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Furore over choristers’ uniform

Lerato Matheka

MASERU — Mafeteng Choristers are angry that they will be competing today in the Sunrise Scrap-yard Festival of Voices without new uniforms they were promised after winning the competition last year.

The choir’s conductor, Pheko Montsi, told XpressPeople this week that it is disappointing to compete in an old uniform when fans are expecting to see them donning their new attire.

Mafeteng Choristers came first in the Choral Music Upliftment Festival held in August last year after beating five other choirs.

They won M30 000 worth of uniforms.

Montsi said they were told that they would receive their new uniform on March 5 but to date nothing has materialised.

“We were told the uniforms were being manufactured in India but we feel it has been quite a long wait,” he said.

He said if the organisers were having problems procuring the uniform from India, they could have opted for local manufacturers to avoid further delays.

“Other choirs are expecting us to be wearing a new uniform on Sunday but we will still be wearing our old uniform.

“That is humiliating for us and could affect our preparations and presentation during the competition.”

Tumelo Makhele, one of the organisers of Choral Music Upliftment Festival, however angrily told XpressPeople in a separate interview that if Mafeteng Choristers were not willing to wait any longer they could always source the uniform locally.

Makhele said the set of uniforms was costing him an extra M17 000 because the choir opted for the men’s suits from his shop that he imports from India.

He noted that Mafeteng Choristers were allowed to choose any manufacturer but they chose suits from him.

“They will have to understand that I import my clothes from India and each suit for the 47 male choristers costs M1 000.”

Makhele said the grand prize of M30 000 fell short of the M47 000 required for the male choristers and he had to fork out the reminder.

“A friend of mine within the choir asked me to consider giving more so that all the 47 male choristers could get a new suit to ensure uniformity in the choir. This is now costing me an extra M17 000,” he said.

He added he was surprised that Mafeteng Choristers were now complaining yet he is not bitter about the additional cost he had to bear.

“This is a personal vendetta and I will not allow a group of people to put me down. I cannot say I will do something and turn around and fail to do it. This is unfair,” Makhele said.

“If they can get the suits from a local manufacturer we will not hesitate to pay for them.”

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