African Composers Edition

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Mo-Afrika, Tsoha

There are several songs of awakening in Meloli II and even more in Meloli III, songs exhorting Africa, Africans, or in this case, ‘African’ to wake up to the reality around them. The songs remind us that World War II broke out soon after the book was published, a war in which many Basotho were killed, most of them in non-combatant roles, on foreign soil. It was, however, to be many years (1966) before Lesotho attained the independence that Mohapeloa urges his fellow Basotho to strive for in this song. Mo-Afrika, Tsoha speaks to the inertia, or perhaps the inner political turmoil of his country as it progressed towards that independence, using compound triple time to capture the sense of being lulled to sleep, and the hammering rhythm of Alto and Bass (accents on every note, at first) to express the urgent need to wake up.

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