MASERU Mall is set to host art, poetry and choral competitions from 11 to 21 March as part of efforts to promote Lesotho’s cultural diversity and home-grown talent.
According to Maseru Mall Centre Manager, Baholo Chimombe, the competition, which will be in three categories, is meant to commemorate the life of the founder of the Basotho nation, Moshoeshoe I, and is open to everyone.
“The month of March is a time in which Basotho celebrate the life and exploits of their founder, therefore Maseru Mall has decided to celebrate with its customers with an array of fun-filled activities,” Chimombe said.
“We selected activities that are relevant to our culture and are artistic. We all know that our ancestors used to entertain themselves through drawings, poetry (lithoko) and choral music which is why we are celebrating this way.”
He added that the competition will run on different days, with Wednesday being strictly an art day with contestants segmented according to their age groups.
“We will have a tracing and colouring competition for kids aged from five to eight years and other age groups such as nine to 15, 16 to 21. Seasoned artists will also submit their own creative drawings.
“We do not have a specific theme that we will give the artists but believe most of their work is inspired by our heritage and culture. Art is fun and everybody can take a shot at it.”
Chimombe said all entries will be displayed at the shopping centre so that the general public can vote for their favourite until the prize giving ceremony on 21 March.
From 13 to 20 March, he said, the poetry competition would be open to poets as well as writers.
“We invite all the poets and writers out there who would like to use this platform to showcase their work of prose, and each writer or poet will be given the microphone to share his or her work,” Chimombe said. “Even those who want to try their new material in front of an audience are welcome.
The competition for novice choirs will also run from 14 to 21 March with the organisers expecting up to 10 groups with each performing one eight minute song. A maximum of six professional choirs will compete on the last day, performing one song for 10 minutes.
“We will have a prize-giving ceremony on March 21 for those different categories with our panel of judges, which includes a representative from the Lesotho Times newspaper, as our sponsors, to crown the winners,” he said.
“There will cash prizes and trophies up for grabs for the competition’s winners and we intend to make it an annual event.
“It promises to be a lot of fun and it will be a great way for local artistes to meet and mingle with the community.”