Thursday

Dry arts festival

The Lesotho Arts Festival in Morija is about the only opportunity for Basotho to showcase their stuff, both cultural and artistic. Just before its start, the government announced that there would be no alcohol sold at the festival. The turn-out was poor. Was it due to the ban?
The sixth Morija Arts and Cultural Festival was held at the village of Morija, some 25 kilometres south of Maseru, over Lesotho's Independence Day long weekend earlier this month. While honoured by prominent guests such as the royal family, Basotho ministers and foreign representatives, few ordinary Basotho participated at the event.
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Some insist that the low turn-out was also because the Morija event was scheduled at the same time as another equally popular festival in nearby Bloemfontein, South-Africa. Could be. It seems to me, however, that instead of issuing a banning order, the government could have controlled the sale of alcohol. The control could have been in the form of limiting the quantity available, or allowing only mild alcohols. I agree that the event is cultural and artistic, and should not be turned into a shebeen. But it is also a celebration of our heritage and should not be turned into a stoic happening.