Catalogue No
JPM 049
Dual notation (staff & tonic solfa), Staff notation
choir SATB
Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa Critical Edition

Paramount Chief of the Basotho from 1822 to 1870, Moshoeshoe I, took responsibility for forging a number of clans in the region into a nation, hence the references in ‘Moshoashoailane’ to him as ‘founder’. The Basotho kept their main enemies – the Zulu and the Boer – at bay during a series of wars in the 1850s and 60s, but could not hold out against the Boer’s superior weaponry, and so Moshoeshoe appealed for help to Queen Victoria, and Basutoland became a British Protectorate in 1868. The phrase ‘found very far away’ may refer to this way in which he was ‘known overseas’ from that time onwards. The following year, however, 1869, the British and Boer signed a treaty that removed much of Basutoland’s arable farming land in the west and effectively reduced the size of the nation by half. Lesotho has remained an independent kingdom, but a very poor one, economically dependent mainly on South Africa, by which it is entirely surrounded. Moshoeshoe I is commemorated every year in Lesotho as a public holiday on 11 March, which may have been the day on which this song was first sung.