MASERU — Alliance Franćaise on Saturday night marked its 30 years in Lesotho at a colourful event in Maseru.
It was a celebration of milestones as members and friends flocked to the Lesotho Sun Convention Centre.
Swazi musician Nancy Gininza and Serumula Performing Arts Academy belted melodious tunes as part of the celebrations.
Serumula took guests back to the Lifaqane wars when Zulu king Tshaka forced scores of weaker tribes to flee Zululand and the arrival of French missionaries in Lesotho.
Both events were captured in music and dance.
The group also chronicled the relations between Basotho and the French.
Alliance Franćaise first opened its doors in Lesotho in 1981 to promote the French language and cultural activities.
Today more Basotho are now able to speak the language and this was evident at the ceremony.
The gala was graced by the presence of His Majesty King Letsie III and other government dignitaries.
Proving the exchange of language and culture, the Alliance Franćaise Honorary Consul, Jean-Yves Carnino, welcomed the guests in Sesotho.
President of the Board of Directors- Alliance Française Maseru, Ashraf Abubaker, said 1981 was only cementing the relationship that dates back to 1833 when the first French missionaries came to Lesotho.
“The two countries are no strangers to each other.”
“Their relationship started in 1833 and it was further cemented in 1981 when Lesotho welcomed Alliance Franćaise to operate in the country,” he said.
“Today is a noticeable evidence of the strength of their affiliation.”
General Consul of France, Olivier Brochenin, also said the relationship between the two countries is not only visible through culture and language but in other fields as well.
He said France has assisted Lesotho in the training of its military.
“We are a member of the EU and our support to Lesotho comes in different ways,” Brochenin said.
“I would like to thank His Majesty for allowing Alliance Franćaise to operate in Lesotho.”
A three course French cuisine was served.
To add cherry on top of the gala, Nancy Gininza, a songbird from Swaziland took to the stage.
She gave electrifying soul jazz melodies, leaving guests crying out for more.
The Afro-jazz songster was given an hour to show Lesotho what she’s got and she didn’t disappoint.
Gininza entertained all ages that had gathered at Lesotho Sun to celebrate with the French association.
The musician told the Weekender performing for a formal crowd was a bit hectic and challenging for her.“This tour has really brought me adventure and I have loved every moment of it.“Lesotho is just wonderful, so are the people,” Gininza said.
She added: “I didn’t know I would be performing for a formal crowd but we performed and I must say we have not performed like this in all of our other concerts.”