African Composers Edition

Online publisher of African compositions

Mokhotlong (Mokhotlong)

Mohapeloa completed Mokhotlong in 1972, publishing it in Cape Town in 1976 as song No. 17 of 25 in Meluluetsa ea Ntšetso-pele le Bosechaba Lesotho (Anthems for the Development of the Lesotho Nation). It sings the praises of the town nearest to the village where Mohapeloa was born and grew up, one of the highest points in southern Africa, in the Maloti (also called Maluti or Drakensberg) mountains. The word ‘mokhotlong’ itself has nothing to do with mountains, deriving from the Sesotho name for the southern bald ibis (Geronticus calvus). The song is written in a lilting meter that Mohapeloa associated in some way with this district of Lesotho, 3+3+2, a meter he calls ‘seakhi time’. The song’s numerous references to rivers, villages, and mountain peaks make it an interesting geographical record, as are some of his other songs in Meluluetsa.

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