Sun. May 26th, 2019

Moshoeshoe Walk offers rare opportunity for cooperation: King

RETHABILE MOHONO

MASERU – The 13th year of the annual Moshoeshoe Walk themed ‘The walk of unity’ was meant to bring Basotho together while also promoting local tourism.

The historical Walk has been held since 2007 in honour of the late Moshoeshoe I, the founder of Basotho nation. The event which started with just about 50 people has over the years seen significant growth, attracting participants from across the Southern Africa region and even beyond.

The Walk, takes place around the National Holiday of Moshoeshoe Day, celebrated on March 11, the anniversary of the passing of Lesotho’s founding King.

It comes as an historical Walk that gives its participants an experience to face challenges as they were faced by the forefathers of the nation in the challenging terrain and climate from Menkhoaneng, Leribe to Thaba-Bosiu, Maseru.

Taking over three days, the Walk was marked with a different theme.

According to the organizer Thabo Maretlane, close to 1 000 people took part in this year’s Walk.

“Last year, 700 participants took part in the Walk although only 30 percent were Basotho,” he said adding that the walk is growing each year, and has attracted people from neighboring countries such as South Africa, Botswana and Eswatini, to mention few.

Maretlane said they walked under the theme ‘Walk for Unity’ and on the second day of the Walk they walked for the women empowerment to celebrate International Women’s Day.

He also said, this year’s Walk was meant to revive the spirit of unity among Basotho as embodied in the legacy left by its founder Moshoeshoe I.

He said the Walk is organised in such a way that it has both the benefits of adventure and education.

“During the Walk, we narrate the history behind some of the places the Walk passes through, so that the history of the Basotho nation passes from one generation to another,”he said.

Unlike previous years when the King only delivered a speech at the closing ceremony, this year His Majesty King Letsie III, actually joined the Walk, on the last day of the Walk from Malimong to Thaba-Bosiu.

In his remarks, His Majesty King Letsie III congratulated people who have participated in the 2019 Annual Moshoeshoe Walk from Menkhoaneng in Leribe to Thaba-Bosiu in Maseru, which started last Thursday and ended on Saturday last weekend.

The King said the annual Walk shows corporation among Basotho, and corporation between Lesotho and other neighboring countries.

He said during the journey he saw the spirit of cooperation, spirit of empathy and spirit of tolerance which are rare to find in everyday life in respective societies.

He further indicated that this is something that he admires the most with this event, and encouraged the participants to go back to their various homes and countries to practice this spirit in their families, marriages and their places of work.

“…continue to be tolerant, continue to be helpful to each other as we walk Moshoeshoe’s walk,” he stated.

“This will help us particularly here in Lesotho to rebuild our nation, to re-build the spirit of cooperation, and we hope it is the spirit that we will inject in our deliberation as we go in this exercise of reforms,” His Majesty said encouraging local chiefs and other civil society leaders, who have had the experience of the reforms process, to lead by example during this crucial time in the nation’s history.

Forming part of the walk was Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso, who has been part of the Walk for the past three years.

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