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Morena Leraba: Blending Our Stories with Modern Music

A documentary by Blacknation Media, explores and reflects on discussions on Lesotho’s socio-political landscapes, artistic cultures, economic endeavours and tradition. To be screened again in Maseru, Lesotho at Alliance Française de Maseru (02/12/16), the documentary captures rural village life in Lesotho at Ha Nchela, Berea where Morena Leraba, a Mosotho shepherd and musician, broadly narrates their daily challenges as herders and his passion for music, while also displaying the potency of Sesotho language in music and poetry.

Morena Leraba is originally a native of Ha Mojela in Mafeteng district, located south of Lesotho’s capital Maseru. Leraba’s music (especially lyrics) is deeply rooted in Lesotho’s traditional music, poetry, and it’s sub-genre, Famo, which was introduced as early as the 1920s when Basotho men were migrant workers in South African mines. However, the approach in the beat is significantly different as it hurls almost everything from Electro, Electronica, Afro-House and Hip-Hop, hence, dishing a whole new and unique sound.

Leraba made his first appearance on the international scene in 2014 when he was featured in a song “Do You Know Know Lesotho” by a Cape Town/German band, The Freerangers. Carl McMillan, a filmmaker based in Lesotho was introduced to Leraba in the village of Ha Nchela, in Berea district (where he’s still based as a shepherd) and spotted his talent then. During the same time, he introduced Leraba to the band (friends he studied with in Cape Town); hence, did collaboration while visiting Lesotho.
From there, Leraba released his first single, Bojete (Produced by Fritz Holscher, Germany) that got the attention of Brooklyn-based producer, Kashaka; hence, followed another collaboration, “Lithebera” and was premiered by Okayafrica in New York. His upcoming projects include a single with Mankind (under Blacknation Music), produced by Subterrâneo Recordsoficial in Brazil, and will be released in December this year. Another project include a 5-song EP with Kashaka (which will be released early 2017) and another single with DJ Spoko and Andre Geldenhuys from South Africa.

Cover Photo: Kgomotso Neto