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LETOFE speaks out on local acts


Mohalenyane Phakela

ORGANISERS of Lesotho Tourism Festival (LETOFE) say they feature high profile foreign artists because of their drawing power in promoting tourism.

LETOFE representative, Montoeli ‘Moleli, told Xpress People this past week that the festival’s main objective was to market the country as a tourism destination. The 11th edition of LETOFE is slated for 26 December 2015 at Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village.

‘Moleli made the remarks in response to a Facebook group dubbed “LOCALISE LETOFE!” calling for the festival to feature more local artists.

“LETOFE seeks to boost Lesotho’s tourism since it has been identified as one of the sectors that can help develop the economy,” he said.

“Through the festival, we are able to attract foreign tourists through an event Basotho can also take pride in.”

He said their ambition was to reach the level of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, which is the largest jazz fete on the African continent. ‘Moleli also noted that they could not afford to compromise on quality if they were to reach such levels.

“We only have a few local artists who have reached the standards we have set as LETOFE. This year, Maleh and JC Crew will make their debut performances because we believe they have what it takes. This is in addition to Ntate Tšepo Tšola,” he said.

“What people should understand is that LETOFE is a private entity and not obliged to showcase local artists without the mettle for such a stage. Those who are complaining should remember that our focus is on promoting tourism.”

He said it was up to local artists and their managers to ensure they attain the required standard.

“Our criteria is not how long an artist has been in the industry, but the quality of their sound,” said ‘Moleli.

“For instance, the JC Crew, which will perform this year, is an up-and-coming group. We included them in the lineup after we were satisfied with their music and presentation.”

Other artists billed to perform at include Andy Narell and Portia Monique from the United States, South Africa’s Vusi Mahlasela, Zonke, Bonolo, Athari and Riky Rick.



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