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Local models protest abandoned

Khahliso Khama

 MASERU — Close to 20 local models on Friday gathered for a protest against an events management company they had been made to believe had snubbed them in favour of South African models for Lesotho’s biggest cultural festival.

But the protest did not happen.

And it emerged the co-ordinator of the protest, Limakatso Makutle, could have misled the local models after a “misunderstanding” with C2, the company running the Morija Arts and Cultural Festival this year.

Makutle, the organiser of  Miss Lesotho Companies, last week accused C2 of engaging South African models to be the “promo girls” at the festival.

She said the company had allegedly denied local models the chance.

C2 managing director Seheshe Hoohlo however dismissed Makutle’s allegations as unfounded.

He said they had not engaged any South African model for the festival.

“All her allegations are manufactured statements which do not make sense but because they have no pillars to support them,” Hoohlo said.

He said they had only asked Makutle to help source local girls, not necessarily models, to work as promotion girls for the festival.

“Yes, we made a call for girls interested in becoming promo girls at the festival,” he said.

“We had not only invited girls from Miss Lesotho Companies as she claims but the opportunity was open to all Basotho girls.”

But C2 did not guarantee Makutle that it would engage “her” girls, Hoohlo said.

“We did not guarantee her anything,” he said. “We only said she should call the girls for a selection of promo girls which was not an assurance that the girls would get the job.”

But Makutle on Friday insisted C2 had gone back on its promise when she had already shortlisted models for the festival job.

She also insisted the company had overlooked local models in favour of South African ones although she could not substantiate her claims.

“C2 proposed for our models to take the job of promo girls at the festival but later turned us down with an excuse that they already have models from South Africa,” Makutle said.

On Friday she had rounded up nearly 20 models to protest against C2.

They wanted to take a petition to Deputy Prime Minister Lesao Lehohla.

However, Bataung Leleka, who stood on behalf of the government secretary, advised them not protest before taking their case to Ministry of Tourism principal secretary ‘Mamoruti Malie.

The models then dispersed.

“If our complaint is not taken into consideration, we will not rest until we get to the bottom of this,” Makutle said.

“All we need is a law that protects local models. We do not want outsiders taking jobs in our own country.”

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