LOCATION: Lesotho; South Africa

POPULATION: 5.6 million in South Africa; 1.9 million in Lesotho

LANGUAGE: Sotho language, or Sesotho

RELIGION: Traditional beliefs (worship of Modimo); Christianity


The Sotho people are an ethnic group living in Lesotho and South Africa. There are two major branches, the southern Sotho and the northern Sotho (also called the Pedi). Southern Sotho people make up about 99 percent of the population of Lesotho. The southern Sotho and the northern Sotho taken together are the second largest ethnic group in South Africa.

Sotho society was traditionally organized in villages ruled by chiefs. The economy was based on the rearing of cattle and the cultivation of grains such as sorghum. In the early nineteenth century, several kingdoms developed as a result of a series of wars that engulfed much of southern Africa. During this period, southern Sotho people as well as other ethnic groups sought refuge in the mountainous terrain of what is now Lesotho. A local chief named Moshoeshoe (pronounced mow-SHWAY-shway) emerged as a skillful diplomat and military leader who was able to keep his country from falling into the hands of Zulu and, later, white Afrikaner forces. After Moshoeshoe's death in 1870, this independence was weakened, and English authorities from the Cape Colony tried to administer Lesotho as a conquered territory. The people resisted this attempt at control, however, leading to the Gun War of 1880–81 in which the Cape Colony was defeated.

The northern Sotho suffered at the hands of African armies during the wars, but several chiefdoms were able to recover. After 1845, the Pedi also had to contend with an influx of white Afrikaner settlers, some of whom seized Pedi children and forced them to work as slaves. The Pedi were finally conquered by British, Afrikaner, and Swazi forces in 1879. The northern Sotho then lost their independence and fell under the political control of white authorities. Northern Sotho lands were turned into reserves, and Sotho people were forced to relocate to these reserves, causing great hardship.

In 1884, Lesotho became a British protectorate. Unlike the Pedi kingdom, therefore, Lesotho was not incorporated into South Africa. Lesotho became an independent country in 1966, completely surrounded by South Africa. South Africa's former system of apartheid (the governmental policy of racial segregation and discrimination) hindered Lesotho's development. The nation also has had trouble establishing democracy. The first democratic elections after independence were voided by the government of Leabua Jonathan. Jonathan ruled Lesotho from 1970 until he was overthrown in a coup in 1986. In the 1990s, Lesotho began a new period of elective government.


According to 1995 estimates, there were about 5.6 million people who identified themselves as southern or northern Sotho in South Africa. In Lesotho there were about 1.9 million southern Sotho.

The home of most of the southern Sotho is in Lesotho and in South Africa's Free State Province. There are also many Sotho who live in South Africa's major cities. Lesotho is a mountainous country that is completely landlocked within the borders of South Africa. It has an area of about 11,700 square miles (about 30,350 square kilometers). The Free State is a highland plain, called a highveld in South Africa, bordering Lesotho to the west. The eastern section of Lesotho is also a highveld, with plateaus similar to those found in the American Southwest. The Maloti and Drakensberg mountains are in the central and western parts of the country. The Drakensberg Mountains form sharp cliffs that drop off dramatically to South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal Province. The climate of South Africa is temperate, but the mountains make for cold winters. In winter, snow sometimes falls in the Lesotho highlands.

The region considered a traditional home by many rural Pedi is between the Olifants and Steelpoort rivers in South Africa's Northern Province. It is bounded by the Leolo Mountains on the east and by dry plains to the west. This region and neighboring areas of the Northern Province are also home to other ethnic groups, including the Lovedu, Tsonga, Ndebele, Venda, Zulu, and Afrikaners. The Northern Province is much warmer than Lesotho.


The Sotho language, or Sesotho, is a Bantu language closely related to Setswana. Sotho is rich in proverbs, idioms, and special forms of address reserved for elders and in-laws.

The division between southern and northern Sotho people is based on the different dialects of the two groups. The southern form of Sotho is spoken in Lesotho, and the northern form is spoken in the Northern Province. The northern dialect is called Sepedi. Southern Sotho utilizes click consonants in some words, while Sepedi does not have clicks. Currently, southern Setho has two spelling systems, one in use in Lesotho and another in South Africa. For example, in Lesotho a common greeting is Khotso, le phela joang? (literally, "Peace, how are you?"). In South Africa, the word joang (how) is written jwang, and khotso is written kgotso .

Names in Sotho generally have meanings that express the values of the parents or of the community. Common personal names include Lehlohonolo (Good Fortune), Mpho (Gift), and MmaThabo (Mother of Joy). Names may also be given to refer to events. For example, a girl born during a rainstorm might be called Puleng, meaning "in the rain." Individuals may also be named after clan heroes. Surnames are taken from relatives on the father's side of the family.


According to one Sotho tradition, the first human being emerged from a sea of reeds at a place called Ntswanatsatsi. However, little is known or said about the events of this person's life.

Sotho has a rich tradition of folktales (ditsomo or dinonwane) and praise poems (diboko). These are told in dramatic and creative ways that may include audience participation. Folktales are adventure stories which occur in realistic and magical settings. One of the best known of the folk-tales is about a boy named Sankatana who saves the world from a giant monster.

Praise poems traditionally describe the heroic real-life adventures of ancestors or political leaders. Here is the opening verse of a long poem in praise of King Moshoeshoe:

You who are fond of praising the ancestors,

Your praises are poor when you leave out the warrior,

When you leave out Thesele, the son of Mokhachane;

For it's he who's the warrior of the wars,

Thesele is brave and strong,

That is Moshoeshoe-Moshaila.


The supreme being that the Sotho believe in is most commonly referred to as Modimo. Modimo is approached through the spirits of one's ancestors, the balimo, who are honored at ritual feasts. The ancestral spirits can bring sickness and misfortune to those who forget them or treat them disrespectfully. The Sotho traditionally believed that the evils of our world were the result of the malevolent actions of sorcerers and witches.

Today, Christianity in one form or another is accepted by most Sotho-speaking people. Most people in Lesotho are Catholics, but there are also many Protestant denominations. Independent African churches are growing in popularity. The independent churches combine elements of African traditional religion with the doctrines of Christianity. They also emphasize healing and the Holy Spirit. One of these churches, the Zion Christian Church, was founded by two Pedi brothers. It has been very successful in attracting followers from all over South Africa. Each spring there is a "Passover" meeting in the Northern Province that attracts thousands of people to the church's rural headquarters.


Lesotho has a number of holidays that recognize its history. These holidays include Moshoeshoe's Day (March 12) and Independence Day (October 4). Moshoeshoe's Day is marked by games and races for the nation's young people. Independence Day is celebrated by state ceremonies that often include performances by traditional dance groups.


Women give birth with the assistance of female birth attendants. Traditionally, relatives and friends soaked the father with water when his firstborn child was a girl. If the firstborn was a boy, the father was beaten with a stick. This ritual suggested that while the life of males is occupied by warfare, that of females is occupied by domestic duties such as fetching water. For two or three months after the birth, the child was kept secluded with the mother in a specially marked hut. The seclusion could be temporarily broken when the baby was brought outside to be introduced to the first rain.

There are elaborate rites of initiation into adulthood for boys and girls in Sotho tradition. For boys, initiation involves a lengthy stay in a lodge in a secluded area away from the village. The lodge may be very large and house dozens of initiates (bashemane). During seclusion, the boys are circumcised, but they are also taught appropriate male conduct in marriage, special initiation traditions, code words and signs, and praise songs. In Lesotho, the end of initiation is marked by a community festival during which the new initiates (makolwane) sing the praises they have composed. In traditional belief, a man who has not been initiated is not considered a full adult.

Initiation for girls (bale) also involves seclusion, but the ritual huts of the bale are generally located near the village. Bale wear masks and goat-skin skirts, and they smear their bodies with a chalky white substance. They sometimes may be seen as a group near the homes of relatives, singing, dancing, and making requests for presents. Among some clans, the girls are subjected to tests of pain and endurance. After the period of seclusion the initiates, now called litswejane , wear cowhide skirts and anoint themselves with red ocher. Initiation for girls does not involve any surgical operation.

In Lesotho, a period of working in a mine was once considered a kind of rite of passage that marked one as a man.

When someone dies, the whole community takes part in the burial. Speeches are made at the graveside by friends and relatives, and the adult men take turns shoveling soil into the grave. Afterward, all those in attendance go as a group to wash their hands. There may also be a funeral feast.


In Sesotho, the words for father (ntate) and mother (mme) are used commonly as address forms of respect for one's elders. Politeness, good manners, and willingness to serve are values very strongly encouraged in children. The general attitude toward childhood is well summarized by the proverb Lefura la ngwana ke ho rungwa , which roughly translates as "Children benefit from serving their elders."

The standard greetings in Sotho reflect this attitude of respect towards age. When greeting an elder, one should always end with ntate (my father) or mme (my mother). Words for brother (abuti) and sister (ausi) are used when one talks to people of the same age. A child who answers an adult's question with a simple "Yes" is considered impolite. To be polite, the child needs to add "my father" or "my mother."

Hospitality and generosity are expected. Even those who have very little will often share their food with visitors. Of course, those who share also expect the favor to be returned when it is their turn to visit.

Dating was not part of traditional Sotho life. Marriages were arranged between families, and a girl could be betrothed in childhood. Nowadays, most people pick their mates.


Rural areas in South Africa and Lesotho are marked by poverty and inadequate access to health care. Diarrheal diseases and malnutrition sometimes occur. Malaria is also found in the low-lying regions of the Northern Province.

However, people with access to land and employment enjoy a reasonable standard of living. Lesotho's capital city, Maseru, is a growing city with modern hotels and fine restaurants.

Common forms of transportation include buses, trains, and taxis. The "taxis" are actually minivans that carry many riders at one time. Most such taxis are used for short distances in urban areas, but they are also used as a faster alternative to the long-distance routes of buses. There are also personal cars and trucks.


In Sotho tradition, the man is considered the head of the household. Women are defined as farmers and bearers of children. Family duties are also organized into distinct domains based on gender for all Sotho, but the Pedi maintain a stricter separation of living space into male and female areas. Polygynous marriages (more than one wife) are not uncommon among the elite, but they are rare among commoners. Marriages are arranged by transfer of bohadi (bride wealth) from the family of the groom to the family of the bride. Upon marriage, a woman is expected to leave her family to live with the family of her husband.

The Sotho have clans, many of which bear animal names, such as the Koena (crocodile). These clans stress descent through the father's side, but there is flexibility in defining clan membership. A feature of Sotho kinship was that a person was allowed to marry a cousin (ngwana wa rangoane) who was a member of the same clan.

Family life for many rural Sotho has been disrupted for generations by migrant labor. Today, many Sotho men continue to live in all-male housing units provided by the gold-mining companies that employ them. With the end of apartheid, some of the families previously separated by the old labor laws now live together in urban areas.


Much about Sotho apparel is the same as the apparel of people in Europe and the United States. However, the most acceptable form of clothing for a woman is still the dress, and her hair is expected to be covered with a scarf, head cloth, or hat. The Sotho of Lesotho are identified with the brightly colored blankets that they often wear instead of coats. These blankets have designs picturing everything from airplanes to crowns to geometric patterns. The blankets are store-bought—there is no tradition of making them locally.

12 • FOOD

Sotho people share many food traditions with the other peoples of South Africa. Staple foods are corn (maize), eaten in the form of a thick paste, and bread. Beef, chicken, and mutton (lamb) are popular meats, while milk is often drunk in soured form. South African beer is made from sorghum rather than barley.

The major mealtimes are breakfast and dinner (in the evening). Children may go without lunch, although there are some school lunch programs.


The first Western-style schools for Sotho-speakers were begun by missionaries. Religious institutions and missionaries continue to play a major role in education in Lesotho today. Many of Lesotho's high schools are boarding schools affiliated with churches. In Lesotho, only a minority of students manage to graduate from high school because school fees are high and the work is very demanding. To graduate, one must pass the Cambridge Overseas Examination. Today, Lesotho has an adult literacy rate (percentage of those who can read and write) of about 59 percent.

Under the former system of apartheid, Africans' access to education in South Africa was restricted, and many of the best schools were closed. Today, the government's goal is to provide a tuition-free education for everyone between the ages of seven and seventeen. Literacy and education are now seen as keys to success and are highly valued by most people in Lesotho and South Africa.


Sotho traditional music places a strong emphasis on group singing, chanting, and hand clapping as an accompaniment to dance. Instruments used included drums, rattles, whistles, and handmade stringed instruments. One instrument, the lesiba , is made from a pole, a string, and a feather. When it is blown, the feather acts as a reed, producing a deep, resonant sound.

Generations of mine labor have led to a distinct migrant-worker subculture in Lesotho. This subculture developed its own song and dance traditions. Some types of mine dances have synchronized high-kicking steps. One song tradition, difela , has lyrics relating the travels, loves, and viewpoints of the migrant workers. Other popular music in Sotho includes dance tunes played by small groups on drums, accordions, and guitars.

Sotho written literature was established in the nineteenth century by converts to Christianity. One of the first novels in a South African language was Chaka , written in Sotho by Thomas Mofolo in the early years of the twentieth century. It is still read today and has been translated into a number of languages.


Wage labor for many rural Sotho has meant leaving home to find employment in the city. In South Africa, Sotho are frequently hired as miners and farm laborers. Women also work as farm laborers, but work in domestic service is more highly valued. Health care, education, and government administration are popular careers for those with high school and college educations.

South Africa's migrant-labor system dramatically altered Sotho social life. Besides putting strains on the family, migrant labor led to the development of new social groups. For example, associations of young men called Marussia formed with values that combined urban and rural attitudes. These so-called "Russians" are sometimes criticized as nothing more than criminal gangs based on home ties.


Many of the games popular among Sotho children are found worldwide. These include skipping rope, racing, swimming, playing catch, dodgeball, and hopscotch. Boys also enjoy wrestling and fighting with sticks. A common pastime for rural boys is making clay animals, especially cattle. Young boys and girls enjoy playing house (mantlwantlwaneng). The most popular traditional game among young men and old men is a game of strategy called morabaraba . Today, the most popular sport in Lesotho and South Africa is soccer.


Most of the movies seen by the Sotho people are imported from foreign countries. Televisions and videocassette recorders are becoming widespread, although listening to the radio is more common due to the lower cost. Broadcasts in Sotho are restricted to a few hours of the day, with Sotho soap operas being the most popular shows. Music videos of popular South African musical groups are also seen. In rural areas, however, there can be little to do for entertainment.


Traditions of folk art include beadwork, sewing, pottery making, house decoration, and weaving. Functional items such as sleeping mats, baskets, and beer strainers continue to be woven by hand from grass materials. Folk craft traditions have been revived and modified in response to the tourist trade.


The main social problems among the Sotho include poverty, malnutrition, crime, and divided families. Many of these problems started under South Africa's former system of apartheid, which only ended in the early 1990s. The rural lands of the northern and southern Sotho people became heavily eroded, overpopulated, and overgrazed. Competition for scarce resources in South Africa also led to conflict with other ethnic groups, particularly the Xhosa.


Bardill, John E., and Jame H. Cobbe. Lesotho. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1985.

Carpenter, Allan. Lesotho. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1975.

Hofmeyer, Isabel. "We Spend Our Years as a Tale That is Told": Oral Historical Narrative in a South African Chiefdom. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann, 1994.

Mofolo, Thomas. Chaka. London: Heinemann, 1981.

Tonsing-Carter, Betty. Lesotho. New York: Chelsea House, 1988.


Internet Africa Ltd. Lesotho. [Online] Available , 1998.

World Travel Guide. Lesotho. [Online] Available , 1998.

Also read article about Sotho from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

Kyle Le Roux
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May 24, 2006 @ 5:05 am
WOW wat a nice web site thanks this is very informative and very well put together i got all the information i need and more thanks very much
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Jan 24, 2007 @ 7:07 am
Excellent work!!!! This interpretation of my cultural heritage and background is excellent
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Mar 20, 2007 @ 1:13 pm
Could you tell me which is the meaning of the word:LESOTHO in English?I need this meaning for my an etymological researching about the African countries.
Thank you very much.
a history teacher
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Aug 30, 2007 @ 10:10 am
this is excellent work and it has motivated me to want to know more about my culture. keep up the gu work!
Tiisetso Elias
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Oct 10, 2007 @ 3:03 am
I like what I have found in these pages very much.I however would like to find anything anyone may have on the boy called sankatana,the one who saved the world from a giant.I'm doing a project on this one!
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Nov 17, 2007 @ 2:02 am
i would like to find out what the name senate means in sesotho,because that's my name and dont know the meaning of it.
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Jun 3, 2008 @ 6:06 am
This is good work on sesotho i would like to know more about Koena clans especially libe and libenyane clan anyone of assistance. I am doing research on my koena clan.
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Jul 24, 2008 @ 11:11 am
cool, thanx for the article. it gave me just the info i needed. peace!
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Sep 11, 2008 @ 5:05 am
Great article, it is so informative and insightful. One could really be proud of their heritage because of the way you write in depth detail of our heritage.
kemoabetsoe leotlela
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Jan 28, 2009 @ 5:05 am
I'm extremely proud of the type of research that was made to complete this paper.i give it a hundred percent of my vote as i'm highly interested in learning about my roots as a MOSOTHO.i would greatly appreciate any help with the Leotlela surname and how it came about as its traced to be part of the batlokwa clan.any help will be good.
keep it up
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Jul 29, 2009 @ 10:10 am
I wish to praise and congratulate the researcher(s) and the writer(s) of this article. Well done! It gives us a general picture of who Basotho are. Thank you for your efford. I would also like to ask some questions and to make a few suggestions.

In your research, did you come across books or articles written in Sesotho by a Mosotho or the Basotho people? If you came across any of that, why are they not used in this article? There are Sesotho names, places, activities and so on mentioned in this article. Where do all these come from? From a book? or any Sesotho writings? Why is it not acknowledged? From oral traditon? Why is also that not acknowledged?

Looking at the bibliography provided for this article, if I am not mistaken, the only book in Sesotho by the Mosotho that is mentioned here is "Chaka" by Mofolo. And, it is only a reference that is made to this book, no quotation. I understand that there is not much to quote from "Chaka" becuase it is a novel which is mainly about the history of the Amazulu people and little about Basotho people.

The rest of the books used and acknowledged in this article are written by people who are not Basotho. I do not claim that the authors of the acknowledged books do not know the history, the life, the culture, the religion of the Basotho people. They (authors) must have got the information they used to write their books from Basotho as well as from their own observations of how the Basoto live or lived in the past. However, I humbly suggest that the article would have been more meaningful, more reliable and more informative if it was written in a close colaboration with the people whom the history, culture, religion, life, language and land belong to, because they (Basotho people) would have more knowlege about all that.

I think the relation of the Northern Sotho to Southern Sotho in this article, did not do justice to any of the two ethnic groups. Especially the Northern Sotho group since very little was said about them and that lives the article unbalance. I think the mentioning of the two together was uncalled for particularly in this article and context. Any research, comparison or relation made on these two ethnic groups, should, I suppose be an independent task or topic altogether.

My appeal to Basotho

Especially young people in the academic field: Please "nkang masiba bana beso le ngole nalane ya habo lona". Let us not wait for "Balichaba" to tell our story as if we do not know it or we are ashamed of it. "E ea kae baneng?"
billy tamasi
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Oct 1, 2009 @ 10:10 am
thanks guys you rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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May 6, 2010 @ 7:07 am
wonderful information i realy value sotho culture,This is a good site this information should be kept for the future generation. the roots are very important nowerdays thank you
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Sep 13, 2010 @ 4:16 pm
Hey,i enjyed the article wish you can add more few things lyk the work of sotho men
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Oct 17, 2010 @ 5:05 am
I have learned a lot from this website. could you please show me the different dialect in south sotho maily: sekgolokwe, sekwena , sephuthing, setaung, setlokwa, how different are they in writting?
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Nov 27, 2010 @ 3:03 am
i like to thank the researchers for the article,i have more information about my culture now..keep it up!
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Apr 3, 2011 @ 4:04 am
Excellent information indeed!i hv a family in lesotho and i visit there on holidays because im a first year student in pretoria.The tradition and culture has not died.There modern time find it difficult to change the mentality of the sotho people.Two or three more generations to come can still find what has been keeping the sotho culture alive for many years.
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Apr 19, 2011 @ 7:07 am
I am so proud of my culture and thank you for making others aware of Basotho culture.Keep up the good work...
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Apr 26, 2011 @ 8:08 am
You really helped me a lot since i am researching now and very soon i will be writting my final exam in anthropology
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May 1, 2011 @ 3:03 am
I realy like the inf. It is just the best to those indivisual who would take steps ahead and interested knowing their culture, i have however noticed that many of Southern African continent tribal have not realy listed their the most critical part, witch is their dance names, style and the reason behind that the dance specifically, so as to help young ones who has a vission in traditional dance.
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Jul 11, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
I am Northern Sotho brother, my family speaks the language. Although most of us are getting educated these days, we still are trying hard to retain our African languages. Proud to be member of the Zion Christian church in South African. They also are treating our languages with great respect.

Every kind of assistance you need, you are free to ask in your mother tongue. The sermons during annual prayer meeting or pilgrims are delivered in Northern Sotho/Sepedi, English, isiZulu, TshiVenda, Herero, maybe plus one more. They patient with us and ensure every one has heard what the Bishop has said, hence the translation into several languages.

Thanks to the researchers. Perhaps this article will remain for future generations to make reference together with library books.

Ke a leboga (Thank you)
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Jul 19, 2011 @ 11:11 am
woow what the good news shared to keep me saying m a proudly sotho gal!thanks 4 making me proud about my culture
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Aug 14, 2011 @ 9:09 am
Thanks for the input it is good. However it would be more accurate if you separate the North Sotho of South Africa (Ba Pedi) from the South Sotho of Lesotho (Basotho). There are some parts of your writing that are confusing and it is not clear which Sotho people you are referring to or which geographic region you speak of exactly. e.g. "Rural areas in South Africa and Lesotho are marked by poverty and inadequate access to health care. Diarrheal diseases and malnutrition sometimes occur. Malaria is also found in the low-lying regions of the Northern Province" this sentence could mislead unknowing readers to believe that there is Malaria in Northern Lesotho.

Culturally we Basotho from Lesotho believe we are vastly different from North Sothos (Pedi) and I believe a separated study of both groups would allow you to give a more deserving account of each group.

Another point under music the word "difela" means hymns not general music.

Under Education again, please separate the South African system of education and that of Lesotho as we were never governed by apartheid and its segrgated systems. You failed to mention that Lesotho was the hub of education in the region with the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (UBLS) established in Roma Lesotho in 1964, where most modern day politicians and heads of organisations in the region were educated, some of which were refugees of apartheid and led South Africa to freedom.

Please also check Lesotho's literacy rate according to the UN, it is in the 70's and one of the highest in Africa and not 59%.

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Aug 27, 2011 @ 5:05 am
i dont understand what you people are saying i need more information on thier culture and their food not how they eat and all those other things .
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Sep 30, 2011 @ 3:03 am
I need to find my father's Sotho relatives. I was robbed from my culture about 55 years ago when my father came to Oudtshoorn with his employer. As a result of the apartheid laws & legislation, my father adopt the surname of his white employer to stay in the area and cannot be evicted and move to another area. I was raised as a couloured individual and only learned the truth about my cultural heritage about 8 years ago.

My father did tell me my real surname, but because of the fact that he is illiterate he could't gave me the correct spelling of it. With my limited pronouncing skills it sounds like, Mcharlie, but I think it will either be spelled Msthali/ Mtjali or something like that. If someone could please provide me with the correct spelling or possible spelling of the surname, I can follow-up on it. Thanks!
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Oct 12, 2011 @ 6:06 am
what is the meaning of the sesotho proverb'mosali o ngalla motseo'
Aibekhotso Mabanga
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Dec 19, 2011 @ 1:01 am
Mind you there are sothos found in Zimbabwe as well . . . . .in Gwanda . Im sotho myself and my forefathers and i were born in Zimbabwe .
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Jan 27, 2012 @ 6:06 am
how do the old sotho men were burried? wthat are the things they use when burried the old sotho men? in which time do they use when burried the old men?
Mmutlana. Makena
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Feb 5, 2012 @ 2:14 pm
good comment and motivating. I like to know more about the history of babina peba. Especially babina peba ba Makena. Where they originated from. Who was their king if they had one. I like to know their culture how they praising (go reta) them self. Let stand up babina peba.
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Feb 8, 2012 @ 2:02 am
I would like to know more about the Sotho woman Attire...i know how the fathers dress but about about the mothers?? this is a great website by the way:)
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Mar 14, 2012 @ 11:11 am
Dear Sirs,

I am an ex South African that lives in Italy for 14 years and I am still very attached to my South African culture and I would like to introduce it to the Italian people.
At the moment I am working on a big project of Wedding Planning so I would like to know how marraige ceremonies work in the Zion Religion work and would like to introduce how beautiful it is to get married in Italy.
Please could you kindly send me any information that can help me.
Many thanks
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Jul 11, 2012 @ 11:11 am
So many Outsiders including journalistsand newsreaders pronounce the words Sotho and Lesotho incorrectly. I looked at your guide and can see why.
An easier explanantion would be the following phonetic:
SOTHO : SO Sounds like Suit (as in male formal wear) THO sounds like TWO (as in the Number)
Put these together and you get SUIT TWO which is exactly how you pronounce the word.

LESOTHO: LE sounds like luh (rhymes with duh) and finish with SUIT TWO
Thebe yatumelo
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May 1, 2013 @ 9:09 am

Vera Novakovic Mofokeng
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May 8, 2013 @ 3:03 am
Wonderful article! I am a Serbian European lady married to a Sotho man. He is an amazing husband and father to our kids. Sotho people and their culture have a great values. Just keep up with the same spirit.

Thank you
Studious Stewie
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Apr 22, 2014 @ 9:09 am
great information for my Social Studies project. THANKS!
Kabelo Moloi
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May 8, 2014 @ 12:12 pm
Just everything I needed for my English presentation, ikm very pleased and thank you to the admin.
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Sep 16, 2014 @ 4:04 am
lerato buthelezi
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Oct 26, 2014 @ 4:16 pm
I never thought I would find this much information,I am really greatfull for the help,now I can be free because I am done with my assignmeny
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Oct 29, 2014 @ 4:04 am
wow nice for ma theology assignment. keep it up guys. m really greatfull
Keke Tseleng
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Jul 25, 2015 @ 2:14 pm
Oh m so overwhelmed great article I knw who I am nw
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Jul 29, 2015 @ 7:07 am
I'm a Swazi and my grandmother on my mother's side is a Sotho(motlokwa) I really wish to know more about da tlokwa clan and how they are related with pedis bcos in my understanding there are batlokwa of pedi people and batlokwa of Sotho people, I really need to know bcos I met a guy who is a pedi mtlokwa, are we related with dis clans? I got to know about my grandmother through dis guy after visiting my mombnd introduced himself as omtlokwa and my mom told him her mom is a mtlokwa too, I thank u.
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Sep 30, 2015 @ 5:05 am
Does anyone know a 'Makena' family and how the surname came about? any information about this clan
mpho mafata
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Jan 7, 2016 @ 2:02 am
Pretty informative and enlightening. However, it is also crucial to have stated the cultural evolution of these ethnicities.Basotho from Lesotho are very adaptive people which results in the loss of their cultural values. So I believe it is important to be realistic with the prevalent reality of the Lesotho, Basotho people.
Jeanette Maetso
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Jan 10, 2016 @ 11:23 pm
Wow... This is quite a good research on the meaning of "Sesotho Culture". Most educated graduates tend to forget about their cultural roots. I am very proud of my culture (Sotho) and I will ensure, I keep it for my generation.
Thank you to the Author👏
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Jan 29, 2016 @ 11:11 am
I like this collection soo much, even though I could not find the information I was looking for. I have an assignment to describe in detail, the naming ceremony of a new born baby in Lesotho. Stating the type of music played, dances, costumes and makeup. I really need help on this one
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Feb 15, 2016 @ 4:16 pm
Article has ideas it is just the tip of the Iceberg. Where did Basotho come from before entering Ntswanatsatsi. You can never give that history without mentioning Batswana the group that will actually link the North & South Sotho. Ask any Sotho elder who knows and they will tell you go tswaana ga Batswana is what led to so many clans within the Tswana group. Before there Pedi and Sotho it was only Batswana and their separatist nature birth all these other groups.
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May 9, 2016 @ 11:23 pm
Wow - what a nice information I want to congratulate the researchers a job well done. Nakhensa (thanks )
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Jul 19, 2016 @ 8:08 am
Oratile here I would like to send a vital thanx to this website knowing about my culture am so happy hands I did get all the answers , I will proudly write my assignment with a smile about some of the things I didn't know about my culture ,
Thnx to my mom again for assistant

Ke a leboga ( thank you)
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Jul 26, 2016 @ 2:02 am
Thanks a lotlot ,your work is outstanding , it has helped in a huge amount ,,to get to know our different cultures in my country , I give a hand , for your effort
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Mar 16, 2017 @ 4:04 am
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Jun 7, 2017 @ 9:09 am
Hi i liked this page it gave me a lot of information
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Sep 12, 2017 @ 12:00 am
I really likes this, I'm also sotho from Zimbabwe in gwanda !
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May 6, 2018 @ 2:14 pm
I am thankfull and impressed about this information, now i know more about my people and my culture. I am making it my mission to go back to Lesotho one day.
Thabang Mofokeng
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Jun 9, 2018 @ 1:13 pm
The article is generally informative. I agree with the view that the inclusion of BaPedi is problematic. Firstly, because the article is more about Southern Sothos, the information provided about BaPedi is too little. It also makes one wonder why BaTswana were then not included. Of course, doing so would detract from focusing on BaSotho. Secondly, BaPedi are but one of the several Northern Sotho groups.

My purpose for commenting was not to highlight all defects in the article though—others have already raised some. I just wanted to raise an issue with ‘marrying cousins’. In the article, the cousin is a child of the brother to one’s father—rangwane. I have no personal recollection of such. The Sotho saying about marriage between cousins—Motswala nnyale dikgomo di boele sakeng—has always been understood to refer to marrying a child of the brother to one’s mother (uncle) or a childof the sister to one’s father (aunt).
Ruth Nare
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Sep 21, 2018 @ 4:04 am
People talk about basotho in South Africa and Lesotho only when Zimbabwe itself also has the basotho people as well.I am a sotho from Gwanda,Zimbabwe.People talk about only Lesotho and South Africa and so many people are silent about the sotho people found in Zimbabwe and only a few are talking about it or is it that ?nly a few people know about it.

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