The ‘creator of sorrow’ (paka-mahlomola) in this song for three female voices is the Mohokare or Caldeon River. This is the river that separates Lesotho from South Africa, a long river whose source is in very high mountains in east Lesotho and which then meanders for hundreds of kilometres westward, dividing Lesotho from South Africa. During apartheid, it divided a country where people were free to live where they liked from a country where they were treated as ‘Blacks’, and where they suffered accordingly, at every level. The sorrow of crossing this river surely refers to this history, but it might also simply refer to the fact that someone dearly loved lives permanently on the ‘other’ side. As a result, the overall mood of the music is rather sad, and the work is written in several contrasting sections. In order to help choirs learn this song, a free mp3 of the lyrics spoken by Mpho Ndebele is downloadable when the song is purchased along with a rehearsal mp3 of the song at a slow tempo.
The audio sample below was generated from the Sibelius file of the score and the image on the right shows the first page of the score.