African Composers Edition

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Maseru

Maseru is the capital of the small mountain kingdom of Lesotho, in the west of the country close to the South African border, and is also the end of a branch line that links Lesotho (Basutoland as it was) by rail with the rest of Africa. It was from Maseru station that tens of thousands of migrant workers have sought work in South Africa throughout Lesotho’s history as a nation. Mohapeloa commemorates these journeys in other songs. Here he simply praises Maseru as the largest and most established town in Lesotho, a bustling commercial and administrative centre of the country. It is characterised by numerous rocky hills and a sprawling, haphazard design, with lots of greenery visible between the built-up areas, which would have been even more the case in the late 1930s. Hence Mohapeloa’s reference to the town’s ‘green pastures’. Today, in addition to large government buildings, the city has an airport, a university (The University of Lesotho at Roma, just outside Maseru), a college of education (Lesotho Teachers’ Training College), and several schools and hospitals; and is the headquarters of the Lesotho National Broadcasting Corporation, among other important national institutions.

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