Originally posted by Mail & Guardian
Award-winning writer, Max Du Preez, transports listeners with a true story of wise men, warriors and an ideology that created the country of Lesotho.
When thinking of Lesotho, a lot of things immediately spring to mind. In more recent times it has become a land shrouded in controversy. But way before all the utterances of coups, water projects and labour issues, lies a gripping secret history of a land filled with giant personalities.
The Giants of Lesotho is told by Max Du Preez and accompanied by the musical compositions and sound design of Markus Wormstorm. It uncovers the lesser-known secrets of Lesotho, story of wise men and warriors and of an ideology that led to the creation of this fascinating country.
Listen to the full podcast of The Giants of Lesotho.
Through the guidance of its leaders, Lesotho withstood attacks from just about everyone ranging from Shaka Zulu, Mantitisi – Queen of the Wild Cat People, The Boers and eventually even the British Empire. It became a beacon of hope in a tumultuous time of famine, wars and cannibalism. The Giants of Lesotho attempts to understand who the great men were that founded this small country that protected many from apartheid, and changed the history of southern Africa.
The story begins with a young prince named Mohlomi, who during his initiation has a miraculous vision. In this vision, he is visited by his ancestors who foretell his destiny. The sequence of events leads to the formation of an ideology, sometimes known as “Mohlominism” that eventually paved the way to the foundation of Lesotho.
Often referred to as the African Socrates, Mohlomi was a wise man, fascinated by ethics, philosophy and political theory. It is said that he literally walked through most of Southern Africa unifying people and spreading his doctrine wherever he went. In his later days, he founded a leadership academy to which tribes would eagerly send their young princes to be taught by the wise and respected leader. It is through this initiative that a protégé by the name of Moshoeshoe, the son of a minor chief, became one of the greatest leaders South Africa had ever known.
Moshoeshoe closely followed the teachings of Mohlomi and adopted many of his ideologies. It was through these ideologies that Moshoeshoe became what many considered to be the greatest statesman Africa has ever seen, settling on Thaba Bosiu (The Mountain At Night), and subsequently founding the kingdom of Lesotho.
These beautiful and lesser know histories come to life through Du Preez’s burly narration and Markus Wormstorm’s composition. Du Preez, a recent winner of the Sunday Times Alan Paton award for his book Rumours of Spring, is a well-known political commentator and an authority on lesser-known South African history. He has been researching the early fathers of Lesotho for many years and his mind is a treasure trove of historical secrets relating to the subject.
Markus Wormstorm, executive producer of the project, attempts to illustrate the lesser-known history of Southern Africa through feature film quality sound design and composition. Wormstorm is a composer, who has most nobly recently composed the score for the internationally acclaimed film Four Corners. Through this project, the two hope to shed some light on some of southern Africa’s great, yet lesser known leaders.
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