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Ha ’Mamokoluoa


February 1998


The interview starts off slowly with quite short responses from the narrator. However, when Mampaleng is asked about education she has plenty of thoughts to share. She feels modern education is a bad influence: “boys and girls learn marriage obligations out of wedlock. The result is unmarried mothers, and children who sometimes don’t know who their fathers are. She explains that this places a burden on the woman’s parents and family.

She feels that there is generally less respect towards elders. However, recalling her own youth she admits: “maybe generations differ because even our parents used to complain that our lifestyle did not resemble theirs.” Although she comments on other changes, she is most concerned with young people’s tendency for premarital sexual relations. She refers to a belief held by some young people that if they do not have sex before a certain age they will become crippled.

Her resettlement destination is Maseru and she is moving there without any of her children. She has a pragmatic perspective: “Life there is to find food from the town only. That is the core of township life and if I am full in the stomach, I will be fine...”

At the end of the interview she accuses the interviewer of making money from her knowledge and history while she gains nothing. She dismisses the benefit of writing these stories down for future generations saying: “My children take this history from me because I sit down with them and tell them this history.”

detailed breakdown

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Section Section 1-2  Personal history: married in Ha Tsapane but chose to settle in Ha ’Mamokoluoa because “I liked this place, it is the place I have long loved and I still like the place even now.” She has eight children but her husband died.
Section 3  Her son is working at the mines. She attended school up to Standard 3: “We did not care much about being educated. We were just interested in knowing how to read and write so that we could write to our natal homes after being married.” She met her husband while they were at school together
Section 4  I did not elope, I was married properly.” Her wedding day: “It was beautiful and joyous.”
Section 5  Younger generation do not “respect elderly people”. She believes most problems are caused by education: “These children read books which tell everything about the human body...This education of yours has spoiled our children.” “...It also tells us to have two children, claiming that we cannot afford to raise more than two children. Though we are told this, the government does not assure us that these two children will live longer.” Changes in eating habits
Section 6  Changing views of initiation schools: “It is no longer an important rite of life. Initiation school is corrupt...I can see and hear that it is no longer like that of our fathers.” More on the bad influence of education: “These children are taught even things we consider elderly people's secrets. As a result we are not able to tell them what is good and bad because of this education.”
Section 7  Church’s role Burden for grandparents’ of unmarried mothers: “The parent of the expecting mother comes into the difficulty of raising up both the mother-to- be and the child to be born. But if your daughter is married her children are going to be brought up at her marriage. But if she is not married she is your burden and she has increased your burden also.”
Section Section 8-9  Compares her marriage with today’s relationships. Her displacement to Maseuru: “it is a township but we don't know much about the place because we did not grow up there. However, we will go and live there, we are not sure what kind of life we are going to lead but we will see when we arrive there.”
Section 10  We loved everything about this place. It being bad or good, we are used to it and we will really miss it. However, there is nothing we can do [about resettlement.” Village conflicts – minor and solved easily without courts
Section Section 11-12  Graves Pastor’s prophecy of the displacement Complains about interviewer: “After you have collected this history you are paid, but me who has been narrating this history to you is left penniless.”