LETOFE ex­plodes in Thaba-bo­siu

Lesotho Times - - Weekender - Mo­halenyane Phakela

All roads lead to Thaba-bo­siu Cul­tural Vil­lage this Satur­day for the 11th edi­tion of the an­nual le­sotho Tourism Fes­ti­val (LETOFE).

LETOFE has be­come one of the coun­try’s lead­ing en­ter­tain­ment events since its in­cep­tion in 2005, and also a ma­jor tourist at­trac­tion be­cause of the di­ver­sity of its line-up of artists who in­clude both in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal acts.

Or­ga­niz­ers of the event have al­ways pro­vided qual­ity en­ter­tain­ment, mak­ing it a fes­ti­val not to be missed, and at­tract­ing rev­ellers from as far afield as Zim­babwe, Swazi­land, Botswana and of-course South Africa . The choice of artistes, from jazz to hi-hop, makes the show ap­peal to ev­ery taste, hence its grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity with each pass­ing year.

From Amer­ica’s Kenny la­ti­more and Monique Bing­ham to Zim­babwe’s Oliver Mtukudzi, LETOFE has hosted some of the most ex­cit­ing artistes whose per­for­mance have ce­mented the fes­ti­val’s sta­tus as one of le­sotho’s prime gigs.

This week­end’s show will be graced by, among other artistes, Amer­ica’s Andy Narell and Por­tia Monique, South Africans Vusi Mahlasela, Zonke, Athari, Bonolo, and Riky Rick with lo­cals Maleh, Tšepo Tshola and JC Crew, adding to the glitzy line-up. Mtukudzi, who had been billed to be one of the artistes had to pull-out due to fam­ily mat­ters.

Andy Narell, a jazz mu­si­cian, is known for hits such as Kalinda, Slow Mo­tion and We Kinda Peo­ple, to name but a few, while Por­tia Monique is one of the world’s lead­ing house vo­cal­ists, pop­u­lar through tracks such as Do Bet­ter, Colours of love and Grace. Al­though she would not be mak­ing her de­but ap­pear­ance in le­sotho as she per­formed at LETOFE’S af­ter party last year along­side Ger­many born Ralf Gum, Monique is al­ready be­ing talked about in such rev­er­ence by Ba­sotho who can­not wait for Satur­day

Ac­cord­ing to one of the LETOFE or­gan­is­ers, Mon­toeli ‘Moleli, this year’s event would live up to the high stan­dards the fes­ti­val has come to be known for.

“The dream is to see LETOFE be­come an in­ter­na­tional jazz fes­ti­val, which is why it is al­ways jazz-dom­i­nated. We have in­cluded house mu­sic which has el­e­ments of jazz in it and one hip-hop act so as to at­tract the younger gen­er­a­tion for them to end up lov­ing jazz,” he said.

“But all in all, all is set for the fes­ti­val and we are look­ing for­ward to a mem­o­rable event once again.”

On the other hand, Thaba-bo­siu Cul­tural Vil­lage Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Thabo Maret­lane, said the fa­cil­ity’s ac­com­mo­dated had been fully booked by Oc­to­ber largely be­cause of LETOFE.

“Our 41 re­strooms that can ac­com­mo­date 82 peo­ple, as well as 40 other break­away rooms have been fully booked by peo­ple com­ing to the jazz fes­ti­val. Some have even sought to camp there as we have a huge camp­ing site,” he said.

Jimmy Dludlu and his group per­form at last year’s Letofe.

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