photo of person from Lesotho the maluti mountains
Lesotho glossary











February 1998



Section 1
You are how many years [old]?
[Response inaudible]

You were born where?
[Response inaudible]

Your family came from where, when they came to come here?

Yes ntate.

Is it your grandfather who came [to settle] here or your father?
It is my grandfather.

Your grandfather, do you [know] when he arrived [here]?
No, I do not know the year as to which year it was.

If I were to say to you, take it as if I do not know anything about this place. And then I were to say please explain to me how you live in this place, you live by doing what. What would you say?
I would explain to you the matters of here.

Please explain to me then.
Here, being one who was born here, and having actually built here and actually having had children here, having married [one who was] a child here, who has six children, our life here is the soil, we live by agriculture. We cultivate the fields, we plant maize, we plant wheat, we plant beans, peas, cannabis, harese (barley). And our agriculture now is like this: just like we are already eating lehoetla (autumn harvest), me I am already eating lehoetla of maize right now. From this first month we start lehoetla of maize, while on the twelfth month we eat peas; we eat lehoetla of peas. On this third month we will be harvesting wheat and on the fifth month we will thresh it.
Now you hear that when we harvest the wheat we eat it straightaway. Immediately it is harvested they start brewing things like ginger [beer] which - they are already cooking wheat bread, like that. Now, on this month again, this first one, we have already started harvesting new cannabis until the second month when it ends completely. Which means now we already have money from the sale of cannabis. This month which starts this second one at its end up to the third, it will be then that it will be harvested all of it, [and it will be that] we already have a certain number of bags of cannabis and we will be already getting money.
Right now the crooks (buyers?) it will happen that when they come we will be already getting money from the new cannabis. Which means that a part of the money mostly it is only then that we get it. That is the way of cannabis. That is the life we live.
Section 2
Crops? Crops you plant them to eat when?
We plant crops to eat – but even them, we sell too and we make a little money, like that. You will find that sometimes we make four bales or five according to the different sizes of fields. Maybe you harvest a bag at some point, [then] on the day you see that there is a gap in the family [resources], you would go and sell there and then be able to find some money. At some point again you again take from another part of the wheat [harvest]. Maybe someone from the lowlands arrives, he wants – he comes with a bag of sorghum, you exchange with him for this one of wheat. Maybe you take this wheat down and you are going to sell it in the lowlands like that. That is our life ntate, it is like that.

Now, the crop which actually succeeds a lot here, it is which one?
It is maize and wheat. Those are the ones that succeed for us quite a lot so that we make bales.

Peas and beans?
Peas also succeed but you will find that a person cannot often make a bale of them. You will find a few bags that may be as many as three like that, depending on as to a person had planted a field of what size or how many fields.

A bale is made up of how many bags?
A bale is made up of five bags, and also six [bags] make a bale ntate.

You have how many fields?
Three ntate.

They are how big?
They are a little big - well, I do not know I can measure how. Well, the other is actually quite big; two are actually big, well not big that much. But then, I am still able to do each and everything [from the harvest from them]. I have a sure.

Are they ones that you inherited or are they yours?
They are ones that my father gave to me.

The three of them?
The three of them ntate.

Do you not have a field which you were given yourself, as a person who had recently married and established his own homestead?
No ntate; none of my fields were given to me by the chief.
Section 3
The land is finished ntate, the chief when he speaks he says the land is finished, and now places are no longer there.

Now when a year has been good and rain has fallen, from each field you normally harvest how much?
Each field, from one I get six bags, from one I get eight bags, the other one well, it will be below that.

One six, one eight...
Yes ntate.

You had said one makes six and another makes like eight.
Yes ntate, and the other one would be a little lower, and sometimes it would make like four, or like three like that.

That is maize, or it does not matter which one it is?
Yes ntate. But now most of the time I always... these big ones, we always sow maize which we know comes out (succeeds) or wheat. We change like that. One year we sow maize, on the other field it would be wheat, another year we sow wheat, we change them like that.

Oo, you change wheat and maize?

Now, on occasions when it is said that you have not done well, they yield how much? How much do you harvest?
On occasions when it is said that they have not done well, truly I still come out with bags that may be four, from one field; [if that happens] I know that, ache they have not done well.

This food that you harvest it is able to make you and the children live the whole year round, and you are also able to buy them clothes?
Very well ntate. Just like me in fact my children, I think two older ones, they are already coming back from (they have already been to) these high schools. I have never found a problem. I took them to high schools like that, until they finished.

You did not have a problem of whatever kind?
I have never had that much of a problem.

You have never had to supplement with another money from another source, other than this one from agriculture?
Well, just like I am working, I was still supplementing like that; there when I find that “Oo, no there is a little shortage of a certain kind”, I supplement, I do not have a problem.

Now, you said you alternate maize and wheat, why? Why do you alternate them?
It happens that now, if it is to be found that you now plant only one thing on the field up to three [to] four years, it no longer comes out well; it is necessary that you change and plant something else.
Section 4
What is it that you think makes the agriculture of here succeed? You think the agriculture succeeds why?
The soil. The soil here is good. The soil here does not bother with (need) [industrial] fertilisers; it does not bother with manure. It is manure by itself; it is already fertiliser by itself.

But what is it in it which makes it that it should not need manure, the soil of here?
Truly ntate, I cannot tell you because ever since we just see that the soil of here, when we arrive at most [other] places, you will find the people who harvest a lot, in most cases they would have used manure or animal dung or what. But here at the place of Molika-liko, here there is not even one person who plants with manure or with fertiliser or anything like that. The crops here grow high, they are up to here [gestures].

The thing that troubles agriculture a lot here, is what? The one that you can say actually it is the one that troubles agriculture?
To us the owners of here?

Yes, what is it that troubles your agriculture?
Ache ntate, we are not troubled. Because the agriculture of here is that, as long as we have planted, once we have turned the soil [in preparation for sowing], we already know that when we have turned, our agriculture is going to be good. And then it is just [a question of] weeding so that the fields can be seen whether they have been sown in a good manner of making lines. And ever since we started the practice of making lines, then our harvest grows in a wonderful way. Whereas in the past years of old, we were people who just sowed by hand (broadcasting), and we had not become aware of this thing of making lines. But ever since this thing of making lines, ache, it then happened that the harvest of here goes up.

What do you do for seed? Do you still make seed for yourselves or do you go and buy seed?
No ntate, we make seed for ourselves when we sow these fields of ours, we do not buy it.

Now, the things that bother you are the ones that bother everybody like drought, like that?
Very well ntate; just drought and rains when they are not there, that is the only thing that bothers us, nothing else.

Snow when it is there it does not destroy.

No, it does not cause damage because it falls during winter, usually when we have already harvested. Sometimes it falls while we are harvesting, but then it does not do that much damage. The damage might just be to the animals, [the fact] that the animals might die when they are still at the mountains there, but not in large numbers even then.
Section 5
It usually takes how much time before it melts?
Here at Molika-liko it does not take even two days. This place ntate, it is not like a place of the mountains. The snow of here wakes up, having piled up here, or it would fall at night and settle and you would not even see what is what. But by this time (around 10 am), when we check times like this [he checks his digital watch] and we see that it is times like 10.40, 9.40, here in the valley it is no longer there; it would remain on the mountainsides there. It will happen that when the sun sets and goes like this, or the day following that one, there is already nothing on the mountainsides here, and we are already just herding well.

You said you once worked in the mines.
Yes ntate.

It was why? Because I have it being said that the agriculture of here is able to feed you. You went to the mines why?
Under because a person- ntate which was not known; it sometimes happens that you would find that a person when you have not been to a place, you desire to know it. That is, even if it were to be found that the parents satisfy [you with all your needs], but you will still want to go and know also when it is being said that those who go to the place of gold, what it is; it is that sort of thing. Well, sometimes, people [because they are] not the same, just like we do not have fields all of us, some would still be forced to go because of the difficulties of their families, when it was found that there was nothing in the house.

Now you were just taken there by the interest of knowing a place?
Me, ntate? Those of my age all went to the place of gold. As for, me I went on herding, and in fact I was not even thinking of going to the place of gold. Until I was given permission “Monna (Man!), now it is apparent that you of the age that you can marry, marry!”

You were still herding?
I was still herding ntate. It happened that truly a girl was requested for me. I talked to the girl, pointing the parents where I had seen a girl. And then they went and requested her for me. When they had requested her, I actually truly fetched her after that request. Well it happened that after I [started and] lived with my wife now, I felt myself that “No, well parents now truly the policy I implemented it oee (please), I also request that I should go and appear there so that I can see, not that I should trust that I shall be clothed with my wife”. At that time I was still under the law of my parents, it was still my parents who clothed me, who did each and everything for me. Now I felt that well, I was no longer satisfied that I should be clothed together with my wife. It happened that they released me and I went, truly. I started going to the place of gold in 1975.
Section 6
[When she was requested for you], she was already your girlfriend, or well you just saw her?
Yes ntate, ache, she was already my girlfriend.

What things are they, which force you out of the village here when you need them? They are what kind of needs? That is, you have food here and everything, but what is it, which you always have to buy outside of this place? To go and look for it outside of this place?
Oo, ache ntate, that is to just go there it is buyings of the towns. Because you will find now things like groceries like the ones in the house, they are things, which start that you even have to go to town and go and buy them there. Now sometimes ache, even things like these same ones of inside the house which it is found they are not there here in the mountains, and we have to go and buy them down [in the lowlands]. That is the problem ntate of being without towns.

Please tell me about cannabis, when do you plant it?
We sow it together with the maize during the ninth month.

And you then harvest it... you said you harvest it at this time?
Yes, ntate it is already ripe, we are already harvesting it. In fact here it is already here. As for it is already here [pointing to a batch spread out in front of the house to dry].

Yes, I saw even somewhere you had dried it outside here.
Here it is ntate. I am already harvesting right now.

Now when you compare the expense that you go into when you sow wheat or maize and [those that you enter into] when you sow cannabis, where do you spend more? Which one needs more expenditure from you?
Truly ntate actually there are not that many expenses, because you will find that just like this cannabis, we again [plant it in rows] just like maize. In fact there are not that many expenses because when I am carrying [seed with] this big basin of a shilling, I am able to plant a large part of a field. I mix together with the maize here, [then] I just keep making rows like that, just like here at my home we do not make rows with a planter; it is that one and that one who does with this thing, with a planter. Most of the time, us, we just use hands only; when [plough pulling] cattle come out that side, I am holding a little tin by this hand of mine, I am just making rows, I am taking out two maize [seeds] and two cannabis [seeds], and I throw them into the furrow, like that.

Oo, meaning that you follow the furrow of the plough?
That is right, ntate, I throw in this furrow of the plough like that.

You know, you are very clever.
Even when we weed, we do not insist on a planter (he actually means a weeder), this same plough we just take out this ploughshare this one, this new one, we put in an old one; we weed like that ntate there is no problem. Just like we just plant like that like that time, we just weed like that there is no problem ntate; we weed very well. We do not meet with problems.
Section 7
So when you plant here cannabis, because those [people] of Mapoteng, there it is said that they make it lie down, you do not have the problem of the police you?
Ache ntate, truly the police here, because of the reason that now the roads are far, it is not often that they come. In fact sometimes, the police who come here, are police who are on patrol to go and look for or do something. Actually most of the time we are not bothered by the police.

Now you do not fear that this road will bring them nearer?
Actually it, ntate, we see it bringing them nearer.

Money? The money from [the sale of] food and the money from the sale of cannabis, the one that is more, is which one?
It is the one for cannabis.

That is the thing that brings in more money?
That is the one that actually brings in a lot of money ntate.

Oo, that is the thing which actually brings in a lot of money?
Yes ntate, actually it is the one that brings in a lot of money.

The villages whose people depend on buying food from here, are which ones? How many are they?
Ntate they are many. Right here at Ha Koporala here, at the tunnel there right up to up there, the people from there, buy food from my home village here. This [area of] Bokong to go up right up to Senqunyane, Jorotane, they are people who buy food at Molika-liko here; in fact it is quite a number of places.

They give you money or they exchange with you?
They buy with money.

With money?
Yes ntate.

Let us talk about the matter of emigrating. Please tell me as to these people of the Highlands Water [Project], when they first came to tell you that you have to move from here, what did they do? At the very very beginning, what did they do?
That is they sayings or what?

By words and deeds. That is, you should think [back] to the first time as to you came to know how that you are going to move away from here, them, when they had now come, they made you aware of this matter how?
Several times ntate, because I was still working at that time I was still in the mines, I just used to hear it being said that, actually we are being made to emigrate from here, and they are making lipitso (meetings). They once made a pitso (meeting) and actually the principal chiefs were there. Now I heard that the policy of these people of my home village they said: “We do not refuse being made to emigrate by you, but we are saying now here, us we are used to living from the soil, and now we ask ourselves as to there, where we shall go, is it the case that we shall find soil. Soil for soil?”.
Now in here a lot of time well, they kept coming and they were never able to answer that voice. Now after that, ache, this one of ‘soil for soil’, it has defeated them, because even now, certain decisions have already been made, or certain arrangements; as for that one it has defeated them. Even where we are going, we already know we are going like this, there is not even one [person] who has been promised that “You, you should know that well, you will get a little field just like you a person who lives on agriculture”. That one has won ntate. We are now people who are going just like this; we will see as to a person how he shall live. Because our difficulty ntate, is one of money, we know it does not stay with a person; we are asking ourselves as to here (in this arrangement) where we are being promised money, the money is going to take us how long. Just like me being a man who is this old, who has not been given a field and still living on fields of people like my grandfather, yes, people like my grandfather left them for me, and I am also ploughing them too and my children, I am actually making the children live from them.
Now whether this money, these children of mine are they going to bring up their children with it? Which just goes out and there being nothing that comes. Now you can ask yourself as to, when the money is one that just goes out and there being none that come in, is it the case that you would be able to bring them up? Yes, it is true, me it might take me sometime, but my children I do not see them being able to bring up their children also. But these fields, here they are truly they are able to bring up the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of their owners.
Now you hear now that here you are you are still ploughing for your children Ntate; yet they are the fields of my father’s father. They are not fields of my father, they are the father of my father’s, these ones that I plough which I make [...] live - the ones that I lived on [as a child] and even my children I make them live with them right now. Yes ntate.
Section 8
Is it the case that you would say, that your reasons for refusing to move away from here, they are connected only with the matter of agriculture and property? Is it the case that they are the only reasons why you have a problem of moving away from here or there is...
The problem ntate of moving away from a place, when in fact we are not prepared, [because] each and every person it is good when they are prepared: “That here, because of certain reasons, I no longer like this my home area. I want to go and build at such and such a place; I am attracted to such and such a thing”. They can move. Now you hear that us, we are just being moved, a person you have not had a feeling that you can move from this place here. Or a person like me right now, here I am, I have made expenses here, they are [pointing to his cement brick-build and corrugated iron-roofed house and beautiful furniture], of this expensive building, because I did not think even one day I might find myself emigrating from this place of my home. I took it as my home area, where even these children of mine will also grow up here.
But today, it is with misfortune it is... here it is, we are befallen by this thing which has already been decided, and us as people, we do not have power. Now we ask ourselves questions, of a person where you are going and going to start a new life, at a place that you do not know, which had not been attracted by something in it, is it the case that it could be that we shall agree to go. That is the thing, which has put us in trouble. Right now we have heard that it could be that months like these ones of Christmas, right there at places where we have already chosen we are going to go because of the reason that well, it is policy we are being forced like that there is no choice let us go then, we went.
But at those places where we have chosen, we have already heard it being said that we are cheques1; [and questions are being asked] as to now that it looks like Christmas is here, it is near, those cheques of ours have not yet come, what could be it is happening?
Section 9
Who say you are cheques?
The owners of those places where we are going; now that Christmas is nearing those cheques of ours they have not yet arrived, now properly what could be happening.

They say you are cheques why?
Is it not now ntate, they just find themselves that it is where they are going to eat. You hear that we are going to be invaded in the houses, we are going to be done what, and maybe it will happen that when you try to go out this way, just like jobs it is said that they will be opened at the tunnel here, maybe you leave the children just like that there, and you say, “No children, I am going to work there then, now I will come back at some time at the weekend”. You are going to find that your children were besieged there, and they (the thieves) would be trying to get that [compensation] money, which it is not known as to or it is there or it is not there in the house. But them, their policy it is already being heard that they say, these people who are here, they are their cheques, that is where they are going to eat. That is a saying, which appeared during Christmas ntate, which we hear that it is coming from these places where we are going.

Now you see like it is what, the thing that you will miss most about this place other than agriculture and property? It is what else, that you shall miss about this place?
Ntate this place of my home, truly in a manner that I liked it, and actually never felt even on a single day I would find myself not being inside of Molika-liko, ntate I shall miss too many things. It is the vale here, it is; a racecourse, here it is ntate. Many places there is no racecourse like this one, the manner in which it is situated. They race horses in kinds, it is cattle they are raced here during Christmas. This vale of my home, when it is said that it is winter and snow has hidden [grass], us here we are not bothered ntate, our cattle, lesuoane (variety of grass) there it is, there is a lot of it. There is a lot of lesuoane. We just get there and just open up there, if it is found out that it is still... that snow is still packing again, it is still falling. In the morning, when we take these cattle out to graze, we get there and we open up there, with melamu (ornamental and fighting sticks carried by men), we just remove and go like this, lesuoane appears. It would straighten up this lesuoane.
It would happen, that by the time the sun comes up (by mid-morning), our cattle would have grazed there, and this snow would have actually left and we would be able to graze them well. We are not bothered. This agriculture of our parents ntate, that which we practise here truly, we have not complained about it. The warmth that is here again it is like it is not of the land of the mountain area. It is warmer than most other places, even though it is found out that the grass of here is not that much better than... than many other places, but our animals succeed better than those from many places because it is warm, it is like the lowlands here, yet it is in the mountains.
The soil of here ntate again, it is one that satisfies, which does not even want that it be said improvements are there for it. Now we ask ourselves a lot of questions; there where we are going, even if you were to find that you get a little plot then, maybe you talk to the people of women widows, like that who no longer have strength, you might try a little to buy one field or plant in halves with a person. But you will be forced to take out money to go and buy [artificial] manure, to go and buy medicine for worms, go and buy what, all things that are used in the lowlands.
Section 10
Now things like worms are not things that you have problems of here?
No, ntate, you would not hear being said that Molika-liko here, there is a person who is going to spray for worms on a field what. No, they are not there things of that kind. As long as we find ourselves having ploughed ntate, we know that our maize has been hoed and weeded, that is all ntate, we are just waiting for a good harvest, there is nothing else. And indeed we have never had any kind of obstacle truly.

Please tell me about your feelings about the life of the lowlands.
Ntate, the life of the lowlands, me I see it being difficult. That is, I see it making forget, because I see that it is true that we have some animals... well, even though they are not that many, we ask ourselves when we get there, we are going with our animals... The difficulty of the lowlands ntate, once you allow these animals of yours to go to animal posts, we always see meeting them at the passes here being already broken into parts, we always find them having fallen at the passes here and having died, there they are. Where were they going? No, they were going to the mountains. Oo. When they are going down they are not all going to reach there we now find again: “Hela banna, what have you loaded [on donkeys/horses]”? “No, we have loaded a cow”. “What happened to it”? “No, it died here, when we were leaving going home”.
That is the life that we see ntate, that one which is difficult. In connection with the animals again, the grass of the lowlands, most of it is molula (variety of grass). Molula wears out the teeth of cattle. An animal of the lowlands gets old while it is still young, it becomes without teeth. You would even say that it is old, whereas it is not, it is that its teeth have been taken out by this molula. They are the things that we see those ones, which are a little difficult ntate. [But] there is nothing that we can do.
Section 11
The cattle of here stay for a long time still having teeth?
Yes ntate. A cow of here, when it does not have teeth you should know that it is because of its old age, not that its teeth have been taken out by grass.

You should know that me, because of staying in the lowlands I had actually come to think that it is the nature of cattle to have their [teeth] get finished...
No, ntate.

Which means that it is the matter of grass?
A cow loses its teeth through becoming old just like a person; a person when they have become old, also you will see them already losing teeth like that, other than the problems of sicknesses like that. Here a cow of here still gets old, you will see by the teeth that when you open the teeth, that this cow is old this one. It is truly old.

And it would be the matter of grass?
It would be the matter of grass.

Elderly people in the village here, elderly people who do not have relatives, how do they live?
Ntate they still live well because you understand that when they do not have relatives, and then let us say they have fields, they [are] still able to plant for themselves there. Sometimes when they do not have animals, they will talk to a person who has animals, and they would plant in halves. They still able to make themselves live when they has harvested a few bags; they still takes some take bags [and sell] and go and look for some soap there and get some money. The elderly of here actually do not need money. Actually they don’t struggle.

Actually the people of the village make certain that they live well?
Yes ntate.

It is on which points that you see the life of here being better than that of the lowlands?
Truly ntate, on points that I have already mentioned, I see like the life of here is much better than that of the lowlands. We are not persecuted by these [police] pick-ups; the police do not bother us ntate. The police, when they come here, they come for their reason only. Even those who come from up there say, “We are just going to a certain place only”, if there is something wrong. Not like the places of the lowlands ntate, [where] you will find each time there are already the police here they are. Sometimes they are just arresting you without planning - they would just be going where they are going. Then you become aware they are immediately going via there, [and they find] “Helang banna, people are harvesting cannabis here”. They immediately abandon their policy – whatever it was they were doing - and they now say: “No, we are now arresting you also because we have found you having done such and such a thing”. But when you try and investigate, [you find that] no, these police were just wandering about, they were going somewhere on such and such a mission, but having stumbled on this thing along the way, they seize on it and it becomes a matter. Now, here ntate we live a very good life.
There is one man there at Ha Tsapane - when you hear me so insistent on this matter about the life of the lowlands - there is one man there at Ha Tsapane, he is called ntate Tlali Mokhatla. Ntate Tlali when I first came here during that month of September, he said something which made me think seriously; he said, him the life of the lowlands, he does not like it; among the many things he does not like it because the people of there live on this flour that is put under the armpit.
Section 12
Is it the case that there are things, like that which you do not like about the life of the lowlands?
It is another important thing ntate that one, but then sometimes a person you have a way of forgetting them. That life there ntate of the lowlands it is difficult, all of it may be depending on the manner in which even the thieves have become prevalent in different places even here. It is true that in my home village here, actually we do not have that many thieves, but then our things are already being stolen, because you will find that people come from somewhere and they come and they take animals, or one is not aware he keeps taking these things out.
Now the life of the lowlands is difficult in itself, whether the money is not there, the life of the lowlands wants a person who is working; there should work the father and the mother to avoid hunger. Because you will find that it is true that here, a person whether you work or you do not work, you are still able to get [food and other requirements] in the manner in which I have already explained from this agriculture of ours. Now there where there is no agriculture, the problem is that you will be bound ntate in the morning, in the evening, a child should run to the cafe or to the shop and bring that little flour. There is not even this black [cast iron] pot ntate there, the thing of there is money, primus [stove]. Immediately you go and buy paraffin there, it is money; what, it is money.
Now here it is better ten times, because people still cook inside the house here. Wood here, it is, it is collected. Paraffin, you may have it at some time, but even then it would just be a thing for times when you may have visitors who are in a hurry, and well you put [something to cook] on a primus [stove] there, and things do (cook) quickly. But here we still, people still collect wood, plant in the fields, we do not buy food in tin containers or in those packets ntate. Just like now ntate, you hear I am saying a boy here, he comes from the animal post, he has come to get some food, here he is, he is driving donkeys, he is crossing to over yonder there, and he is going to look for this thing there. Now there what shall we do because money gets finished?

He is going to look for it where flour right now?
He will cross over to Ha Koporale there ntate. Now the difficulty that I hear, ntate Tlali, I hear that he was talking about is one that it is true, that at the time when the little money will still be there, a person you might not see [the difficulties]. But the argument is when it has finished, where do you take it when you are not working, so that now your children should be able to buy. Here we already know as to whether I am not working, maybe I have 1000 [rands] or up to two. [I already know that] my 1000 will take a long time, as long as I am here it will take months because its problem [runs out]. I will use it on a few items, not on the matter of eating, but on a matter of must. That is, flour, food that go with starch, I would not use it on such items that much; I would rather look for it for such things like... maybe like when you have come and you are ntate like this of a visitor, papa (maize porridge, staple food) is there, all I take out is some 3 rands or 5 rands. “No, child, bring ntate some fish there so he can eat with papa”.
Even then, you (visitors) do not come every day. At some point I will again find so-and-so again; you hear the days are going them, that 1000 will take a long time, but there, 1000 is a cent, for the lowlands it is a cent. Immediately you just go out this way and you are going to town there, you come back clutching the hairs: “Could it be I have lost some money; is it actually the case that this money was spent by me properly, straight?” And yet you would be carrying checkers (plastic carrier bags) in your two hands. It would have been finished 1000. It would have been finished ntate.
Section 13
Now, according to you, who is the person who is supposed to be shouldered with the fault that you are being moved from here? Is it the case that it is the people of Highlands Water, or is the people of government, or is it...?
It is the government ntate, me according to me I am saying that it is the government. The people of the Highland Water ntate do not have a fault they have done all these it was because they had agreed with the government first; the government is the one which is ours ntate that has done these things.

You are talking about this matter of wood; wood is something that gets finished. Is it the case that there is something that you [do] to make sure it shall always be there, or you just collect...?
No, it stays being there ntate. All this time it is collected, the women are already watching that it looks like there are some clouds and there will be some rain; it looks like my fuel is little there, she immediately runs and goes to the woods there. Some of it is wet she must have some support (alternative source of fuel) to see that, “Oo, this wood that came yesterday is wet, it cannot do what it must come when there is still some dry one”. That is a thing about which they are very vigilant, ntate.

Yes, but I meant there where it is collected, there where you collect it, you just cut it like this or...?
Here ntate, here in my home area, in fact it is not that one of trees that much. Actually lengana (South African wormwood) here it is it is uprooted, it is motantsi (local plant), it is uprooted there, this one which has not been planted.
Section 14
But even if there is a need that it should be there in the future; now my question is whether that same lengana, is it the case that you just collect it, or you still make certain that even tomorrow it shall still be there? Or you just collect it?
We still make sure that no, we should not invade this one place alone and finish it there. No, we still collect it carefully, that no, here it should be that it is that side from where we collect, here what, like that because in fact it is a thing of which there is a lot and it does not show that much that it might get finished ntate.

Is it the case that there is a thing that you, or things that you do, so that animals do not become heavy on the pasture?
Yes ntate.

What do you do?
At this time of summer like this, the animals have left and they [have] gone to the plateaus there. And then it would be that we suspend [grazing] here. When we have suspended grazing at home here, now this grass which is at home here will grow again. The small part of [herds] that has remained, of cows that have just calved, will be given some area big enough for them. There it is growing at the other place there, and it becomes plenty. Now at some point, at months like the fourth, months like the fifth, they come down those ones, which are at the animal posts, they come home here. When they come, then they will be given another place. Not that the whole place will be made available for grazing, all of it. When people see that no, there now it looks like it is finished, they close [to grazing] again there and then they open another place at another time, and by now it is already winter. Now you will find that at other times they no longer suspend grazing that much. Yes ntate.

On the point of numbers? On the point of numbers, that is, so that it is not too many cattle which are there which can be more the pasture can carry.
Ache ntate, there in fact, there is nothing [that we do].

What about the soil? You have just been saying that this soil of here is fat.
Yes ntate.

Is it the case that there is a thing that you [do], to see to it that its being fat does not go down?
Ache, there is nothing that we do ntate truly, except for our caring [for it]; us to make sure that we have improved this soil of ours, when you have planted it is to turn (we ensure good result but turning the soil in winter). Well, after that truly, no truly, [we do not do anything] at places like the fields or where, no.

There is this aloe that I have heard that you sell here, this one which is this thing - do you see it?
Yes ntate.

As for it, are they just cutting it like this, or even if there is a way of making sure that it does not get finished?
There is a way that it is planted at people’s homes sometimes. Now the owner of there is looking after itthemselves, that it should not get finished, because in most cases it is this one that is used to cleanse people (used in cleansing rituals), and so on and so forth. I think that is the one that you are talking about.
Section 15
Oo, it is used as medicine?
Yes, it is medicine ntate. In many cases, like when there are deaths, it is that aloe which is used; people when they come back from the graves [after burying another] it is already put in the water in there, and they just come and wash [their hands in that mixture of aloe and water]. They would have just put that aloe that one. Sometimes there appears - your siblings come from somewhere or somewhere, they were not there on that day [when a relative was buried] and they have come to put stones [on the graves of the relative] - people already run to that aloe, they get there and they take it, and they throw it in water in there and then it would be that you wash. Now, it is under the care that it should not get finished because it is medicine.

Oo, it is cared for? Right there where it is grows [in the wild]?
Yes ntate, regardless of where it is, it is still under care. Whether it is at a person’s place, it is known [that it is medicine and that it must be looked after]. Even if you were to go there you would not just get there and then all of a sudden say ‘No, -’ or that it has just grown on its own. You ask properly “I am asking a certain thing here I have some reasons” and he already knows that it is medicine the owner of it. They give you without selling.

What about that one in the wild?
In the wild there is actually not a lot of it.

It has not grown in large numbers?
No ntate.

In fact from the beginning there was never a lot of it in the wild there.

Yes ntate.

It has always been a thing that people had planted for themselves?
Yes ntate.

Now what would you say if... how many cattle do you have?

Let us actually talk about animals.
I have cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys and horses.

Cattle are how many?
Cattle are 16.

They are four tens.
Section 16
Goats are seven tens.

Now, what would you say if a person were to say, you should reduce them and rear ones that have been improved only and smaller in number?
Ache, I will not understand ntate, because you know during the [military] government of [Major General Metsing] Lekhanya ntate, after Lekhanya took over governance here, me, my family’s sheep were actually many and the majority were these ones which are coloured, the black-and-white ones, the black ones, ones which are what, these brownish ones. But during his governance ntate, we killed all of them and finished them. That is they were completely finished.

On their (military government’s) recommendation?
On their recommendation it was actually found out that we are forced. But when we became aware, after that the same ones who are saying that, those who say us our we should finish them, and we had finished them, we found out that no truly, them, these same people who have said these sayings which are like this, the same ones from the government, the big ones, when you arrive there in Maseru, here they are you see them along the road here. They red and white, they are black and white, they are what. Him, Lekhanya himself, when we heard, we heard that Lekhanya, they say he had certain animal posts, his sheep there is not even one that he has taken out. Yet ours we had finished them. So much so that we did not want to see a person passing by ntate, when he got here and said, “A donkey here it is”. “This donkey of yours monna, it is how much?” “No, I was looking for a sheep what”.
We immediately choose from these same ones. Sometimes we would just give six sheep, while it was long before - maybe it is just a small donkey, he would easily get three sheep. Because of the reason that we are getting rid of these things, we are already taking out like that ntate. Meat at home here, when it gets finished today, when a sheep gets finished today, tomorrow another one is slaughtered again. We are fighting against that colour, which it has been said it is not wanted, and in fact we had been threatened that this colour, as long as you still have it, you should know it shall not graze altogether, it has to be that you tie it, and it should just stay there, not that it should graze the grass. It spoils development. All having been said and done ntate, me, my family’s sheep would be many. But because of the small matter of development ntate, it happened that they are finished. Now right now truly, no, I do not understand when it keeps being said that what what ntate.

They were forcing you that - they were threatening you by saying what?
We were threatened by saying that altogether as long as you still have that colour, you should know that they are no longer supposed to be found, because if they are to be found grazing there at the grazing area, you are already in trouble.

Now who actually ensured that they did not graze at the grazing area?
You hear now ntate we were being threatened we were being made threats like that that the chiefs should stop [coloured animals from grazing] they should know the chiefs in all ways. They should know that those from the government, as soon as they arrive and they find those kinds of sheep being there, that is already argument and trouble. Even that chief would be included that, “You allowed these things of this person to graze how here, when they do not have such right?”
Section 17
But you sell wool?
Yes ntate.

How is it sold that wool of those sheep, which are like that? How does it sell?
That is those ones which are coloured; they were not allowed even at the shearing place, them.

They did not agree to buy their wool?
No ntate. Altogether actually they did not go to the shearing place.

Is it still the same even now?
Even now it is still like that, in fact they are not shorn at the shearing place. Well even if you shear them there ache, I have seen in most cases, actually it is not bought the wool of there, actually it is not wanted.

Now, do you not see you are losing by not rearing sheep whose wool you shall be able to sell?
In fact we have lost ntate - because now, even where meat is concerned, these coloured ones surpass the old ones. You will find that even the male ones are big. When you buy it, it is said that it is 200 rands or 300 rands, you do not complain as a buyer. It is a big male sheep, which is fat. These ones of wool, when you now slaughter it, it has no meat.

Now, you see it as being better that you should rear these sheep which are the coloured ones because they have meat, rather than rearing those ones which have wool so that you can sell wool?
Well truly truly, we have already agreed we are already rearing them those ones, because even [improved] rams we are already buying them, even male goats we are already buying them, these ones of wool/ mohair. But we are saying on the side of meat there ache, those ones give us meat a lot ntate, those ones; but then they are no longer many; they are now isolated here and there because we actually took them out in large numbers, actually they are no longer there. We are now falling (being inclined more towards) on these ones of the government’s. It (the value of sheep) went down during those times, and it was that it had gone down ntate. Right now it is that one and that one who you would find well, he already has sheep which are hundreds which are two.

Your family’s were how many at that time?
At that time, me ntate, they were still making a hundred, they would come back from a hundred and make a hundred and a few tens like that, in fact they were playing around there [in number]. But ever since these conditions ache, we have gone down ntate.

Now what do you do to these animals all of them, their care?
Their care ntate right now?
Section 18
Yes, who herds them...
Just like a person who has no children who are boys, or me having been born alone, having no children or elder brothers, it has always been the case from the beginning that we lived by hiring other people’s children, and even as it is right now I still just live by them the children of other people like that. I would have a herder for cattle; I would have a herder for sheep, each and every year. Now these people when they are like this, when the year ends, one I pay him by a cow, one wants sheep I take out 12 sheep, the other is one who wants money, I take out money that is equivalent to those sheep.

12 sheep?
Yes ntate.

A year?
A year ntate.

He never ends up mixing his with yours?
No truly ntate; it never gets to be like that ntate.

End notes
. They have heard that there are elements in host communities who regard the people to be resettled in their areas as a source of money; implying that they are going to steal from them or dupe them into parting with their money somehow. In all this there is an undercurrent that the elements involved regard themselves as clever lowland people who are easily going to cheat backward highland people.