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Malimo Theatre Group gets its act together

Pascalinah Kabi


MASERU — The Malimo Cultural Theatre Group (MCTG) has finally found a voice after more than a decade of silence.
Last month, the Khubetsoana-based group released their debut album since their launch in 1999 and as if to make-up for lost time, MCTG are in the final stages of shooting their first music video.
MCTG founding president Moeketsi Mpao — who has attributed the inaction to lack of vision by senior members who have since left the organisation — believes the release of their 10-track album titled Mahaheng a Matšo in January was the “beginning of bigger things to come”. 
The CD talks about cannibalism in some parts of Lesotho which was largely a result of severe drought and war, and how King Moshoeshoe I later mollified the cannibals by giving them cattle and proper accommodation.   
“The album was released in Maseru last month and is a result of hard work by youngsters who now constitute the group,” Mpao told Express People on Tuesday.
“The group was mostly composed of elderly members who were largely driven by personal interests. But since 12 of them left the group in January last year, we have made significant strides as an organisation.”
Mpao said this ‘selfishness’ was what had threatened to tear the group apart.
“These senior members would always oppose each other, no matter the idea being discussed or suggested. They would also demand payment each time the group was invited for a performance. This was because most of them put their personal interests first instead of making sure the group as a whole prospered.”
Mpao insists the presence of more youths in the 23-member group augurs well for the future of Malimo Cultural Theatre Group.
“It’s slightly over one year since the new members have come in and already, we have produced an album and a video will be out next month. These youngsters don’t have any personal vendettas; what they simply want is to prosper and become famous as a group not individuals, as was previously the case.”
According to Mpao, the new members have agreed to forego any payment until the organisation starts to make substantial profits.
“Members have said they don’t want any payment until they have achieved their set objectives, top among them buying their own instruments. Already, we have managed to acquire a bass and lead guitar as well as two small amplifiers. We have also made our own (Sesotho) meropa and bonko drums as well as attire for our group. Now the youngsters are working hard to buy a keyboard, big amplifiers, two big speakers, drums and microphones.”

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