African Composers Edition

Online publisher of African compositions


Mohapeloa wrote Mafeteng in 1936, publishing it in Morija in 1939 as the twenty-third 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 Mafeteng is song No. 55 in Meloli II, not No. 23. Mafeteng is the kind of straightforward school song celebrating a place-name of which Mohapeloa was so fond, other ones being Morija, Maseru, TY, and Leribe. What he seems to have had in mind was giving each district of the small country of Lesotho ‘their’ song, so that Basotho could all feel that their part of the country was important. Songs such as these must have helped to contribute towards nation building during the 1930s, and maybe they laid the foundation for other composers to follow suit, for there have been a number of songs about towns, rivers, famous people, landmarks, and historical events in the wake of Mohapeloa.



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