The lyrics by Lesotho poet Bennett Khaketla (1913-2000) describe a skipping rope made from the Cape tulip, a ubiquitous plant that goes by the Sesotho name, ‘teele’. The reed-like part is used to weave many things, in this case a skipping rope, and both the rope and the game associated with it are called ‘khathi’. The song has a lively and infectious melodic line, and is full of syncopations and contrapuntal movement. One can imagine it making a perfect action song for children, or a wonderful entertainment song at concert. The ending is like a final ‘chorus’, with some voices humming and others singing. To help choirs with pronunciation, the Sesotho lyrics are available as a free mp3 download when the score is purchased.
Khati audio sample (piano) Audio