MASERU — Every Mother Has a Child, a poem by Sekete Lesaoana, explores the traditional mores of Basotho communities.
It brings up the Sesotho saying, “Motho a moholo ke motsoali oa ngoana emong le emong”, which means that every elderly person is a parent to every child in the community.
Inspired by the escalating HIV infections, poverty, abuse and destitution, the poem explores what society in Lesotho has become today.
“Every mother has a child — Stricken by the earthly pandemic — Teenage pregnancy! — Head bowed movement, ashamed to face tomorrow — Scared to look at the future — A moment; reminiscing haunting memories — Every mother has a child. . . Father a rolling stone . . . — Every mother has a child — Crasp pants down poverty frown — Aids victims — Every mother affected by the infected — Ego; every child is your child — HIV orphans, holes in shoes . . .”
However, the poem is not just an inward-looking commentary on Basotho culture, it also looks at issues of wars beyond our borders and reminds Basotho of the unstable chapter in the country’s recent history: the 1998 incident in which Sadc member states had to intervene in Lesotho to quell potential chaos.
About 17 members of the Lesotho Defence Force lost their lives in the fracas.
“People seem not to care about anything unless it directly affects them. For instance, civil wars facing East and North Africa seem not to border us much, but do we remember the holes that 1998 massacre left?”
“You may find that you have enough to even share with others, but we tend to turn a blind eye to those HIV orphans and the streets kids.”
“If everybody could consider the Every Mother Has A Child saying, the world would be a better place without human injustice.
“Everybody has problems, the only differences is the kind of problem.
“If we as humans could start treating each other like brethrens, we will have a better tomorrow”, says Lesaoana in the poem.
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