poetry traditionally sung for chiefs and royalty. None of the king’s attributes or totem animals are mentioned, but the satirical inversion of a positive attribute, ‘Selela’ (Useless one) is typical of praise poetry. The King’s return to Lesotho from Britain where he was studying, and his enthronement, were political moves aimed to boost a particular party in the run up to pre-independence elections. But when the political landscape changed a few years later, the King was exiled again. His naming as Moshoeshoe II was highly symbolic, for Moshoeshoe I was the 19-century founder of the Basotho nation.