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Plans to bring US singer shelved

Lerato Matheka

MASERU — Had it not been for budgetary constraints, the organisers of the Morija Arts and Cultural Festival say they had wanted to bring United States singer Puff Johnson as the gala’s main act.

Consumer Connectedness (C2), a marketing company running the Morija festival, said it had only raised M1.6 million for the annual gala.

The festival, whose major sponsor is Econet Telecom Lesotho, is set for October 28 to 31.

Seheshe Hoohlo of C2 told Xpress People they had planned to bring Johnson to boost this year’s festival

But they could not afford the Forever More star, he said.

“We couldn’t afford to bring Puff Johnson down to Lesotho due to a low budget,” Hoohlo said.

“We wanted to make history but the festival does not have a (big) budget so we were not able to raise enough money to afford her.”

Hoohlo said they had also changed other plans for the festival due to the “low budget”.

He however said they still expected fireworks at the four-day gala with South African and local artists lined up to perform.

“We have the likes of Black Coffee, Revolution, T-Bo Touch, Fistaz and Sugasmackz of Skwatta Camp coming,” Hoohlo said.

“They will perform alongside locals DJ Counterforce, Dallas T, Mekonko and Tseko, with Blankets and Bling giving you Qekha, Mr Maps, Nuch, Max on the Decks and Mathematics.”

He said the festival’s jazz session would see the likes of Tsepo Tsola, Bhudaza, Siphokazi, Asanda Bam, Qiloane, Mosipili (Moshate), MRC, Mojo Live, Khotso Thahane, Moprista and Nthakoana performing.

The festival, to be officially opened by Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso, will start on a Thursday with an art exhibition followed by a comedy session late in the evening at Lehakoe Club.

“We are going to see Curaman alongside Lilaphalapha, Sputnik and Itumeleng from Bloemfontein at Lehakoe who are going to make people  laugh their lungs out,” Hoohlo said.

Meanwhile, within the festival, Saturday will see a mountain bike challenge.

“This event coincides with the Morija Arts and Cultural Festival and the aim is to promote cycling as a healthy sport among the locals and enthusiasts from outside the country as well,” Ntsimane Mahase, one of the organisers, told Xpress People.

“This is the first time the competition is being held as the committee was formed about two months ago.”

She said they were targeting up to 75 contenders.

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