Lesotho Festivals and Events

Sesotho Language and Culture Weekends

January 29, 2011

Since 2005, Morija Guest Houses (MGH) has been holding many “Introduction to Sesotho Language and Culture weekends” aimed at expatriates who have come to live and work in Lesotho. They have become indispensable orientation weekends for many. Even knowing just a little bit of the language can make a very big difference to new comers and understanding some basic cultural concepts will prevent awkward situations.

Mamokola teaches a group outside

Mamokola teaches a group outside.

The weekends enable participants to gain confidence when attempting to speak Sesotho, to acquire useful knowledge of Lesotho’s history and Basotho culture and generally to feel more comfortable in their new environment. Because of the beautiful setting of the guest houses, walks are always scheduled in the weekend programme.  Traditional dancers are also invited to perform and the atmosphere of the weekends is always warm and welcoming.

Mamokola Matlanyane, who presents the language lessons, has extensive experience teaching Sesotho to adults and skillfully includes everybody, even the most reluctant speakers. Language learning sessions are not intensive as the emphasis is on ensuring participants feel encouraged, not overwhelmed.  The rest of the weekends organising team comprises Lebaka Makana, the General Manager, who often contributes to the discussions on Basotho history and culture, and Mapalesa “Brigitte” Hall.

Participants at the Sesotho language weekends

The atmosphere is always very relaxed

Brigitte (the owner of MGH), went through a similar process when she arrived in Lesotho 23 years ago and had to learn how to adapt to the Lesotho environment. Therefore she is uniquely placed to help participants through the various challenges they may face.

You can read more about the weekends in the Special Events section of www.morijaguesthouses.com

Of course Morija is the ideal place for  cultural weekends because of its history and its special place in Lesotho as the ‘wellspring’ of learning.  Furthermore Morija has been hosting an annual Arts and Cultural Festival since 1999, the largest cultural festival in Lesotho.

by Brigitte Hall

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