BUTHA BUTHE-Soofia English Medium School [SEMS] hosted a pre-independence celebration at the school premises on September 26 to mark initial solidarity aggrandisement earmarked for each year with purpose to sensitise awareness campaign in students on legacy of the Kingdom’s attainment of independence in October 1966. Funny, pomp and fanfare ensued from early morning hours to mid-day by and large characterised by speeches from the Principal, Mr Vijayakumar Bhaskaran [popularly known as VJ], performances by students in various disciplines from traditional dances and songs, poetry reciting by students, and the keynote address from the former Butha-Buthe district officer as guest of honour, Mr Lehema Leluma heralding the country’s struggle and road to independence. Addressing and marking the school’s initial vouch of independence officially open, the Principal Mr Vijay expressed gratitude in seeing the school comprising of 1230 students from both primary and high school with about 60 teachers and non-teaching staff come together with one purpose to honour the coming 48th independence celebration on October 4. “Our school has undertaken a leading role among the schools in the district to celebrate independence achievement of our country. This is an event which we are to honour yearly and make it serve as platform to educate our learners of the country’s attainment of independence. This history is to be narrated to us by invited guests the school identifies as having full custodian knowledge of the struggles fought by Basotho during the reign of King Moshoeshoe 1 to the time when first democratic elections were held prior the grant of independence by United Kingdom to Lesotho.” an elated Mr Vijay remarked. “Our first guest of speaker is Mr Lehema Leluma, former district Administrator and an educationist. He has been our school’s elite and dedicated friend from time immemorial. He played a significant role to advise and mediate on our behalf to gain registration numbers from Ministry of Education and Training for both primary and high schools respectively. Our happiness and achievements today have come as a result of his unwavering support to the school from the onset to date. Thus we honour him today and accord him respect by heralding to us how Lesotho got independence,” Mr Vijay emphasised. Speaking on the same function, Mr Leluma chronicled Lesotho’s attainment of independence from King Moshoeshoe 1, his predecessors, attack by Boers and advice from the then one chief Monaheng in Butha-Buthe to King Mshoeshoe 1 to seek for protection from Britain against the marauding Zulus and Boers up to celebration of first independence gala on October 4, 1966. Mr Leluma narrated history revolving the enactment of different Lesotho flags up to the one used today and the composing of the national anthem and its meaning to Basotho today. As a word of advice, Mr Leluma coaxed the school to acquire the portraits of the current ruling leadership crew and install them in the principal’s office. “When l come back here any time in between now and next year, l want to see you having acquired the portraits of our current leaders; King Letsie 111 and the Prime Minister. l also wish to see you continue this grand honour of the country’s independence celebration. It shows the school’s commitment to important national events. “ “Its one way to show appreciation of the freedom and prosperity the independence has brought to Basotho and all other people in it let alone at this school in which there is diversity of culture and sort of rainbow society living together in harmony. I solely thank the principal for taking a step in the right direction-to give respect to people who fought for the sovereignty of the Basotho people, and today, we have our own government led by Basotho for Lesotho and all aliens in peace and tranquillity,” he noted. Students participated in various forms, from recital of poems like: [What is Lesotho, SEMS celebrates independence day, Lesotho celebrates independence, l am a Mosotho girl, the national flag, the national anthem] to dances like “Litholobonya, Mokhibo, Ndlamo, Mohobelo, Gumboots dance, and thotokiso,” rap and synchronised dancing by Form E girls fulfilling the funny, pomp and fanfare.” The function wrapped up by food partying by teachers which had lots and soft drinks with braai that people could not exhaust and display of dance moves mostly by the lady teachers.