Tuesday

Re: Music ('Mino)

On 14 December 2003 I said,
"I think that the first, the very first sound I ever heard was my mother singing, or humming. She sings all the time. She breaks into song whenever she can, and shuffles her sheepskin-slippered feet in tune with one of her favourite political-gathering songs, "'Moulo koloi."

In 1990 my wife and I went from Europe where we live to Apartheid South-Africa to visit with my older sister, before heading on to Lesotho for my younger sister's wedding. Now, my name, Rethabile, gives me away. It says "black African," although it only literally means "We are happy". My last name, Masilo, leaves no doubt. Nonetheless, on the telephone Europeans have sometimes asked me which part of Italy I came from. My broom-jumping sister's name is Tokoloho, or "Freedom". My late brother's name is Khotsofalang, or "Be satisfied". My older sister's name is Kananelo, or "We accept". I can almost see my parents naming me: "Second son, we are happy, aren't we love? Right. So let's call him... We're happy, OK?." The only two members of my family whose names are neither a dictionary entry nor a full sentence are my two youngest brothers, Ramoreboli and T'soanyane.

But back to what I was getting at. I'm black, my wife's white, and there we were in a plane hurtling toward the then Jan Smuts International Airport in Johannesburg. I can't say I was particularly scared about it. I was perhaps apprehensive, excited, a dash of adrenalin in my veins. The last time I had been in South-Africa I had been running away from Lesotho, and I had happily boarded a plane headed away from home!

My wife broke down and cried at the airport, right after we went through customs. She said something about the way she... we were being looked at. Kananelo was there to pick us up. I hadn’t seen my sister in ten years, and she seemed heavier... sadder? We hugged and got in the car. Southern Africa came back to me in a flash as soon as we drove out of the carpark into the crawling Jo'burg traffic. The smells (grass, soil, something frying) hadn’t changed, and neither had that man's voice on the radio. South-Africa!

We headed for Kwa-Thema in the Gauteng (then Transvaal) township of Springs, where Kananelo lived.

[ Reminder: Kwa-Thema is a black township -- Apartheid is alive and well in 1990-- We're going to Kwa-Thema to stay for a week -- My wife is as white as a sheet! ]

Of course I was scared. I was no longer in a plane somewhere in the air, but in a car rounding the corner into Kwa-Thema. I probably wouldn't have been that scared if killings of whites by blacks as well as black on black violence hadn't recently been taking place. We spent most of the week indoors partying with family and friends. But we did go out once, and boy, did we go out.

We went to this braaivleis at a park somewhere. There were, like, upwards of fifty black people, with each family huddled around their fire or table, and there was my wife, white alone, unafraid, smiling and enjoying the braai. Talk about jitters -- I was jumpier than a flea on a stove. And what happened? All the folks who were in that park that afternoon were frying meat and boerewors, drinking Castle Lager and singing! Nobody attacked her, as I had feared.

They... we sang and ate and laughed. We had just left Kwa-Thema where there were rubbish piles at every street corner due to a stand-off between the government and Thema residents. On the way home from the airport that first day we had gone to a KFC to get lunch. There had been an armed guard in the restaurant clinging onto his automatic weapon. Outside that same restaurant somebody in a police car had been busy banging against something in a bid to get attention. Which is why my wife couldn't help but ask me at the picnic, "Why are these people so happy? Why are they singing?" A woman walked over to us, gently pinched my wife's cheeks and said, in a mixture of Zulu and English, "She's your wife? I think that's beautiful." The accent sang.

African mothers carry their children on their backs, which frees the mother's hands and allows her to go about her daily business. I must have been on my mother's back when I first heard her sing.


Le 'meile kae ngoan'a morena
Where have you left the king's child
Le 'meile kae Mohato ?
Where have you left Mohato ?
Tloho hae ngoana morena
Come on home, royal child,
Tloho hae Mohato!
Come on home, Mohato.


Mohato is King Letsie III, Lesotho's present monarch. In general, song words usually don't mean much—it's the DA-dum DA-dum beat that children enjoy so much. In fact, black music usually has very little to do with lyrics. The French, for example, will listen to what I consider a crappy song and extol the merit of the lyrics. On the other hand I can listen to The Four Tops going "Sugar-Pie Honey-Bunch" and enjoy it immensely. All you need is voice, rhythm, and the following lyrics:

[ Shoo-be-doo-be-doo-wap ]

And that's close enough to it, as far as I'm concerned. A political song might have an explicit message, but even such messages are short, like "Free Him", or "Down with Apartheid", which we will then chant and sing as we dance, because the song-dance combo is what is important, from a Johannesburg picnic ground to a black church in Decatur Georgia. Pure singing isn't necessarily poetry. Mind you I'm speaking for myself when I say so. If I seek poetry I recite poetry. "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..." But back to the point. Why do we sing so? What does it mean to us? How has it helped us through the ages? Some of the uses of song in our culture are:

  1. To synchronise a common effort so that the pooled strength becomes more efficient;
  2. Entertainment. You’re your own Walkman, Jack;
  3. As an anger vent. We have a tendency to want to sing even during funerals, especially if the dead person slipped on a bar of soap, accidentally, in prison;
  4. To calm and soothe and reassure.

Have you ever had to answer that question about what music you'd take with you to a desert island? With only three compact disks allowed, I would take with me to a desert island:

a. Stevie Wonder, "Hotter Than July"
b. The Best of Angélique Kidjo
c. Le Best of de Michel Jonasz.

But, of course, if I could, I would take a Lesotho political gathering with me to that desert island. And if you've heard Ladysmith Black Mambazo then you have a pretty good idea of what I'd be listening to on that island.

Monday

Moore's 9/11

I saw Moore's film some time ago, and just like everybody else who has, it seems there is something I'd like to say about it. It's a well-made documentary film, the ultimate in docutainment. I enjoyed watching it. I came out of the theatre with a sentence in my head. I'd like to quote it verbatim, but I'm not sure I can remember it fully. It went something like, "You always think you know, everybody thinks they know, until it happens to you."

The lady who's at the centre of the film said those words. She had been for war, but the pain of losing a child changed her mind, and now is against war. Simple enough. But that's just the point. If you don't know, it remains simple enough; it is a pity that we have to know to understand.

That's what I remember most of all about Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. This lady's... this family's pain and the realisation that came to them upon knowing. If you haven't seen the film, do so. If you don't like Michael Moore, do so anyway. What have you got to lose?

Title

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<html>
<head>
<title>Adelfang Computing Internet</title>
These are the first few lines of code on... which website? On the Lesotho Tourist Board website. Check out the title. Speaks volumes. I have received e-mail assuring me that it will be either removed or improved.

Saturday

Blogger's doing fine, thank you

We've just added a new feature called Email This Post. It allows your readers to send the link to your post along to a friend via email. Convenient for them, good for you. That's nice. A very useful feature. And it comes at a time when Richard has been praising Google and repraising them. The man's right.

Thursday

Murders with firearms

Murders with firearms? South-Africa is the undisputed number one. I was surprised to see America at the number eight spot. I thought it was gonna be number three or four or something.
[ Read... ]

Ancestral worship?

"Lesotho is on [sic] of the smallest countries in the world with an area of 30,355 sq.km. [sic] Though Lesotho is officially open to the gospel, the people have given themselves over to ancestral worship. Less that 2% of the 2.2 million citizens are evangelical Christians*. The Basotho people need someone to go and model true Christianity."
Ouch! Pardon my saying so but, ...I think that it happened in 1833 when Eugène Casalis arrived in Lesotho. Wait a minute, what do you mean, true Christianity? You mean the one where people stand still like statues when singing a hymn? You mustn't mean that, because worshipping is done right when the worshipper's heart is happy, not scared. If you're gonna praise God, then go ahead and praise God, don't mumble. Let it all hang out. But perhaps that's not what's bothering you with Christianity in Lesotho.

Is American Christianity the Christianity? I'm assuming you are American. Do you really think we need someone to come over and model true Christianity for us? What that says, quite outright, is that ours is not true. What is it? Is it too poor? Too black? Too third-worldly instead of other-worldly? If you'd like to go to Lesotho to help, because help is needed, then do so. But do it with a purer heart. Otherwise please do not budge from wherever you are. And please desist from patronising us in that fashion. It does not sit well with me, and I'm one of the more patient ones.
[ Read... ]

*How did you come to this figure? Get the right numbers here, here and here.

Botswana's Baroa fight back

Botswana's Baroa are collecting funds to be used in their suit against the Botswana government. They say they have had enough of being pushed around, especially away from their ancestral lands, which just happen to be full of precious stones.

The Botswana government insists that Baroa must live like the rest of the nation in order to benefit from services.
[ Read... ]

The African Male

The African male's obsession with masculinity is disconcerting. It leads to war and strife. Most African men, most of the time, are in the process of showing somebody who's boss--usually their spouse--who's usually the literal homemaker. Without these women the blokes wouldn't know their left hands from their right feet. But it is precisely with those left hands that the women are slapped around and violated, and with those feet that their arses are kicked.

Most African men think they should screw every other woman, plus their spouse, for good measure. This tends to belittle women in general and encourage the spread of VD and AIDS. The popular belief is that donning a condom is being a sissy; few African men believe that dying from or transmitting the virus of death is being a sissy. They have probably never thought of it along those lines.

To be sure, the African male can also be found elsewhere. The too-cool rapper or the red-necked hillbilly. Every continent has its share of the African male. Africa just seems to have more than its share.

Wednesday

Thatcher arrested

"South African police have arrested Sir Mark Thatcher over allegations that he was involved in a planned coup in Equatorial Guinea, according to media reports in South Africa.
The son of Baroness Thatcher, the former British prime minister, was arrested at his Cape Town home, the South African Press Association said. He was expected to appear in court later today."
[ Read on... ]

Tuesday

The open-door policy

One of the basic tenets of good governance is the open-door policy. It is valid for home, school, work-place and national government. If you are a supevisor or part of an elected governing body, then you'd better make sure your door is, indeed, open. If not, you should start thinking about packing. Of course, as we've seen many-a-times on our continent and elsewhere, there are ways of keeping the door shut and keeping the position of power, all at the same time.

Closed doors in a home usually spell doom for the family. A kid who has a problem, a lad who has been unceremoniously jilted by a girl, a lass who thinks she's fallen pregnant, must be able to talk it over with their folks without the fear of being thrown to the dogs. The same holds true at work and at the national level.

This, however, implies that... well... that the door is open. It implies that the government is reachable, for instance, and that it, the government, has made it possible for the person in the street to reach it. It means that phone numbers, fax numbers, postal addresses and, more than anything else in this day and age, e-mail addresses are available and functional. It means that there is an online form on every government website for the purposes of feed-back, that all-important piece of information without which a government becomes less efficient.
The South-Africans provide the following means:

Mail: Private Bag X1000, PRETORIA, 0001
Street: Union Buildings, West wing, 2nd Floor, Government Avenue, PRETORIA
Tel: (012) 300 5200
Fax: (012) 323 8246

Mail: Private Bag X1000, CAPE TOWN, 8000
Street: Tuynhuys Building, Plein Street, CAPE TOWN
Tel: (021) 464 2100
Fax: (021) 462 2838

President
Mr Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki
Mail: Private Bag X1000, CAPE TOWN, 8000
Street: Tuynhuys Building, Plein Street, CAPE TOWN
Tel: (021) 464 2100
Fax: (021) 462 2838

Mail: Private Bag X1000, PRETORIA, 0001
Street: Union Buildings, West wing, 2nd Floor, Government Avenue, PRETORIA
Tel: (012) 300 5200
Fax: (012) 323 8246

Chief Director/Presidential Spokesperson
Mr Bheki Khumalo
Mail: Private Bag X1000, PRETORIA, 0001
Street: Union Buildings, West wing, 2nd Floor, Government Avenue, PRETORIA
Tel: (012) 300 5436/ (021) 464 2100
Fax: (012) 323 6080/ (021) 462 2838
Cell: 083 256 9133
E-mail: bheki@po.gov.za

Director: Media Liaison
Mr David Hlabane
Mail: Private Bag X1000, PRETORIA, 0001
Street: Union Buildings, West wing, 2nd Floor, Government Avenue, PRETORIA
Tel: (012) 300 5438
Fax: (012) 323 6080
Cell: 082 561 9428
E-mail: davidh@po.gov.za

Deputy President
Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma
Mail: Private Bag X1000, PRETORIA, 0001
Street: Union Buildings, West wing, 2nd Floor, Government Avenue, PRETORIA
Tel: (012) 300 5200
Fax: (012) 323 8246
E-mail: Deputypresident@po.gov.za

Spokesperson and Chief Director: Communication
Ms Lakela Kaunda
Mail: Private Bag X1000, PRETORIA, 0001
Street: Union Buildings, West wing, 2nd Floor, Government Avenue, PRETORIA
Tel: (012) 300 5316/ (021) 464 2100
Fax: (012) 326 3010/ (021) 464 2171
Cell: 082 782 2575
E-mail: lakela@po.gov.za

Director: Communications
Ms Zanele Mngadi
Mail: Private Bag X1000, PRETORIA, 0001
Street: Union Buildings, West wing, 2nd Floor, Government Avenue, PRETORIA
Tel: (012) 300 5312
Fax: (012) 326 3010
Cell: 082 781 9332
E-mail: zanelem@po.gov.za
[ Source... ]
That's plenty. One can phone them, at the office and on their mobile phones (probably off), write them, fax them, and e-mail them messages. That's plenty. They have provided what's necessary for communication; whether they actually do communicate or not is a different matter. I'd be interested in hearing from South-Africans who may have tried to contact their government. Is your system efficient? Or does it just look nice on a webpage?
Here's what the Swazis have:

Prime Minister: His Excellency, Mr Absalom Themba Dlamini Secretary to Cabinet/
Head of the Civil Service Mrs Futhi Hellen Mdluli
Principal Secretary Mr David M Lukhele
Under Secretary /
Administration Vacant
Under Secretary/
Communications Mr. Mbongeni Simelane
E-Mail address:msppcu@realnet.co.sz
Senior Government
Security Officer Mr. Patin Nxumalo
Physical Address Hospital Hill
Off Mhlambanyatsi Road
Mbabane
Postal Address P O Box 395
Mbabane
Swaziland
Telephone Number: (268)404 2251/3
Fax Number (268)404 3943

E-mail (Secretary to Cabinet) sec-tocab@realnet.co.sz
Public Policy Coordination
Unit (PPCU) Director Dr. Vincent Matsebula
Telephone Number +268 404 3993/ +268 404 1432
Fax Number +268 404 4073

If you have any suggestions, contributions or questions about this site send your comments E-Mail to: simelanemb@ppcu.gov.sz
[ Source... ]
Two e-mail addresses and three telephone numbers. That's not quite enough for a nation, I dare say. Why doesn't everyone have a postal address, a phone number and an email, at the very least? While South-Africa is a much bigger and richer country than Swaziland, an e-mail address is free. The Swazis did have a nice online feedback form. Any Swazis out there? I'd be happy to hear how wide the door is open in your country and whether you are able to easily walk in and out.
And here's what we have in Lesotho:
1.
Ministry of agriculture and food security
Hon. D. R. Phororo
P. O. Box 24 Maseru 100
22-316407
2.
Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology
Hon. M. Khaketla
P. O. Box 36 Maseru 100
22-323864
3.
Ministry of Defence and National Security
Rt. Hon. P. Mosisili
P. O. Box 527 Maseru 100
22-311000
4.
Ministry of Education and Training
Hon. A. L. Lehohla
P. O. Box 47 Maseru 100
22-312849
5.
Ministry of Employment and Labour
Hon. C. Machakela
P/Bag A 1164
22-322602
6.
Ministry of Forestry and Land Reclamation
Hon. R.L. ‘Mokose
7.
Ministry of Finance and Development Planning
Hon. T. Thahane
P. O. Box 395 Maseru 100
22-310826
8.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Hon. M. Tsekoa
P. O. Box 1387 Maseru 100
22-311150
9.
Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation
Hon. M. Lepono
P.O. Box 10993 Maseru 100
22 314763
10.
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
Hon. M. Phooko
P. O. Box 514 Maseru 100
22-314404
11.
Ministry of Home Affairs and Public Safety
Hon. M. Thabane
P. O. Box 174 Maseru 100
22-323771
12.
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
Hon. R.M. Masemene
P. O. Box 402 Maseru 100
22-322683
13.
Ministry of Law and Constitutional Affairs
Hon. R.M. Masemene
P. O. Box 402 Maseru 100
22-311160
14.
Ministry of Local Government
Hon. P.M. Sekatle
P. O. Box 686 Maseru 100
22-325331
15.
Ministry of Natural Resources
Hon. M. Moleleki
P. O. Box 772 Maseru 100
22-323163
16.
Ministry of Public Service
Rt. Hon. P. Mosisili
P. O. Box 527 Maseru 100
22-311000
17.
Ministry of Public Works and Transport
Hon. M.S. Moerane
P. O. Box 20 Maseru 100
22-311362
18.
Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture
Hon. L. Ntšinyi
P. O. Box 52 Maseru 100
22-313034
19.
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing
Hon. M. Malie
P. O. Box 747 Maseru 100
22-312938
20. Minister in the Prime Minister's Office
P. O. Box 527 Maseru 100
22-311000

Assistant Ministers
22.
Hon. Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning
Mr. Popane Lebesa
P. O. Box 395 Maseru 100
22-310826
23.
Hon. Assistant Minister Justice, Human Rights and Rehabilitation
Ms.Mpeo Mahase
P. O. Box 402 Maseru 100
22-322683
24.
Honourable Assistant Minister of Education and Training
Mrs. ’Malijane Norah Maqelepo
P. O. Box 47 Maseru 100
22-312849
25.
Honourable Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Food Security
Mr. Molise Paul T'seole
P. O. Box 24 Maseru 100
22-316407
26.
Honourable Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing
Mr. Mothejoa Metsing
P. O. Box 747 Maseru 100
22-312938
27.
Honourable Assistant Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation
Mr. Hlonepho Nt’sekhe
P.O. Box 10993 Maseru 100
22 314763
[ Source... ]
Beautiful, easy layout (that actually uses tables), plenty of post office box and phone numbers, but not one e-mail address. There are two, to be sure, but they belong to the webmaster and the editor. There is this feedback form, but I remain saddened by the absence of e-mail addresses. And I feel, as a result, that there remains work to be done in terms of leaving the proverbial door open enough for us to be able to walk in and out. I'd have liked to have looked at what Botswana has on its pages, but access was not possible at the time of writing. Good governance is fragile, and requires non-stop pampering by the both the governed and the governer. Otherwise it goes to pot. Contacting someone in government is hard enough; getting a response is next to impossible. It shouldn't be.

Wednesday

Re: Risks to Food Security

The UN World Food Program lists risks to food security in Lesotho as being: periodic droughts, erratic rainfall, poor harvests, soil erosion and decreased soil fertility, extreme poverty characterized by unemployment, inflation, HIV/AIDS. In a country like Lesotho, that amounts to at least six mountains to move, almost literally.
  1. Periodic droughts: Can't do much about that, except perhaps to stock enough water for lean years and promote a humongous tree-planting campaign.
  2. Erratic rainfall: ditto
  3. Poor harvets: We will have stored enough irrigation water to offset periodic droughts and erratic rainfall (Hmmm). But we also need to stave off soil erosion because it is in fact the humus that is carried off to the ocean.
  4. Soil erosion and decreased soil fertility: ditto. See what the Head Heeb thinks about this.
  5. Extreme poverty: What can I say? We have a team in place, and the main job of that team is to make sure that Basotho stop suffering from poverty. It is
    possible
    , believe it or not.
  6. Unemployment, HIV/AIDS, inflation: For unemployment, see above; for HIV/AIDS, we need to stop having unprotected sex. STOP HAVING UNPROTECTED SEX!

I have said before that it is hard for a poor person to buy a condom. I take that back. It is hard to buy a condom for a poor person, but why buy it? There's a lot floating around. All you have to do is ask. If you are a regular screwer, ask for a carton of condoms and stick it under your bed. But for Christ's sake clothe your tool before you use it. It's important. There are at least three forces at work here.

One, condoms are safe, and were not devised by racists to wipe out the sable race. That's a load of crap. Excuse my French. Condoms are unsafe if they have a hole, otherwise they're safe. Two, you don't become less of a man by wearing a condom. You become MORE of a man, because then you assume responsibility and you protect your partner, traits of a man. Three, condoms do not reduce sexual excitement, they may even prolong it! What is sexual excitement? It is not slam-bam-thank you ma'am. It is a shared experience between two people in love, and the longer the better. And of course the more you know you're doing something safe and protected, the more relaxed you become, and the more perfomant you are. Condoms prevent unwanted pregnancies and protect users from HIV/AIDS and VD, they increase masculinity, and they increase and prolong sexual excitement. Stop having unprotected sex. It's stupid.
Inflation? See our team.
[ I initially posted this on 26 February 2004 ]

Thaba Bosiu

It literally means night mountain. Legend has it that the mountain, which is but a hop from Maseru, the capital city, would grow at night, assuring the safety of its inhabitants. King Moshoeshoe I, the founder of the nation, had chosen it as his fortress. And indeed, from atop, he was able to repel attacks of all sorts. That's why today there is a tiny, mountainous country called Lesotho, within a bigger and more powerful one, South Africa. Fascinating read:
For those adventurous enough to seek it, the stark mountains of this southern African kingdom offer a fascinating no-frills look at history, a dark tale of 19th-century cannibalism and a king's forgiveness. [ Read on... ]


Submit News

I'm still trying to get a response from somebody about the removal of an inappropriate webshite. One of my e-mails was rejected by the destination server, although previous e-mails to the same address had gone through. I went over to the dreaded webshite and decided to visit their Submit News page and submit my request. I did. Normally somebody reviews the news and decides whether to put it online or not. I'm not holding my breath. Here is what I submitted.
This website is sitting at the address of the Lesotho Tourist Board, but I don't see anything on it concerning tourism in Lesotho. What gives?

I have sent several e-mail messages about this discrepancy, and have received no reply. My request is simple: please modify this website so that it reflects Lesotho, its people and their culture, or remove it from the eyes of the world.

If you are interested in having people from other parts of the world visit Lesotho, then action must be taken. Tourists can do a lot of good to an economy, but what we seem to be doing with this website is turn them away.

Thank you for your attention.

Rethabile Masilo
retjoun@lycos.com
http://lesotho.blogspot.com

Tuesday

Mosisili launches plan for security body

Lesotho's Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili on Monday officially launched the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security ofSADC [sic] (SIPO). Mosisili, who is also chairperson of the organ, launched the strategic plan at the annual summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in host country Mauritius.

[ ... ]

[ Read on ... ]

Oh well...

Impossible d'envoyer le message car l'un des destinataires a été refusé par le serveur. L'adresse de messagerie refusée était 'm***@ltdc.org.ls'. Objet 'Lesotho Tourist Board Website', Compte : 'Messagerie Wanadoo', Serveur : 'smtp.wanadoo.fr', Protocole : SMTP, Réponse du serveur : '550 : Recipient address rejected: Relaying not allowed', Port : 25, Sécurisé (SSL) : Non, Erreur de serveur : 550, Numéro d'erreur : 0x800CCC79
E-mail messages to the same address have previously gone through without the littlest hitch, so I'll suppose this to be some server induced glitch. So I'll try again tomorrow, and hope that it gets through. The e-mail message to the other sendee did go through though, and there's still a short letter to write to the Ministry of Tourism before the week is out.

Please remove it: 2

Ntate M***,

Lumela. Ke tsepa hore o phela hantle. I have in the past sent to you, and to other authorities, my requests for the modification or removal of the Lesotho Tourist Board website situated at http://www.ltb.org.ls. The reasons for the request are as follows:

  1. The website of the Tourist Board of a destination country is one of the first places an interested person might look, yet the website in question has no information about tourism in Lesotho;

  2. Potential visitors to Lesotho who might end up at that address are more likely to be turned off and away than wooed;

  3. The website seems to be advertising a commercial company, not the country of Lesotho or the qualities of its people. It is the exact copy of the commercial website at http://www.adelfang.co.ls;

  4. The overall aspect of the website conveys the messages of amateurism and neglect, instead of professionalism and care.


Naturally, the list is longer. Examples of previous requests can be found at the following links:
http://lesotho.blogspot.com/2004/07/mailtoeditorlesothogovls.html
http://lesotho.blogspot.com/2004/07/kill-ltb-webshite.html
http://lesotho.blogspot.com/2004/03/what-hell-is-this.html
http://lesotho.blogspot.com/2004/06/down-with-ltb-webshite.html
http://lesotho.blogspot.com/2004/07/change-of-tactics.html
http://lesotho.blogspot.com/2004/07/remove-site-or-improve-it.html
http://lesotho.blogspot.com/2004/07/removing-ltb-webshite.html
http://lesotho.blogspot.com/2004/07/darn.html


Sincerely
Rethabile Masilo
retjoun@lycos.com
http://lesotho.blogspot.com

Monday

Sasmita Maurya

When my husband announced that he was going on deputation to Lesotho, my first question was,"Where is Lesotho?"
[ Read on ... ]

Please remove it

I've got one seemingly good e-mail address, many phone numbers and even more snail-mail addresses, but no time. I can't spend too much time begging to have a webshite modified or removed. My campaign is fuelled by the basic fact that the webshite in question is not what it says it is, does not do what it says it does, and goes further to actually degrade Lesotho and its cultural image. But what choice do I have?I have written to webmasters whose sites have the bad link and asked them to complain to the appropriate authorities. I have no way of knowing whether they did so or not, but even if they didn't, this fight belongs less to them (foreign sites) and more to the people of Lesotho. I have also e-mailed the webmaster of the government website (editor@lesotho.gov.ls), to no avail. I've also e-mailed the person directly in charge of the unwanted webshite. Not a word.
What choice do I have? Fight on and get that thing made right or removed. There is absolutely no way, in my view, Lesotho should be telling the world to look at it through that particular window. It isn't Lesotho's, to start with. So what I'm going to do now is send an e-mail per day to the person in charge of the webshite, an e-mail per day to the webmaster of the government site, and snail-mail per week to the ministry of tourism, all for a month. That's about 60 e-mails and four letters. I will post as many of them as possible, based mainly on whether they bring new facts or angles into the situation or not. Why? I need all the help I can get, and the more people are aware this, the better the chances that help will be forthcoming.
Don't you go getting me wrong, though. My aim is not to antagonise anyone. Heaven knows how I value pulling together. The aim is to knock harder on the door so that I'm either told to come in or to go away. The aim is not to elicit a "Yes," but to get action, which could be in the form of "Yes" or "No" or "Hmmm?" This endeavour is important enough for me to go ahead and use time I don't have until I receive that evasive Hi, I got your e-mail about the Tourism Board website.

Quiz: What's the difference between Adelfang Internet Café and the Lesotho Tourist Board?

Sunday

Back on the blog

Hello, Blogosphere... I'm back. Our family spent three sweet weeks on the shores of Spain's Costa Brava. Our resort is located some 90 or so kilometres to the north of Barcelona. The most difficult part of the trip was of course the car trip and its 13, long hours, but we all agree that it was worth it. It's amazing how well paella goes down with cerveza. The resort is also not far from Figueres, Dali's hometown and the location of the Dali museum. There they advise visitors to hire an expert, for Dali was so complex a personality that he remains more than baffling to the uninitiated. Along the shore, north of Torroella de Montgri, is L'Escala, home to both Greek and Roman ruins, and an awesome beach where swimmers actually swim among fish. A stone's throw from L'Escala and L'Estartit are the Medes Isles, famous for the richness of their fauna. We took a glass-bottomed boat-bus out and saw some fish, nothing to write home about. "Some days there are fish, some days there are no fish," our guide said.

At the resort we met some wonderful folks that we hope we'll get a chance to see again. Some of them live in Cologne, Germany, others in Orléans, France, and still others in Holland. They spiced up our holiday and enabled us to discover their universes and their cultures, familial and national.

The trip back was even longer, or so it seemed. But we made it in one piece and will be delving, as early as tomorrow, into what we were doing at the end of July. Eeek! I guess all good things must come to an end. I must say, however, that I missed blogging, writing and reading, and will be doing it as often as possible.