Morena Leraba: Blending Our Stories with Modern Sound, by Thulasizwe Simelane, explores and reflects on a discussion about Lesotho’s socio-political landscape, artistic culture, economic endeavours and tradition. The documentary captures rural village life on Lesotho at Ha-Nchela, Berea- where Morena Leraba, a Mosotho shepherd and musician, broadly narrates their daily challenges as herders.
Morena Leraba is originally a native of Ha-Mojela, located South of Lesotho’s capital Maseru. Leraba’s music (especially lyrics) is deeply rooted in Lesotho’s traditional music, poetry, and its sub-genre, Famo, which was introduced early in the 1920s when Basotho men were migrant workers in South Africa mines. However, the approach in the beat is significantly different as it hurls almost everything from Electro, Electronica, Afro-house, Folk and Hip-Hop.
Thulasizwe Simelane on behalf of Black Nation Video Network stated “the collaboration started as an idea, but because of the desire to see it materialise, we worked together with Morena Leraba to ensure that we get to this point. This is evidence that as the African Youth, there’s a lot of work that we can do as a collective through these kinds of collaborations. Moving forward we are looking to build on what we have already started and get bigger and better.” Simelane said.
We caught up with Morena Leraba before he left Johannesburg to return to his home in Lesotho. A very calm, cool and collected fellow who speaks only in Sesotho. He explains that while he is able to understand the English language, he rather speak Sesotho as it is his heritage and he expresses himself better when he speaks his mother tongue. He went on to talk about the importance of knowing your heritage, your roots and understanding them and how they came to be; a knowledge he has mastered and portraits significantly in his music.
He touched on a range of issues; from collaborating with various artists from all over the globe as well as telling us of the screening, and how overwhelmed he was with the busyness of Johannesburg.
Morena Leraba has his heart set on doing more projects with BlackNation & The Hive as well as taking back the lessons he learnt during his stay in Johannesburg to Lesotho.
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