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Know your Prime Minister

By: Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – The incoming Prime Minister (PM) Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane was born in March 15, 1958 in Thaba-Tseka.

He went to Mantšonyane Primary School, then moved to Maseru where he went to St. Bernadette Primary School before proceeding to ‘Mabathoana High School.

Matekane is the seventh Lesotho’s PM since the country attained independence in 1966.

A shrewd businessman and arguably Lesotho’s richest joined politics earlier this year, when he co-founded the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP). He formed RFP along with the likes of business mogul Lephema Lebona, former Chief Justice Nthomeng Majara, former Governor of the Central Bank of Lesotho Dr Retšelisitsoe Matlanyane and businesswoman and academic Nthati Moorosi amongst others.

Overcoming all odds, he entered into business in 1986 and established what was then Matekane Transport and Plant Hire. Later he established the Matekane Group of Companies (MGC).

Matekane pursues wide interest being in the aviation industry, property development, mining, logistics supply chain, hospitality, and farming.

He founded the Maluti Sky Airline which offers scheduled and charter flights becoming the first privately owned airline in Lesotho. 

In 2015, he opened Mpilo Boutique Hotel.

He is a stakeholder in the company called Verve Lesotho along with other foreign investors. This company cultivates, manufactures, and supplies medicinal cannabis.

As part of the corporate social responsibility programme, he has built a stadium and the state of the art school in his Thaba-Tseka home district at Bocheletsane.

In 2021, he was awarded the prestigious Forbes Best of Africa accolade by the Foreign Investment Network (FIN) in collaboration with Forbes Best of Africa.

In June 2022, Matekane was voted as the winner of the African Leadership, a Magazine poll-based Africa Business Leadership Awards (ABLA) Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his prolific business acumen and excellence.

The sexagenarian is the philanthropist of note, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic he donated personal protective equipment (PPE), procured PCR testing equipment and ICU bed equipment and donated to the most vulnerable families during that era.

Matakene was also mobilizing funds for the COVID-19 vaccines and PPE under the Sesui sa Letšoele le Beta Poho private sector initiative that he chaired.

He also built a facility at Paray Hospital that caters for COVID-19 patients.

Earlier this year, he bought uniform for police officers and donated an ambulance to the military.

Basotho expect that his leadership and outstanding business acumen will translate into good governance and service delivery.