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Seema gets better with age

Khahliso Khama


MASERU — While others her age are probably mulling retirement, famo queen Puseletso Seema says she still has the vim and vigour to continue churning out hits.

And like wine, the 61-year-old muso is getting better with age.

She has just completed her latest album which will take her releases to 37 in the four decades that she has been in the music industry.

One of Lesotho’s very few female famo artists, Seema says she still has the drive to churn out more albums.

“I still have a lot of work to do in this industry so music lovers should expect more,” Seema told Xpress People.

She however said she was not sure when the album, Mofata Seliba Number 11, would hit the market.

“I don’t have enough finances for the release of my album but I know that it will soon be out,” Seema said.

Over the past 30 years she has released hits such as Ea Pota Ngoetsi, Tsa Luma Lithunya, Ke Utloile ka Hlokoana la Tsela and ‘M’e ‘Masenate ‘Namolele.

Despite that she remains an ordinary grandmother struggling to make ends meet.

In fact, were it not for Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso, Seema might have struggled to have a roof over herself and her eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

All her children are late.

But Seema has refused to let the challenges of looking after such a big family distract her from her musical career.

She started her musical career in the 1970s as a member of South Africa’s celebrated mpaqanga group Mahotela Queens.

Seema said she had to overcome the stigma associated with women singing famo for her to launch a solo career in the traditional Sesotho genre.

So when she popped her debut 10-track album, Bana Ba Khoale Ba Bitsana Ka Meloli, in 1975, she got tongues wagging.

She sang alongside greats such as Apollo Ntabanyane and Phau Manyetse.

“In those days, being a female famo artist was linked with bad behaviour so at first I decided to sing in other languages to avoid being looked at as one of those immoral women in the community,” Seema said.

“I knew my interest was in this type of music so I decided to go for it without fear of being discriminated against.”

And, because of her efforts, perceptions about women in famo music started changing.

“People started changing their views about women singing famo music when I released my album,” Seema said.

“They realised that we sang out of passion and the love for this genre.”

Since then, she has been releasing an album every year.

Today her music continues to make waves both in Lesotho and South Africa.

“I am very thankful to all the opportunities and the support I have received from Basotho,” the famo queen said.

“It means my contribution is well recognised in my country and elsewhere.”

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