schools (likolo)

  • National University of Lesotho -- They say, "The National University of Lesotho, the only university in the country, is located at ROMA 35 Kms away from Maseru the capital of Lesotho. ROMA is a great place to be a student because the majority of its population during term is made up of students. Being a student at our university is an exciting and rewarding experience. It gives you the foundation for your future life and career. It also offers you a chance to make friends, discover new interests and develop personal confidence. Ours is a small university, which is an asset as there is a real community feeling among students. Walking around campus, you will always meet someone you know."
  • Machabeng High School -- They say, "Machabeng College is an English Medium School of Lesotho, which opened in 1977 in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Lesotho Ministry of Education. The school is a national asset, sited on government property, and within the constitutional framework is answerable to the Principal Secretary of Education. The school is a fully accredited international institution of learning, functioning within a national context. It is open to all academically qualified students regardless of religious affiliation or national origin. A Board of Governors controls the school, which is assisted in daily management by a Management Committee and in the granting of scholarships by a Scholarship Committee. The school was founded at the joint initiative of the Ministry of Education and representatives of the Maseru English Medium Preparatory School. Its name, 'Machabeng', which is the Sesotho word for 'international', was chosen by the first group of students in 1977."
  • American International School of Lesotho -- They say, "The American School of Lesotho (AISL) is an independent coeducational, PS-8, day school of 73 students, six teachers and four teacher assistants. The school was founded in 1991 to serve the needs of the American community and other students seeking and English Language education. The school is divided into three trimesters extending from late August to the middle of June. We currently have children from 14 different nations."
  • Lesotho Institute of Accountants -- They say, "The Lesotho Institute of Accountants (L.I.A.) was established by the Accountants Act of 1977, which gives the Institute the mandate of regulating the Accountancy practice in Lesotho. This responsibility can further be broken down into the following functions: 1) To determine the qualifications of persons for admission as members; 2) To provide training, educational and examination by the Institute or any other body of persons practising or intending to practice the profession of accountancy; and 3) To set the standards and rules governing the practice and ensure that compliance with these is maintained."
  • Maseru Prep School -- They say, "Maseru English Medium Preparatory School is an International school based upon the model of the European Council of International Schools and incorporating the best educational practices from around the world. The school is committed to educating the whole child and developing students who will be life long learners. We aim to utilize creative teaching strategies in which the educational environment is learner focused. We believe that children learn best in an inquiry based programme where they are encouraged to ask questions, and once they are provided with resources, seek their own answers."
  • Seliba sa Boithuto -- They say, "Seliba Sa Boithuto believes that learning is best achieved if people are responsible for their own learning, so that the learners decide themselves on what, when and how to study. SSB also deems cooperation to be better than competition. Therefore, it encourages learners to study together (peer learning). As long as SSB provides learning materials and tutors, who can support the learners when they need help, self-motivated learning will lead to empowering education. Thus the learners will be better prepared to face the unscheduled challenges, which will occur in life."

  • Read more about Education and schools in Lesotho:
    1. Girls' Education in Lesotho
    2. Lesotho Education
    3. Continuity, Change and Growth: Lesotho's Education System
    4. Lesotho News Online: Education


monyane moleleki

"Monyane Moleleki (born 1951) is the Minister of Natural Resources of Lesotho. He has been a minister in the Lesotho government for a long time, and has also been Minister of Information and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Moleleki was Minister of National Resources in 1994, when he was briefly kidnapped along with three other ministers by soldiers on April 14; another minister, Deputy Prime Minister Selometsi Baholo, was killed in this incident. Police then went on strike in May, and Moleleki resigned and left the country for Botswana, saying that he thought he could be killed like Baholo. In March 1995 he returned to Lesotho and was detained by members of the National Security Service on March 29. He was elected deputy secretary general of the governing Basutoland Congress Party at a party conference in March 1996. In December 1996 he became Minister of Information and Broadcasting following the death of the previous minister, Pakane Khala, in November, and in June 1998 he was again appointed Minister of Natural Resources.

After serving for several years as Minister of Natural Resources, Moleleki became Minister of Foreign Affairs in November 2004 and served in that position until March 2007, when he became Minister of Natural Resources again.

He was said to have been shot and wounded in the arm in an attack at his home in late January 2006. Some say "o thuntsoe ka thipa" meaning he was "shot with a knife". He has said that the attack was politically motivated.

He is also known as Mahaletere because of his halter like beard and mustache.


books (libuka)

Here is a short list of books that could prove invaluable to someone studying Lesotho and its politics. Nothing beats living in the country itself. But that option is often inaccessible. There is a large body of work in Sesotho, but that list belongs to other pages.

  • Chief Is a Chief by the People: The Autobiography of Stimela Jason Jingoes
    Oxford University Press - January, 1975
  • A South African Kingdom: The Pursuit of Security in 19th Century Lesotho
    by Elizabeth A. Eldredge - June, 2002
    Cambridge University Press (July 30, 1993)
  • Families Divided: : the impact of migrant labour in Lesotho
    by Colin Murray
  • Government and Change in Lesotho, 1800-1966: A Study of Political Institutions
    by L. B. B. J. Machobane
    Palgrave Macmillan - October, 1990
  • Historical Dictionary of Lesotho (African Historical Dictionaries Series, No. 10)
    Scarecrow Press - June, 1977
  • In the Time of Cannibals: The Word Music of South Africa's Basotho Migrants (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology)
    University of Chicago Press - December, 1994
  • Lesotho and the struggle for Azania : Africanist political movements in Lesotho and Azania : the origins and history of the Basutoland Congress Party and the Pan Africanist Congress
  • Lesotho: Dilemmas of Dependence in Southern Africa
    Westview Press - November, 1985
  • Migration and Development: Dependence on South Africa: A Study of Lesotho
    Scandinavian Institute of African Studies - January, 1986
  • Moshoeshoe of Lesotho
    Heinemann - February, 1988
  • Singing Away the Hunger The Autobiography of an African Woman
    by K. Limakatso Kendall (Editor), et al - September, 1997
  • Last of the Queen's Men: A Lesotho Experience
    Witwatersrand University Press - May, 2001
  • This Matter of Women Is Getting Very Bad: Gender, Development and Politics in Colonial Lesotho
    Univ of Natal Pr (December 2000)
  • Lesotho, 1970: An African Coup Under the Microscope
    by B.M. Khaketla
    C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd (July 1972)
  • The deployment of the labour force in Lesotho (1970)
    by L.S. Cooley
    Central Planning Office (1973)
  • The Mountain School: The author's account of his stay in Tšoeneng as a Peace Corps English teacher at Ngoana oa Jesu High School.
    by Greg Alder (2013)

  • [More stuff...]

blogs (lipuong)


famine (tlala)

In late 2002 and early 2003 famine hit Lesotho. The UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) sent a crop and food supply assessment team to the country. The government of Lesotho had itself just declared a state of famine. In May 2003, there was still an alarming shortage of food in the country. Children suffering from malnutrition and older people are the ones most susceptible to death by famine. For more information, here is a fuller report: Food shortages in Lesotho

visa (visa)

Nationals of most Commonwealth countries may enter Lesotho without a visa. Those of a few countries such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, may not. Nationals of Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Norway, South Africa and a few other countries do not require visas. All others are required to have a visa to enter the country. You'll need a multiple-entry visa in order to re-enter South Africa, if you will initially be going into Lesotho from the Republic of South Africa. It is advisable to check for the latest visa requirement information with the Lesotho representative in your country.

Lesotho Embassy in the USA
Lesotho High Commission in the UK
Lesotho Embassy in Ireland
Lesotho missions abroad

university (sekolo-kholo)

The history of the National University of Lesotho can be traced back to 1945, when a Catholic University College was founded in Roma by the Roman Catholic authorities of southern Africa. The institution soon teamed up with others in Botswana and Swaziland to form U.B.L.S., the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. The present National University of Lesotho came into being in 1975 at the site of the former U.B.L.S., which was itself preceded by the Pius XII University College.

University of Wisconsin
Thomas Mofolo Library

aloe (lekhala)

Aloe polyphylla is a succulent plant indigenous to and confined to mountains in Lesotho. A species valued by the horticultural trade, this succulent has been endangered by uprooting for sale to collectors. It is now protected by law.

The Aloe Polyphylla "does not occur naturally anywhere outside Lesotho with the exception of one record on the Lesotho border with the Free State. And one of the reasons that Aloe Polyphylla is rare plant is that normally, it is extremely difficult to grow in cultivation. Plants which have been removed from their habitat usually do not survive for more than a few years. Besides, it is a criminal offence to remove plants or seed of Aloe polyphylla from the natural habitat or to buy plants from roadside vendors. [source]"

[More stuff...]

altitude (bophahamo)

Lesotho's rugged terrain and its mountain ranges have always protected it against invasion. No part of Lesotho is below 1 400m (3 280ft) above sea level. In other words, it is the only country in the world with all its territory above 1 400 metres. In still other words, it has the highest low point of any nation on earth. Due to this, Lesotho is often referred to as The Kingdom in the Sky, The Roof of Africa, or The Switzerland of Africa. At 3 482m, Thabana-Ntlenyana ("Beautiful Little Mountain"), in Lesotho's Maluti Mountain Range, is the highest peak in Southern Africa.

malealea lodge ("hotele" ea malealea)

It works like this: although visitors come here to hike, camp, trek, sight-see, etc.--and the lodge will provide a list of trails and sight-seeing spots, and the like--the activity remains pony trekking. The lodge acts as middle person for local horsemen, who actually own the ponies used, and receive the bulk of the money. Their website will provide you with further information.

lesothan (mosotho)

Lesothan is a neologism that is not particularly liked by the people of Lesotho. It was perhaps invented to make life easier for Occidental news folks. The Basotho (not Lesothans) like to be referred to as Basotho, or a Mosotho (not a Lesothan). Basotho speak Sesotho.


Lesotho is a kingdom in southern Africa that is land-locked within the Republic of South Africa. It became a protectorate of Britain in 1884 and gained self-rule on 4 October 1966. Most of it is rugged and mountainous, and skiing and mountain-climbing are actually practised. The people of Lesotho are called Basotho, and they speak Sesotho which, together with English, is the official language.

holidays (matsatsi a phomolo)

1 January --> New Year's Day
11 March --> Moshoeshoe's Day
4 April --> Hero's Day
Varies --> Good Friday
Varies --> Easter Monday
1 May --> Workers' Day
17 July --> King's Birthday
Varies --> Ascension
25 December --> Christmas Day
26 December --> Boxing Day

hlotse (motse oa hlotse)

Hlotse is in the Leribe district. It was founded in 1876 by an Anglican missionary, the Reverend John Widdicombe, and suffered heavily during the 1880 Gun War. Today it is quite a small town with little to offer but a few shops and department stores. There are, however, the remains of a small army tower (Major Bell's Tower) built by the British and now in ruin. King Moshoeshoe I, the founder of the nation, was born in the nearby village of Menkhoaneng.

pakalitha mosisili

Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili (born March 14, 1945) is the Prime Minister of Lesotho, and has been since May 29, 1998. He led his party, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), to a near-total victory in the elections held that year. Mosisili also serves as Minister of Defense.

In 1993, Mosisili was elected to parliament from the Qacha's Nek Constituency and became Minister of Education. On April 14, 1994, he was briefly kidnapped along with three other ministers by soldiers; a fifth minister, Deputy Prime Minister Selometsi Baholo, was killed in this incident. Mosisili was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in late January 1995, while remaining Minister of Education; on July 20, 1995, he was named Minister of Home Affairs and Local Government instead, while remaining Deputy Prime Minister. A new ruling party, the LCD, was formed in 1997 under the leadership of Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle as a split from the Basutoland Congress Party. On February 21, 1998, Mosisili was elected leader of the LCD after Mokhehle chose to step down due to poor health.

After his party's victory in 1998, there were accusations of vote rigging and mass protests from the opposition parties, which culminated with their occupation of the grounds to the palace. In the ensuing debacle which saw the army, police and king complicit in an attempt to unseat his government, Mosisili had to resort to asking the regional grouping, Southern African Development Community (SADC), for an intervention to stem the imminent coup. New elections were eventually held in May 2002, which his party won, this after a major split led by his former deputy, Kelebone Maope, and Shakhane Mokhehle, the brother of the late founder of his party. On this occasion, Mosisili was elected to a seat from the Tsoelike constituency, receiving 79.2% of the vote; in his previous constituency, Qacha's Nek, Pontso Sekatle was the LCD candidate.

In October 2006, Tom Thabane left the LCD and formed a new party, and 17 other members of parliament joined him; this left the LCD with a narrow majority of 61 out of 120 seats. On Mosisili's advice, King Letsie III dissolved parliament on November 24, 2006, and new elections were scheduled for February 17, 2007; they had previously been expected in April or May. The LCD won this election, taking 61 seats; the National Independent Party, allied with the LCD, won an additional 21 seats.

Whilst attending a funeral in his home district of Qacha's Nek in late 2006, Mosisili gave a speech which quoted a Basotho idiom, "Se sa feleng sea hlola", meaning "anything that does not finish/end is not good". Some believed that he was referring to his term in office and his embattled political party.

government ('muso)

Since May 1998, the head of government has been Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili. The government is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Parliament is comprised of the National Assembly, whose 80 members are elected by plurality vote from single-seat constituencies, and the Senate, whose 33 senators are 22 Principal Chiefs and 11 members chosen by the majority party.

basutoland (basotholand)

Basutoland was Lesotho's pre-independence name. Independence from Britain, and the name of Lesotho, came officially on 4 October 1966. The country became a constitutional monarchy with an elected bicameral parliament consisting of a 60-seat National Assembly and a 33-seat Senate. Unfortunately, like in many other African countries, independence brought along local corruption and home-made repression.

basotho (basotho)

In the early 1800s, King Moshoeshoe I (pronounced moo-shway-shway) was able to bring together different groups of peoples to form the Basotho nation. During his reign the Basotho had to defend their lands and freedom against the Boers. They still lost substantial chunks of land that are referred to today as "The Lost Territory". With the help of French missionaries, he sought and obtained protection from Queen Victoria's British Empire. In 1868 the place that is present-day Lesotho became a British protectorate.

Please resist the urge to use "Lesothans" when referring to the people of Lesotho. It is wrong and it is disliked by the people in question. Use singular "Mosotho" and plural "Basotho." For example: (1) She's a Mosotho. (2) Basotho are voting this month to choose their Prime-Minister.