African Composers Edition

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Tsohang Maafrika

Mokhosi oa Afrika draws on the metaphor of a ship, odd for a land-locked country like Lesotho until one remembers how many Basotho troops travelled by ship during WWII. The ‘ship of hatred and segregation’ may refer to the fact that neighbouring South Africa was heading for racist legislation in 1947 when this song was published, bad news fora country  landlocked by South Africa and economically dependent upon it. ‘Wake up to this reality and deal with it’ the song says, by seeking union with other countries in Africa. The phrase ‘kopano ke matla’ (unity is strength), a cliché of nationalism since the early nineteenth century and used on many coats of arms, is used here partly in the sense of being unified as Basotho and partly in the sense of continental unity. It was a long time, however before the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) came into being (1963) or before Lesotho gained independence (1966).



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