’Mankholikholi is a game song for three female voices, the text adapted by Moerane from a traditional source. It is the Sesotho name for a bird of prey called the yellow-billed kite in English, and is also the name of a mythical creature. When children in Lesotho lose their milk teeth, they ask ’Mankholikholi to send them strong permanent teeth, and they sometimes ask him to give them unripe sorghum to plant as well, but ’Mankholikholi refuses, because they have no suitable grain basket. The text refers to all these things while the music is full of repetitions and delightful shrieks that reflect the fun of the game and also the call of the kite. The lyrics begin, ‘’Mankholikholi, heea, heea!’ (imitating the bird’s call), ‘A k’u nkhaketse talane heea!’ (Give me unripe sorghum seeds to plant, heea!’ ). In order to help choirs learn this song, a free mp3 of the lyrics spoken by Mpho Ndebele is downloadable when the song is purchased along with a rehearsal mp3 of the song at a slow tempo.
The audio sample below was generated from the Sibelius file of the score and the image on the right shows the first page of the score.