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Big names to grace Jazz gala

tsepoTsitsi Matope

MASERU — Tšepo Tshola, Zahara, Sipho “Hot Stix” Mabuse and Don Laka are among the big names that are going to grace this year’s Annual Jazz Festival to be held at Setsoto National Stadium on December 21.

The festival is this year organised by a private sector company — Events ADS under the banner of the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC).

The annual event is meant to boost the festive mood and also attract visitors from neighbouring South Africa and beyond.

“There is more to the Jazz festival,” LTDC’s chief executive officer, Mpaiphele Maqutu said in an interview with  XpressPeople

“We invite the big names to boost tourism network marketing among the musicians themselves and their fans from different parts of the world. Their coming to be with us can also appeal to other musicians and also create those conversations of associating the big names with Lesotho. This is also another way of supporting our local entertainment industry, which plays a critical role in marketing Lesotho,” he said.

He said the list of the local artistes also expected to perform on the day, apart from Tshola, is yet to be finalised.

Maqutu further explained the corporation was expecting tourist arrivals to increase from the beginning of December.

He emphasised the importance of all stakeholders to ensure a crime-free holiday season for the safety of tourists.

“Arrivals of tourists starts with the just-ended Roof of Africa event and peaks next month. We are going to deploy additional tourism officers at all our border posts during this time.”

He said the deployment will start on December 1 and the additional officers will remain helping in the handling of all visitors until end of January next year.

“There are new logistics that are going to be implemented that would help various stakeholders such as the police, to identify visiting tourists.”

He said this follows concerns over reported cases of harassment of tourists.

Maqutu said although Lesotho is a peaceful country, there are discussions around training police officers on how to treat tourists or possibilities of creating a unit that could enhance safety in all hot tourism spots.

“As outlined by the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture, ‘Mamahele Radebe, we would like tourists to feel safe when they are here and also have good impressions. This is important because, we tend to benefit more from their good testimonials. Crime against them would badly hurt the sector.”


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