photo of person from Lesotho the maluti mountains
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Ha Ntsi


October 1997


Although this is a short interview, it contains some interesting insights. The narrator is a 19-year-old woman, living in a village that will receive resettled people. She welcomes these new people as she hopes they will bring back olden, traditional” values to their village. She sees the erosion of these values in, for example, Basotho dressing, as negative and attributes them to the fact that “people have opted to live like white people” through loss of confidence in themselves. However, there are other aspects of “tradition” that she does not value. In particular, she is against the initiation of women as this underplays what is, for her, the importance of modern schools.

detailed breakdown

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Section 1  Recent background of narrator: married, but no children yet. Village is friendly and peaceful. Dependence on agriculture: “This life looks very comfortable to me because it is the type of life that I have grown up with.”
Section 2  Dealing with drought: small-scale irrigation methods used now, whereas in the past people used to pray for rain. Traditional customs largely abandoned: “People are just living without adhering to our grandfathers’ norms and have opted to live like white people.[they] do not have confidence in themselves”.
Section 3  Changes in dress. Views on the initiation of women: “today life is different from when initiations were important.” Key thing now is education: “Now it is necessary that my daughter attends school and does away with initiation activities so that she finds good ways of living in the future.
Section 4  Views on resettled people moving to her village. Sees receiving them in a positive light: “…I think when they come here life will be different here. We will be able to readopt some of the old ways of living which are good and do away with this foreign way of living.