Mahlo a Lefatše(International Women’s Year)
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Mohapeloa completed Mahlo a Lefatše in 1975, publishing it in Cape Town in 1976 as song No. 12 of 25 in Meluluetsa ea Ntšetso-pele le Bosechaba Lesotho (Anthems for the Development of the Lesotho Nation). The song must have arisen from the fact that 1975 was declared International Women’s Year by the United Nations, with March 8 as the celebratory day. (The UN established a ‘decade for women’, from 1976 to 1985.) ‘Mahlo a lefatše’ literally means ‘the eyes of the world’: ‘selemo sa basali’ literally means ‘women’s year’. Mohapeloa gave the English translation ‘Women’s Year’ after his title, to which ‘International’ is added here. Like all women in Africa, Lesotho’s women were (and mostly still are) treated as lower in class than men, and Mohapeloa draws attention quite strongly to this injustice, praising women’s virtues and strengths and also recording how Lesotho associated itself with the international acknowledgment of women.
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