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Historic walk to mark 10-year milestone


Mohalenyane Phakela

ORGANISERS of the Moshoeshoe Walk say all is set for the historical trek which is scheduled to start off on Thursday from Menkhoaneng in Butha-Buthe to Thaba Bosiu.

Organised by local tourism company, T-Connexion, the three-day trek is held on an annual basis in commemoration of the long walk taken by the nation’s founder King Moshoeshoe I. It traces the route King Moshoeshoe I and his people took as they fled from his birthplace of Menkhoaneng to Thaba Bosiu during the Lifacane period.

It is also meant to re-kindle the spirit of unity amongst Basotho as embodied in the monarch’s legacy and to promote team-building skills as well as domestic tourism. The event is usually held during Moshoeshoe’s Day commemorations on 11 March, and has over the years attracted immense interest from locals and foreign tourists.

According to T-Connection boss, Thabo Maretlane, hundreds of participants were expected to take part in the 116 kilometre walk, with preparations at an advanced stage.

“Everything is in place for the Moshoeshoe Walk, and our departure point on Wednesday for Menkhoaneng will be Pioneer Mall in Maseru at 1pm,” he said.

“Unlike previous editions, when we used to leave for Menkhoaneng on Thursdays and start the walk on Friday, we intend to set off on Wednesday.”

To commemorate the 10th anniversary since the Moshoeshoe Walk’s inauguration in 2007, Maretlane said they would engage in initiatives to assist communities along the route.

“A decade of existence is a great achievement, so we are planning to build some monuments to mark the milestone,” he said.

“We normally donate groceries and other goodies such as clothes to vulnerable groups along our route, but this year we have set higher goals for ourselves.

“After the walk, we are going to build a health post in Pitseng so members of the community can access medical facilities. We also intend to build foot bridges in Makhoroana since it is one of the routes we use during the walk.”

However, Maretlane bemoaned Basotho’s lacklustre interest in the historic walk as compared to people from other countries.

“People from Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa have given us great responses and even outnumber Basotho in terms of buying tickets,” he said.

“Our people show very little interest in local activities, while others prefer engaging us at the last minute. However, this time around, we are not going to allow some people to disorganise us.

“Therefore, the last day of ticket sales is Monday so that we can be sure of the exact number of people participating to make the proper arrangements.”

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