HHP a no show at Li­faqane fes­ti­val

. . . as po­lice bring cur­tain down over ex­pired show per­mit

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment - Mo­halenyane Phakela

THE much-an­tic­i­pated per­for­mance by South African Motswako rap­per Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP) at the Li­faqane-mfe­cane Fes­ti­val was ill-fated af­ter the po­lice closed the show due to an ex­pired show per­mit.

HHP was billed to per­form in a line up which also in­cluded renowned artists Than­diswa Maswai and Phuzikhemisi at the in­au­gu­ral fete held at Thaba-bo­siu Cul­tural Vil­lage last Satur­day.

The or­gan­is­ers, An­ces­tral Col­lec­tive, are a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion formed to

raise aware­ness among Africans of their his­tory and to cel­e­brate the con­ti­nent’s rich cul­tures, cus­toms and tra­di­tions.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Public Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer Khothatso Mo­let­sane, the po­lice halted the event halfwaythrough South African songstress Mazwai’s per­for­mance due to the stip­u­la­tions of the event per­mit.

“It was around mid­night when po­lice of­fi­cers showed up and told us we had to wrap up the show at 12 mid­night as our per­mit did not al­low us to go be­yond that time,” said Mo­let­sane in an in­ter­view with the Week­ender.

“We tried to beg them to al­low HHP to per­form just one song as we cut Than­diswa’s per­for­mance by 30 min­utes but they re­fused to budge. “Fans started to scream and boo at the of­fi­cer who took to the stage and an­nounced that the show was over, but he never seemed to care at all and in­stead told them to go home as the show was over.”

He added that the “un­timely” clo­sure of the show had por­trayed An­ces­tral Col­lec­tive in a bad light as most peo­ple now thought HHP never came for the show since he did not get the chance to greet his await­ing fans. Ac­cord­ing to Mo­let­sane, Min­istry of Po­lice Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary, Re­filoe Matekane, also tried to in­ter­vene by “ask­ing the of­fi­cers to al­low HHP to per­form for just a few min­utes and even made sev­eral calls to no avail”. “The fes­ti­val was meant to pay trib­ute to Li­faqane, a time in our forgotten but very im­por­tant his­tory by pay­ing homage to those who fought and died try- ing to pro­tect our peo­ple and our land, and to get peo­ple to think about, re­search, and learn about this era so that we know where we come from and then know where we are headed,” he said.

“Ba­sotho need to foster the his­tor­i­cal col­lec­tive val­ues that brought about the for­ma­tion of this na­tion.”

On the clo­sure of the fes­ti­val, Mo­let­sane said: “I be­lieve this was sab­o­tage as I do not un­der­stand why they would not let us con­tinue with the show as there were no ri­ots or scuf­fles and the show was within a fenced com­pound.

“Who­ever was be­hind that act did not sab­o­tage An­ces­tral Col­lec­tive but por­trayed the coun­try in a neg­a­tive light as we had rev­el­ers from other coun­tries who were also in­ter­ested in learn­ing about Le­sotho’s his­tory and how we have turned the Li­faqane chaos into cel­e­bra­tions.”

How­ever, he re­as­sured Ba­sotho that they would or­gan­ise a bet­ter show next year and would bring HHP to Le­sotho again “very soon to make up for that hic­cup and it will be a free show”.

On his part, po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior In­spec­tor Clif­ford Molefe said they closed the show af­ter the per­mit for the event lapsed by two hours.

“The or­gan­is­ers had re­quested a per­mit of 12 hours (from 10am to 10pm) and the of­fi­cers com­pro­mised for two hours so they could wrap up their show,” Snr Insp Molefe said.

He added that the po­lice could not go be­yond 12 mid­night in line with the dic­tates of the law.

“Our of­fi­cers had been there through­out the event to en­sure there is peace and or­der; they did not just show up to close the event.

“As for the PS (Matekane), he was at the fes­ti­val in his per­sonal and not gov­ern­ment ca­pac­ity. So what he did was ask for a favour which the of­fi­cers were in a po­si­tion to turn down ac­cord­ing to the law which gov­erns us,” said Snr Insp Molefe.

SA rap­per HHP failed to per­form at Li­faqane Fes­ti­val last Satur­day in Thaba-bo­siu.

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