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Singing a balm for Lesotho's grieving people

By unknown | Jan 14, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

A cloud of sadness hung over the village.

Since the news broke that 26 of their compatriots have been killed in an accident just 10km from the Katse Village in Lesotho, the Basothos went into mourning for one of the biggest tragedies to hit the mountain kingdom.

Then on Friday, they descended on the village to pay their last respects to the 26 soccer players and supporters who perished on Boxing Day. They sang, clapping their hands in sad farewell.

A member of a choir, Tankiso Nthitse, that led more than 5 000 mourners in hymns, said singing healed better than speeches.

"Our nation, like other nations in Africa, draws inspiration from singing," Nthitse said.

"We sing for every occasion, to celebrate when we are happy, to mourn when we are sad. Singing goes with all the moods."

He said while it was important and befitting for various people to speak, singing heals and allows everybody a chance to participate.

"Look at how people bond with leaders that sing along with them. Singing unites."

The choir also sang in praise of their chiefs and King Letsie III before they spoke.

"Lesotho is largely a Christian country, but we have other religions that have been afforded space to exist. The important thing is that we know who we are, and we respect our chiefs and king."


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