photo of person from Lesotho the maluti mountains
Lesotho glossary










Ha Lekhera


November 1997



Section 1
We arrived at Ha Lekhera at about 14.00 hours and it was raining cats and dogs. Most of the villagers had gone to the field. We were very lucky to find íMíe íMalebohang. I was invited inside her hut where there were seven other people, including her mother and grandchildren. Since she was not expecting me, she indirectly told me that the interview should not take too much of her time. Her grandchildren were running up and down in the hut but she instructed them to settle down and keep quiet.

íMíe is íMíe who?
íMíe íMalebohang íMalengoane.

Was íMíe born right here in the village?
Yes, ntate, I was born here.

In what year?
In 1933.

Before then, were you always here, and your forbears, or was there a person who arrived in a certain year?
Ever since I was born here, I grew up here, and I was married here.

ĎMíe has how many children?
I have ten children.

I am requesting that you explain to me as to them what do they do, do they work?
They are at their marriages.

Are they young men or young women?
The young man is one at the moment.

The others are young girls? They are at marriages? Not right here in the village?
Yes, not right in the village here. One is in Maseru, one is at Ha Setala, one is at Ha Mohale, one [is in] Likalaneng, one [is in] Ha Koporala, and so on in their order.

íMíe, I would like to ask you about matters of the services that you get here. Let me say, maybe you are ill and you need to go to the hospital, could it be you go to Sesotho doctors, or European ones, or even then you go to which place?
The doctors that we go to, we go to Mantonyane.
Section 2
They are European doctors or Sesotho ones?
They are European ones.

What about much much earlier, has it always been like that?
Much much earlier we had Sesotho doctors.

The means that you used to go there by, before this road was constructed by the Highland project, what kind of means of travelling were there?
We used to walk by [our] feet.

It took how long time?
A long time, this road arrived right now, isnít it?

Here íMíe, could it be the means of livelihood is which one?
We live by agriculture, by also selling like that.

Oh, beers?
Yes, ntate.

How does the beer arrive here, could it be you bring it how?
It goes into vehicles, quarts go into vehicles.

They come from where?
They come from places like Maseru.

Now íMíe, when it is being said that you live by agriculture here íMíe, could it be women do the same work as men?
Indeed it differs. When the men have ploughed, now the women will hoe.

Schools, could it be they are there?

Yes, could it be they are primary ones or high (secondary) ones?
Yes, it is not high ones. These ones are like [standard] eight, like [standard] seven like that, like [standard] three down, to go down.

It is a church school?
Yes, it is school church. [The building operates as a church on Sundays and is used for classrooms during the week.]

Now, these ones of Sesotho customs like lebollo (circumcision), could it be they are there?
Of lebollo? Yes, they are there. They are for young men. We have not yet had [those for] young women.

Meaning that right now as we speak like this, there are some who are at lebollong (initiation school)?
They are at mabollong (plural of lebollong).
Section 3
They come out during which month?
There, you see I would not know it because they are not things that I oversee.

The church, could it be it is there?
Yes, it is there.

It is of Fora (Lesotho Evangelical Church) or it is of Chache (Church of England)?
It is one of Fora, it is one of Chache, it is one of Postola (Apostolic).

It is a church for this place only, or do you share it with other villages?
That is, here at this place it is the church of Roma (Roman Catholic); the ones which are on the periphery are small branches, like that of other churches.

These things of Sesotho customs ones like mohobelo (menís dance), and others [like] mokhibo (womenís dance), and others, like that, could it be they are things which are sometimes present here, and even then at what time?
Them truly they have not yet been there.

During Christmas then, what do you normally do?
It is self-entertainment during Christmas.

Are they usually there?
They are there.

Meaning that it is only during Christmas, during the middle of the year here they are never there?
No, they are not there.

What about theft, is it a thing that is there?
Ao! Jonna! it has won oee!

It is of what kind? Of breaking in houses, or of the theft of animals?
[Theft] of animals. They have not yet entered by breaking inside the houses.

Now in the village here, what is usually done so that you take steps which are against theft of that sort?
There is a unity of helping one another search, of the men of the village.

On points of the police like that, do you never work with matters like that?
Yes, the police it happens that they are reported to, that they should help one another (with the villagers) search for them here, where they are sold, that is on these things of theirs.
Section 4
Now, from there, it is the matter of here at the village.
Yes, ntate.

Here in the village íMíe, could it be you are ruled how? Is there a chief or a village headman?
We have a chief and a village headman.

Could it be a committee is there which has been chosen by the people, where it is possible to look at matters of small problems, where they could be there?
Yes, ntate.

It is chosen by the people?
Yes, it is chosen by the people.

Now, íMíe, if you have problems and you have called a pitso (meeting), do you sometimes... the people who are not in the committee or even them village headmen, do they usually have a small chance of speaking and raise their feelings at the pitso?
Yes, about problems. There is no oppression of any kind.

What about on the matters of politics. You will find that in other villages they say this one belongs somewhere, this one belongs somewhere, could it be in the village here you have things of that kind? Could it be people are made to clash by politics?
They are never there.

Problems when they are there, they are settled where?
By the chief and the committee.

Just like you once told me that you have ever stayed here íMíe, could it be... now I will understand in a manner which is like this... By saying that you family has always lived here, now that you are going to move away from here, could it be the project [on] that [point] you have talked with one another how if the graves are there?
They have mentioned that they shall remove us with our graves.

Expenses are shouldered by you or is it them who will shoulder expenses?
It is them who shoulder them.

Could it be, when you move from here, you have chosen to go and live where? And even then, is it you [who] chose for yourselves or you were chosen for?
We chose for ourselves to live there at Phororong.

Phororong at which point?
Further on there. But the area is still Ha Tiu.

It is still Ha Tiu; meaning it was not affected by this project?
Section 5
What was the real reason for you to choose not to go to the lowlands?
You see we were born right here and now it is difficult. The life of the lowlands is
actually a little difficult to us who were born here.

You are looking at the matter of fields, or which one?
We are looking at the matter of fields and animals.

Could it be the person who has animals is who? Has he or she reared cattle or short ones and so on and so on?
They are many people who have reared them.

Now here íMíe, when it is said that people are looking at agriculture, the other means of livelihood, which ones could they be?
They are those of selling.

Of beers?
Yes, and other many small businesses that you can do, if you have that means.

This matter that you are going to be moved from here, what are your feelings about it?
This matter, we do not know [what to think about it] because it was planned [without us]. We found it (we got to know of it), when it had already been planned. Whether it was planned by the king, we really do not know. Because just the matter of being removed, we hear that we are going to be removed; and truly we see we are being removed.

Now, how do you feel? Could it be you are being removed [from a place] where you feel satisfied, you live well, the soil of there is good; that is, how do you feel when you do not know as to how it is where you are going?
You see because the area is still our home area, ache, I do not feel that there is a problem. I am not going far. I would feel pain if I was going to a place where I would find problems.

Could it be it is how many who are going with you?
No, it is just here, those of Ha Ralifate, those of Ha Lekhekha (Lekhera?)

Could it be they have already shown you? They are going to build for you?
They have actually built and they have finished. They are going towards finishing now.

Are they house which you have already seen and were satisfied with?
We have actually been there. We are wet (?) like this, we are from there.

Meaning that well, in other words you are satisfied?
Yes, ntate.

Now, íMíe, when you [go back] to this point of agriculture again, when drought has hit you here, when you have said you are people who live especially on agriculture... There what do you usually do, so that you can see that, well, you are still able to eat and to feed the children like that, so that you can see that you are still going ahead?
Truly when drought has hit us the government comes to our aid.
Section 6
But when the harvest is good, is it the case that these villages on the sides [of your area], is it the case that you are able to work together with them, are you usually able to sell food?

It is a way that happens all the time, or well, is it a thing that happens seldom?
It is a seldom thing for some time.

What do they buy most? Maize or vegetables?
Maize, vegetables, and so on. That is, what you have planted and what you sell. Those who do not have it, buy it.

Could it be, these matters of wild vegetables, as for them are they there when there is drought? What do you normally do there?
Wild vegetables, as for them, they are there, even now they are still there. But they are not that much as we used to know them, because now drought is there.

Could it be, they have told you, you shall go away from here during which month?
Me, there I nearly do not know.

But it is this year that we are coming towards?
Yes, it is this year which we are coming towards.

Could it be now íMíe, here in the village the animals work on which purpose, they help where, maybe to plough, or to do what?
Some sell them, some plough with them, others go to the [animal] posts.

Ach, íMíe truly I am very thankful of talking to you. These matters are very important ones, we shall pass them and see what we can do. Thank you íMíe.