Mokhotlong has a special tie to the royal family. Letsie's father, the late King Moshoeshoe II, was born here and a royal residence sits on a hill just outside of town. To welcome home their favourite son, hundreds of people from all over Mokhotlong district turned out for two days of events.
The Horse Races at MaligoanengOn 16 July, the village of Maligoaneng held traditional pre-birthday activities: dancing, singing, and horse-racing. Basotho ponies are indigenous to Lesotho and South Africa and are the pride of the Mountain Kingdom. They serve functional daily purposes such as transporting goods and people, but once in a while they take a break to spruce up. Jockeys decorate their ponies with colourful harnesses, blankets, and occasionally masks, streamers, and balloons. Racing and high-stepping parades are quite regal!
The King's BirthdayIn contrast to the casual celebrations of the day before, the king's actual birthday is a formal affair, right down to the full military dress and 21-gun salute. The military parade is the holiday highlight, the event that hundreds of Basotho (and a handful of foreigners) turned up to see. Mokhotlong's Lesotho Defence Force troops had been practicing for days leading up to the 17th and their efforts paid off. Admittedly, it was pretty impressive.
AU Nutrition Champion and TTL certainly has a vested interest in what he does under his new title!
TTL looks forward to hearing his plans to help combat malnutrition and wishes him a very happy birthday!