Morija festival joins cultural network

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MASERU — The Morija Arts and Cultural Festival is now part of the United Cultures for Development.

The network brings together arts and cultural organisations from Africa to Latin America to Asia to Europe.

Morija Arts and Cultural Festival director Thabo Leanya said membership of the international network was a major boost for Lesotho’s premier arts and cultural festival.

He said the United Cultures for Development provides a platform for artists from Lesotho to participate in activities hosted by partners in the network.

“These countries represent organisations which support the development of individuals and groups by means of cultural activities,” Leanya told a media briefing this week.

He said the organisations in the network also engaged in activities aimed at creating artistic opportunities and the creation of cultural industries to stimulate economic development.

Leanya said the Morija Arts and Cultural festival was already looking forward to working with the network’s affiliates within the region.

“We are initiating a cultural exchange programme with our neighbours in the network, namely Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Botswana,” he said. “Negotiations to bring these partners to participate in the upcoming festivals are at a very advanced stage.”

He added: “In June 2010, Lesotho through the festival has already been challenged to send a group or two to a global cultural showcase in the Netherlands.”

Meanwhile, the Morija Arts and Cultural Festival has received a shot in the arm from Econet-Telecom Lesotho.

The telecommunications company has unveiled M500 000 sponsorship for this year’s festival, scheduled for September 30 to October 4.

Last year Econet-Telecom sponsored the festival to the tune of M400 000.

“We are happy that we have managed to increase the sponsorship amid the global economic crisis,” said Mosuoe Mapetla, a representative of Econet-Telecom Lesotho.

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