POMP and fanfare were the order of the night on Friday during the annual Queen’s Gala Dinner Dance meant to support the education of vulnerable children
The glitzy event, which was held at AVANI Maseru, was meant to raise funds to assist Basotho from disadvantaged backgrounds realise their dreams. It was also meant to celebrate Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso’s 40th birthday. Her Majesty was born on 2 June 1976.
Sponsored by Vodacom Lesotho and First National Bank, the back tie event was an initiative of the Queen’s National Trust Fund.
The royal charity was formed in 1985 by the late Queen ‘Mamohato Bereng Seeiso with the aim of effectively responding to poverty by assisting vulnerable children to access education. Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso took over the mantle in 2001 when Queen ‘Mamohato Bereng Seeiso passed away.
The charity currently supports 238 students in secondary and high schools across the country.
In keeping with the dress code, the ladies wore stylish outfits while the men looked modish in their formal suits.
Elegant and graceful as ever, Her Majesty looked stunning in a purple evening dress and mingled with the guests accompanied by her husband King Letsie III. The royal couple took the lead by going to the dance floor as 2015 hit, Happy, by South African pop group Mafikizolo was being played.
Not long after, the guests also followed suit, with some of Maseru’s who’s who showcasing their dance skills.
However the fun was ultimately for a good cause, with pledge cards placed on each table for guests so the trust can reach out to more needy children.
In her speech, Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso said helping vulnerable children was mutually beneficial in the long run because they would later on contribute to economic development.
“This event is held solely for the advancement of children’s education which remains the best empowerment tool in any country,” said Her Majesty.
“The high HIV prevalence rate has resulted in many child-headed families. It is our responsibility to ensure children who would have received free primary education are able to proceed to secondary schools since they are the leaders of tomorrow from whom we will benefit.”
Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso also revealed she managed to raise M650 000 by participating in the Moshoeshoe Walk in March this year. The annual 116km trek from Menkhoaneng in Leribe to Thaba Bosiu was held in commemoration of the long walk taken by Lesotho’s founding monarch Moshoeshoe I during the Lifacane period.
Her Majesty also touched on the recently-launched Hlokomela Banana – Their Freedom, Our Future – a charity campaign she championed to alleviate the challenges underprivileged girl children face. The project, which was launched last month, donates sanitary pads to needy girls and also educates them on personal hygiene among other initiatives.
“Many of you are already aware of the Hlokomela Banana initiative which provides girls across the country with sanitary pads. I would like to thank Premier Foods for being part of the initiative while also inviting other corporate entities to join in to ensure girls’ school days are not interrupted,” Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso said.
“October is girl child month, so as a nation, we need to address issues affecting girls such as early and enforced marriages, unplanned pregnancies and other forms of abuse they endure.
“We can only achieve our aspirations of an empowered society if we work together. Let us protect children from malnutrition, child labour and sexual exploitation.”