By CityLife Arts Writer
He is regarded as one of the biggest contributors to SeSotho culture and the development of its indigenous poetry heritage, and yet he did not receive the kind of recognition that should belong to a poetry pioneer of his caliber during his life time.
It is for this reason that musician, Mpho Molikeng believes that the late poetry pioneer Letsema Matšela deserves better. He has just released a single in honour of the late poet.
‘Likhomo Matšela’ pays homage to Lesotho’s praise poet extraordinaire who at the height of American and European seventies and eighties pop music, stuck to his guns and taught Basotho the music of Lihoba/Dihoba. Lucky Monama of Gallo Africa and Radio Bantu (Lesedi FM) aided him in spreading the gospel of the music of Basotho. At the time of his passing in the 90s he had released at least 10 biographical albums.
Molikeng, himself a Lesotho born multi faceted artist plying his trade in Johannesburg playing a host of Southern African indigenous musical instruments saw a need to revive the voice of the forgotten heroes of Basotho with Letsema Matšela’s ‘Majoro’ in the age where Lesotho is part of this global village and many people around the world are to hear cultures far afield.
His ultimate dream of teaching Africa and the world music of Basotho comes full circle in the track as the adaptation introduces the kudu horn, an ancient sign that says we herald the worthy, and arranged the kolia’-malla (war anthem) of Letsema’s ‘Majoro’ over the amazing hip-hop production of Msokolara with some glitters of Basotho’s ‘Malipompo/whistles synonymous with herd boys, makoloane/initiates and traditional healers.
‘Likhomo Matšela’ is everybody’s every day feel good music that encourages younger generation to take pride in their culture in these ever changing times to preserve that which makes us Africans in general or Basotho in particular.
This song is a plea to Lesotho’s authorities to erect a statue and rename the national highway that leaves Maseru heading north covering four districts Berea, Leribe and Butha-Buthe after Letsema Matšela in his honour for his courage in helping preserve Basotho culture when it was unfashionable to be.
The track is available for purchase on https://mphomolikeng.bandcamp.com/
and on tunecore.com and its affiliated digital platforms starting from this weekend.