THE FOURTEENTH edition of the annual Moshoeshoe Walk ended on a high note on Saturday evening with participants being afforded a royal reception by His Majesty King Letsie III at Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village.
Organised by marketing outfit, RAMELA and ASSOCIATES in partnership with MANTI SEHLOHO CONSTRUCTION AND PROJECTS , the 3-day walk is held in commemoration of the founder of Basotho nation, Morena Moshoeshoe I’s departure from his home in ‘Mate (Menkhoaneng) in Butha Buthe to Thaba Bosiu in the Maseru district which guaranteed better protection from his enemies during the 19th century wars including the Mfecane/Lifaqane which ravaged the southern Africa region.
For the first time in history , His Majesty King Letsie III joined his wife Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso and walked first and last as he called it sending hikers off and welcoming them on the last day at Thaba-Bosiu. Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso completed the 116KM distance for the fifth year running and according to the event organiser , Thabo Maretlane, the event attracted more people than the previous years.
“This edition was remarkable and participants were so happy to have been welcomed by His Majesty upon arrival and also had the privilege of walking with him and also ending the walk at Thaba-Bosiu,” Maretlane said. “Compared to last year, this time we had over +-700 participants from different countries including the Zambia , Swaziland, Malawi, Botswana and South Africans coming in larger numbers.
However unlike other years Basotho this time did not trail behind as they constituted majority of the participants and showed that this is indeed their event and therefore shall own their space.
We had an awesome journey with the mother nature showing off here and there in terms of rain. But then, I cannot say the walk has reached its climax as the aim is to have a 1000 people participating.” The previous years they had always relied on communities on the route of the walk as a way of empowering them and therefore this year they did not only empower them but also roped in professional caterers to complement and not substitute the locals in the provision of food. Which for me was a cherry on top.
I was also humbled by how sponsors worked together in bringing change to this walk . We got to witness RAMELA AND ASSOCIACIATES in partnership with MANTI SEHLOHO CONSTRUCTION AND PROJECTS hand out a school and over a 1000 School shoes to disadvantaged learners . Mr Ramela said it is his wish that they bring change to the communities they cross paths with. This is the kind of change and unity we need from our businessmen , politicians and businesswomen ,but unfortunately it is often exuded in people’s daily lives. “I saw a spirit of cooperation, empathy and tolerance which is rare in everyday life in our respective societies and this is something I admired most about this event from the above sponsors.”
“This a lesson we can practice in our families, villages and places of work where we can continue to empathise, to be tolerant and helpful towards each other as we did during these three days of the Moshoeshoe Walk.