Video Source: Youtube
Flag Source: CIA World Factbook
In 1818 a man named Moshoeshoe (often spelled “Moshweshewe”) brought together groups of Bantu-speaking people who were dispersed throughout the region owing to conflicts with the Zulu and Matabele tribes and established the Basotho nation at Butha-Buthe. For many years, the Basotho defended their land against the Boers. In 1868, Moshoeshoe appealed to Britain for protection, and the region became a crown protectorate. As a result, the English divided the land between the Basotho and the Boers. Moshoeshoe died in 1870, and in 1871 the English annexed the country to the Cape Colony region, now a part of modern-day South Africa. The annex occurred without consultation with the Basotho and caused a great deal of conflict. In 1880, Cape Colony forces fought and were barely defeated by Basotho fighters. The battle is called the Gun War of 1880; it led to an ineffective truce and the eventual return of the land to the English, who renamed th
e country Basutoland.
When the Union of South Africa was founded, in 1910, there was talk of absorbing Basutoland into the country, but the people of the region opposed the idea, and it remained an independent territory. For much of the 20th century, Basutoland was largely self-governed, and in the 1950s two political groups, the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) and the Basutoland National Party (BNP), gained popularity. On October 4, 1966, the English granted independence to Lesotho, and Moshoeshoe II became king. In 1997, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) was created; today the country’s prime minister is Pakalitha Mosisili of the LCD, and the king is Letsie III, the son of Moshoeshoe II.
The Top 5: Local Advice
1. Lesotho is a landlocked country, completely surrounded by South Africa. The capital of the country, Maseru, is also the capital of the Maseru District, one of the country’s ten districts.
2. The currency of Lesotho is the loti (maloti is the plural form of the word). There are 100 lisente in every loti. The symbol for the loti is L.
3. While radio is the most popular means of disseminating news in Lesotho, a few newspapers are published in the nation, including the Public Eye, The Mirror, Makatolle, and MoAfrica.
4. The official language of Lesotho is English. Many people also speak Sesotho (the designation is drawn from the country’s eopnym), Xhosa, Phuthi, and Zulu.
5. No public smoking ban exists in Lesotho.