THE Ningxia Art Troupe from China have spoken of their joy after performing alongside local traditional acts as part of Lesotho’s 51st independence anniversary celebrations.
The group’s recent tour was facilitated by the Chinese Embassy in Lesotho to commemorate the latter’s independence and also strengthen the bond between the two countries.
They held shows on Saturday and Sunday evenings in Maseru under the tagline ‘Wind of China, Song of Joy’.
King Letsie III and Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso graced the Sunday event along with Princess Senate and cabinet ministers, Mamotsie Motsie (Tourism, Environment and Culture) and Matebatso Doti (Social Development). Former Prime Minister, Pakalitha Mosisili and his former deputy, Lesao Lehohla also attended.
Local audiences were treated to exceptional performances by the troupe whose flexibility and agility to enabled them to perform various tasks with their hands and feet simultaneously.
The stunts revolved around dance, acrobatics, songs and the playing of traditional instruments of the Ningxia people. Some of the highlights were the Rug Spinning where the performers lay on their backs and used their limbs to spin the rugs.
The most loved performance was when the troupe danced to the 2010 FIFA World Cup anthem Waka Waka dressed in leopard print outfits. Their other performance, the ‘Africa Impression’, saw them play the African music with traditional Chinese instruments.
The show also featured the local Lihoba group whose breath-taking performance compelled many in the audience to dig into their pockets to give them money.
The Sunday event had more performances and the troupe was complimented by locals, some of them as young as 10 years of age. Machabeng College students also performed the national anthems of the two countries and one of them also performed a solo Mandarin song. Machabeng is the only school institution offering Mandarin lessons in the country.
Addressing the guests early this week, the Ningxia Art Troupe leader, Jinguo Fan, said it was an honour to share their culture with Basotho and they were keen on building a permanent relationship.
“We came to celebrate the 51st independence anniversary of Lesotho and it is our honour introduce the Chinese culture while also learning about Basotho.
“I hope we can deepen our relations through cultural exchanges of this nature and it is our sincere hope that China-Lesotho relations last forever,” Fan said.
For his part, Chinese Ambassador to Lesotho, Sun Xianghua, said the two countries gained their independence in October.
“October is a significant month as China celebrated its 68th independence last week while Basotho are celebrating it on Wednesday.
“Independence should be celebrated with friends hence the visit of the Ningxia Art Troupe to contribute to our friend Lesotho’s 51st independence celebrations.
“This is one of the initiatives aimed at strengthening the relations between the two countries in addition to China helping Lesotho through educational and health support,” Dr Xianghua said.
Minister Motsie commended China for its role in Lesotho’s development, adding that the visit of the troupe would contribute to tourism and cultural exchange.
“We hope our friendship will grow to yield more benefits for both countries as the Chinese continue to be a blessing to this nation,” she said.
Motsie also gave the art troupe Mokorotlo hats as a token of appreciation.