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We are gearing up for Moshoeshoe’s 200th centenary: Maretlane

By Thoboloko Nts’onyane

MASERU – Managing Director of T-Connexion Marketing and Tour, a company that organizes the annual historic Moshoeshoe walk, Hon Thabo Maretlane says this year’s installment will in preparation of the 200 years since Basotho’s great Statesman, King Moshoeshoe I left Menkhoaneng to Thaba-Bosiu. 

The founder of Basotho is reported to have left Menkhoaneng to seek a hideout in Thaba-Bosiu in 1824.

During the Lifaqane wars, King Moshoeshoe I and his subjects, including old people, children, pregnant women and animals are reported to have traversed about 116 km trek from  Menkhoaneng to Thaba-Bosiu in 1824.

The 200th centenary also coincides with the formation of the Basotho nation which was in 1824 and is associated with the Thaba-Bosiu loosely translated (mountain at night).

Hon Maretlane called on Basotho to wear their Moshoeshoe walk t-shirts this coming Friday in commemoration of the upcoming 200th centenary and ahead of this year’s walk.

The walk will this year commence on 9th March at Menkhoaneng, Leribe and ends on the 11th in Thaba-Bosiu.

The Moshoeshoe walk organizer further expressed concern over what he said Basotho don’t seem to participate in the walk in large numbers. He said the big participation is made by people of Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

This he said despite the fact that they have walked from Butha-Buthe to Menkhoaneng in preparation for the iconic walk. Then he also pointed out that Basotho’s participation was poor. 

“Basotho needs to be on the forefront of this walk, they should market this journey” he said.

He said during the walk, they will identify the communities that are in need of footbridges and revisit them post walk to construct them. 

Whereas the annual Moshoeshoe walk is traveled in three days covering about 116km distance from Menkhoaneng, Leribe to Thaba-Bosiu whereas King Moshoeshoe I and his people took nine days as they had many rests along the way until they arrived at Thaba-Bosiu.

The walk traces the footsteps of King Moshoeshoe I and rekindles his virtues. He is commended for his diplomatic approach, peace loving and unifying the then scattered people to form the nation of Basotho. History says he forgave the cannibals who ate his grandfather Peete, and instead of avenging his death, he gave them animals and reintegrated them into the community.

It is suggested that King Moshoeshoe I opted Thaba-Bosiu as a place of refuge where he and it was a safe haven for him and his subjects.

The founder of Basotho nation died on March 11, 1870 a day which is commemorated in Lesotho and it also marks the end of the annual Moshoeshoe walk at Thaba-Bosiu.

Sometimes referred to as ‘Sion of Basotho’, Thaba-Bosiu holds great significance to the history and culture of Basotho.

This will mark the 16th year since the start of the annual Moshoeshoe walk since 2007 when it started.

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