Tourism fes­ti­val ends year in style

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment - Mo­halenyane Phakela

Thaba-bo­siu Cul­tural Vil­lage was the place to be last satur­day as the Le­sotho Tourism Fes­ti­val (LETOFE) erupted to thrills and spills from ec­static rev­ellers who de­scended on the his­toric venue.

The 11th edi­tion of the an­nual fes­ti­val was cer­tainly big­ger than its pre­cur­sors, with the younger gen­er­a­tion hav­ing an even more dom­i­nant pres­ence, adding fire to an al­ready scorch­ing event renowned for its strong line-up of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional artists.

on their part, the en­tire line-up of artists lived up to ex­pec­ta­tions with south african leg­endary jazz mu­si­cian, Vusi Mahlasela prov­ing a wor­thy re­place­ment for Zim­babwe’s oliver Mtukudzi who could not come due to “un­avoid­able cir­cum­stances”. song­bird bonolo, also from south africa, mes­merised fans with her melodic voice and her tra­di­tional se­sotho dance, Mokhibo, en­deared her even more to the au­di­ence.

The lo­cals did not dis­ap­point ei­ther, with Maseru West-born Maleh, dressed in se­shoeshoe and seana Marena blan­ket, giv­ing out one of the long­est per­for­mances of the night. her south african Mu­sic awards-win­ning tracks such as Tse­lane, Step Child and Maseru, were par­tic­u­larly a hit with the fans.

Jazz mu­si­cians Tšepo Tšola and bhu­daza Mape­fane also gave out a joint scin­til­lat­ing per­for­mance with Tšola mostly on the vo­cals while Mape­fane added to the ex­cit­ing feel through his sax­o­phone. Tšola also per­formed with bonolo and the au­di­ence sim­ply loved the per­for­mance.

Rap­pers Riky Rick and Juvy added ex­cit­ing hip-hop flavour to the show with solo per­for­mances that had the vil­lage shak­ing to its foun­da­tion.

amer­i­can singer Por­tia Monique was also there to add to a daz­zling night, as her sooth­ing voice and house beat was the ideal cherry to cool the burn­ing night, in which her com­pa­triot and jazz mu­si­cian, andy Narell, south african Zonke, athari and the lo­cal JC Crew were also in top gear in their throb­bing per­for­mances.

in an in­ter­view with the Week­ender af­ter his per­for­mance, Mahlasela said he felt happy to per­form be­fore such an ap­pre­cia­tive crowd.

“This is my first time in Le­sotho and i was blown away by the re­cep­tion the fans gave me for they sang along to my songs, even the old ones that i did not know the young gen- er­a­tion knew,” Mahlasela said.

“i would like to come to Le­sotho as of­ten as pos­si­ble be­cause to­day, i felt at home, and mostly be­cause th­ese peo­ple un­der­stand the south african lan­guages i use in my songs.”

on the other hand, bhu­daza also told the Week­ender that he had the best night ever.

“It is not the first time that we have had a joint per­for­mance with Ntate Tšepo but to­day felt as if we had never done it be­fore. The peo­ple were so great that i want to jump back on stage once again,” he said.

LETOFE was the big­gest party on the 2015 en­ter­tain­ment cal­en­dar along­side summa Feva.

The fes­ti­val went down till the early hours of sun­day with rev­ellers re­luc­tantly leav­ing the venue as they could not get enough of the per­for­mances. The po­lice kept the traf­fic un­der con­trol and no ma­jor in­ci­dents and ac­ci­dents were re­ported.

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