Maseru — Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso opened the 15th Morija Arts and Cultural Festival during an event held at Heritage Park, Morija on Friday.
Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture ‘Mamahele Radebe, Deputy Minister of Finance ‘Mats’epo Ramakoae, as well as members of diplomatic missions in Lesotho, among others, attended the event.
In her speech, the Queen who is also Morija Arts Patron said the festival is a noble initiative which its aim is to promote unity and culture amongst the Basotho nation.
That the festival attracts visitors from other countries such as South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland shows that Morija Arts play a vital role in bringing people together, she said.
She said for the next 10 days, there will be various activities aimed at celebrating this year’s competition adding that the other objective of this annual event is also to promote tourism and the country’s economic growth.
The Queen said this year’s official opening is held at Heritage Park where there is Morija Arts Centre expressing hope that the centre will contribute significantly in building the skills of Basotho.
“I would also like to urge parents to help in guiding children so that they can become better citizens in future,” she said.
Minister Radebe said the private sector should be applauded for sponsoring the event whose aim is not only to promote culture but also to enhance tourism.
She advised youth to participate fully in this festival but to avoid use of alcohol and drugs as these destroy peace in communities.
Steven Gill, speaking on behalf of the Morija Arts management, said their vision is to have a thriving centre of entrepreneurship.
He also encouraged the introduction of the National Arts Council for growth and development of the festival in the country.
“Despite challenges there are achievements as well since the festival has recorded participation of students through out the country,” he said.
Students from different districts across the country performed traditional plays as part of official opening celebrations.
Other activities on the line include gospel concert, art exhibitions as well as fashion show to mention a few.
Morija Arts was formed with the objective of instilling the love for culture amongst the Basotho nation as well as promoting Basotho’s different talents.
This year’s celebrations are particularly significant as the nation celebrated His Majesty King Letsie III’s 50th birthday.
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