Car­ni­val wows rev­ellers

Sunday Express - - XPRESS PEOPLE - Mo­halenyane Phakela

THE pub­lic was treated to a colour­ful dis­play and en­er­getic dances dur­ing the 2017 edi­tion of the Arts, In­no­va­tion and Cul­ture Week Car­ni­val which took place in Maseru on Fri­day.

The car­ni­val be­gan at ‘ Man­thabiseng Con­ven­tion Cen­tre at about 11am and made its way to the Maseru Club grounds.

The en­ter­tain­ers were led by su­per­bikes whose revving and rhyth­mic sounds were com­ple­mented by the en­er­getic per­for­mances of cadet dancers as well as tra­di­tional dancers who in­cluded Mokhibo and Mo­ho­belo.

The car­ni­val also fea­tured a gi­gan­tic im­pres­sion of the Moko­rotlo hat which is one of the best known sym­bols of Ba­sotho tra­di­tions.

The hat was in­spired by the shape of the Qiloane Moun­tain in Thaba Bo­siu which King Moshoeshoe I used as his fortress dur­ing the nine­teenth cen­tury wars.

Last year’s Moko­rotlo be­came a laugh­ing stock that drew vir­u­lent crit­i­cism with some peo­ple say­ing it was a dis­grace to have such an “ugly” im­pres­sion when the coun­try had so many tal- ented peo­ple who could de­sign some­thing more aes­thet­i­cally ap­peal­ing.

The crit­i­cism must have hit home as this time around there was a much more at­trac­tive de­sign. Un­like last year’s which was made from plas­tic and mounted on a car, this year’s was made of grass and looked ex­actly like the Moko­rotlo hat, ex­cept that it was big and had its own wheels for mo­bil­ity.

It also had stairs and fea­tured a stage which Tourism Min­is­ter, ‘Mamot­sie Mot­sie, used for her speech at Maseru Club.

Mot­sie said that the Arts, In­no­va­tion and Cul­ture week was held to recog­nise and pro­mote arts in the coun­try as the aim was to de­velop the sec­tor to be­come a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

“The gov­ern­ment de­cided three years ago to com­mem­o­rate arts and cul­ture as this is one of the sec­tors that can boost our econ­omy and tourism in­flux while pre­serv­ing our her­itage,” Mot­sie said.

“It is true that sev­eral coun­tries rely on the arts as the pil­lar of their economies and we would not want to be left be­hind when we have such a rich his­tory and tal­ented peo­ple.

“We value our her­itage and we have also in­vited other na­tion­al­i­ties liv­ing in Le­sotho to cel­e­brate with us and show­case their di­verse cul­tures just as (Ba­sotho na­tion founder King) Moshoeshoe I asked his peo­ple not to dis­crim­i­nate against out­siders but treat them well.”

Her speech was also fol­lowed by per­for­mances from var­i­ous lo­cal artistes in­clud­ing Famo’s Se­fako sa Menoa­neng, Lithoko and the cadet dancers.

The min­ster and her guests who in­cluded Chi­nese and French em­bassies rep­re­sen­ta­tives walked around the stalls and tasted the va­ri­ety of tra­di­tional dishes on of­fer.

TOURISM Min­is­ter ‘Mamot­sie Mot­sie. BMW match­box spin­ners per­form stunts dur­ing the car­ni­val. LAST year’s Moko­rotlo. FAMO artist Se­fako sa Menoa­neng. 2017 Moko­rotlo.

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