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THE Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) will this weekend lead celebrations to mark the start of the ploughing and planting season, known as Selemo sa Basotho.
Selemo sa Basotho is marked on the first of August every year when the Basotho traditional year begins.
The day marks the beginning of the planting season for Basotho.
Speaking at a media briefing this week, LTDC Head of Strategic Marketing, Monitoring and Evaluation, Tebello Thoola, said a series of activities would be held to celebrate the new season.
The activities were aimed at educating Basotho about the importance of culture, Mr Thoola said.
The LTDC has partnered with other stakeholders including the Tourism, Environment and Culture Ministry, Selemo, Maloti Mountain Brewery and Metsi a Rona, to organise the events.
Mr Thoola said that celebrating Selemo sa Basotho was important because it reminded Basotho of their culture and helped them to reconnect with the past.
To kick off the celebrations, the LTDC will today have an interview on the Lesotho National Broadcasting Service (LNBS) to explain what Selemo sa Basotho is.
The organisation will also host a panel discussion at the State Library to discuss the history of Lesotho and cultural aspects such as Selemo sa Basotho.
Mr Thoola said such events helped Lesotho to market itself as a preferred tourism destination.
“Tourism significantly contribute to the growth of the country. It also creates jobs for local villagers. That is why it’s important to promote cultural activities that help to market the country,” he said.
Tomorrow, there will be a march from the LTDC premises to Manthabiseng Convention Centre where there will be an event to celebrate the new season.
Mathethebale Pitso from Selomo said in ancient times Basotho’s culture and beliefs were aligned to nature.
“Ancient Basotho did not follow the Gregorian calendar, but relied on the position of the moon to access certain information.
“For instance, they would know by wilting plants that it was August. They could also tell the time depending on the position of the sun,” said Mr Pitso.
For his part, Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) Nation Brand manager, Tsepang Hatase, said they would soon launch a new project to market the country.
Mr Hatase said the project is aimed at uniting Basotho and making them proud of their culture.
He said the LNDC would push to have Selemo sa Basotho declared a holiday to remind Basotho where they come from.
LTDC Strategic Marketing Manager, Nkuebe Lerotholi, said they recently invited guest house owners and tour operators from South Africa to explore Lesotho and help market the country.
“We wanted them to come and see what the country has to offer in terms of tourist attractions and cultural activities. We wanted them appreciate our mountainous scenery. We hope they will encourage tourists to visit Lesotho,” Mr Lerotholi said.
The tour was sponsored by the Lesotho Private Sector Competitiveness and Economic Diversification Project (PSCEDP), he said.