Mahlo a Lefatše

(International Women’s Year)


Catalogue No
JPM 109
Dual notation (staff & tonic solfa), Staff notation
choir SATB
Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa Critical Edition

Mohapeloa completed ‘Mahlo a Lefatše’ in 1975, publishing it in Cape Town in 1976 as song No. 12 of 25 in Meluluetsa ea Ntšetso-pele le Bosechaba Lesotho (Anthems for the Development of the Lesotho Nation). The song celebrates 1975 being declared International Women’s Year by the United Nations, on 8 March (The UN established a ‘decade for women’, from 1976 to 1985.) ‘Mahlo a lefatše’ literally means ‘the eyes of the world’: ‘selemo sa basali’ literally means ‘women’s year’. Mohapeloa himself gave the English translation ‘Women’s Year’ as his subtitle, to which ‘International’ is added here. Like most women in Africa, Lesotho’s women were (and are) treated as inferior to and the cultural property of, men. Mohapeloa draws attention quite strongly in this song to the injustice of this, praising women’s virtues and strengths and also recording how Lesotho associated itself with the international acknowledgment of women.