THE much hyped 12th edition of the Lesotho Tourism Festival (LETOFE) lived up to expectations on Saturday as revellers were treated to an array of musical genres at Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village.
A star-studded line-up of foreign artists, among them Zimbabwean jazz legend Oliver Mtukudzi, veteran South African crooner Ray Phiri as well as American singers Syleena Johnson and
Monique Bingham had the massive crowd dancing the night away.
The locals did not disappoint either, with Puseletso “’M’e Mpuse” Seema and Tšepo Tšola bringing the house down, while journalist-cum musician Nthakoana Ngatane and Mystic Margin acquitted themselves well.
Most of the artists paid tribute to LETOFE chief organiser Montoeli ‘Moleli for ensuring the festival grew from strength to strength since its inaugural edition in 2006.
The annual festival is meant to promote tourism through music, and the main sponsor for this year’s edition was Standard Lesotho Bank.
One of the early performers was sultry Ghanaian jazz musician Zetina Mosia whose unique musical offering intrigued the crowd. In an interview with the Weekender after her performance, Mosia said she felt happy to perform before such an appreciative crowd.
“The way people responded to my music made me feel as if I was a regular performer in Lesotho. I hope to return as often as possible,” she said.
Famo exponent, Seema, also told this publication she was pleased with her performance since it had initially seemed unlikely she would be able to perform.
“I sprained my knee while preparing for this show, so I never thought I would be able to move around on stage,” she said.
“I was, however, determined not to let that hinder my performance and I am glad nobody noticed. All I received was a positive response from the crowd. I love LETOFE and would like to perform here for as long as I live.”
The festival was capped by a scintillating performance by South African Afro Pop duo Mafikizolo in the wee hours of Sunday.
LETOFE was once again the biggest party on the 2016 entertainment calendar alongside Vodacom Summa Feva a week before. Revellers reluctantly left the venue at around 4am, as they could not get enough of the performances.
Meanwhile, local jazz singer, Mookho Moqhali, cancelled her debut LETOFE appearance citing the organisers’ alleged unwillingness to pay her for the performance. However, efforts to contact the festival organisers for their comment were unsuccessful this week.