Wednesday

Liketso tsa Moshoeshoe (Moshoeshoe's Actions)

Moshoeshoe and the Basotho

It belongs not to me, as you know yourself very well that every country in the world does not belong to the people which dwells in it. If I remove the Basutos, I have nowhere else where I can establish them.
-- Moshoeshoe


Mma-Ntatisi drove Moshoeshoe from his fortress near the Caledon River to safety on Thaba Bosiu (in Lesotho). While Moshoeshoe lead his people to their new home, cannibals among Mma-Ntatisi's army ate some of the lagging Basotho. To keep the Tlokoa at bay, Moshoeshoe convinced the Zulu to attack Sikonyela's army. While the Zulu and Tlokoa fought, Moshoeshoe increased his territory. Afterwards, Moshoeshoe persuaded the British to establish his kingdom as a Crown Colony, to deter encroachment from other Europeans and Afrikaners.

Moshoeshoe could teach Gabrielle how to use power constructively. One way to gather strength is by promoting peace. By welcoming refugees, he raised the Basotho from a small clan to a nation. Calling 'Peace' his sister, Moshoeshoe pardoned the cannibals who ate his grandfather. The cannibals reformed their ways and joined the Basotho. Moshoeshoe formed a friendship with Eugene Casalis, a French missionary, who provided a means for the survival of his people. Casalis enabled him to convince Queen Victoria to make Basutoland a Crown Colony. To keep the Basotho intact, Moshoeshoe required all men attend court debates to discuss government policies. Like Gabrielle, he highly valued the art of persuasive argument. His efforts for his people were rewarded in 1966 when Basutoland became independent Lesotho."

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We had a king who had Peace for a sister. A born negotiator who forgave the folks who had eaten his grand-daddy, then convinced them to join his nation in the making. A guy who immediately saw how three Froggies wandering around southern Africa could be helpful. And boy, were they! Moshoeshoe did everything possible to preserve the sovereignty of Basutoland, later Lesotho, and he won--against all odds he won. Today there's a speck of a country called Lesotho, within but not part the mightier South Africa, because of Moshoeshoe's actions and wisdom. What happened after independence in 1966? How did we screw up? That's one hell of a question whose reply eludes me. The guy had cultivated the food, harvested the food, cooked the food and chewed it for us--and we weren't able to swallow it.