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Moshanyana, Se Llele ho Lisa

Mohapeloa wrote Moshanyana, Se Llele ho Lisa in the 1930s, first publishing it in Morija in 1939 as the seventh of 32 songs in Meloli le Lithallere tsa Afrika ka J.P. Mohapeloa: Buka ea Bobeli [African Songs and Extemporary Harmonizations by J.P. Mohapeloa: Book II]. Mohapeloa continued numbering songs in Meloli II - his second songbook - from where his previous book, Meloli I ended; thus Moshanyana, Se Llele ho Lisa is song No. 39 in Meloli II, not No. 7. The song is addressed to all Basotho males, for boys and young men typically spend much of the year tending flocks and moving them from one grazing place to another. Young men wear a Basotho blanket thrown over their shoulder, a pointed Basotho hat and wellington boots and carrying a stout stick. They are one of the most common sights in Lesotho, still. Mohapeloa did his own share of herding as a boy and would have sympathised with a herd boy’s hatred of the severe Lesotho winters. “Pulumo learned a lot from working with boys and men”, recalls his younger brother. “When herding he learned how to draw water with a sponge made of grass ropes and knitting hats out of wool and grass”. Not surprising, therefore, that “Basotho ways, old and new, that he learned from home, at school, herding, doing different kinds of jobs, are evident in many of his songs” (Mohapeloa and Phakisi 1987 - see back page of score for this source).

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