Connect with us


Give women a chance to lead



Many years ago before Lesotho could gain her independence and way before the British colonisation, there existed a powerful woman famously known as Prophetess ‘Mantsopa.

‘Mantsopa was born Koena-li-fule (for a reason only known to her parents) in about 1795 at a place called Likotsi. She died Anna ‘Mantsopa Makhetha in November 1906.

Legend has it that in 1851 she predicted that Basotho would triumph over colonial troops and this prediction did come true, thus bringing victory to Basotho.

Because such people were needed during that time, people that would see in the future and make everyone aware and keep them alert, her people instantly recognised her as a prophetess; one who could foretell the future.

‘Mantsopa then regained this title when her people believed she could see into the future and communicate with the ancestors.

She also prophesied that after the war with the British, their land would be blessed with lots and lots of rain and the harvest would be great. Just like the first prophecy, this one also came true.

She foretold so many triumphs of a couple of wars and her prophecies always came out the way she told them, except for the prophecy of the Seqiti wars but only because the troops failed to follow her guidance this time.

The obsession with women being seen as a threat when they possess a certain power over men is not a new thing in these years; it has been happening since time immemorial.

So many men still believe a powerful woman is a threat to their entitlements.

Powerful women intimidate a lot of men and I hope one day they’ll wake up to this concept of thinking we will grow beards and have bigger egos because the world recognises us for the strengths we possess that are nowhere associated with women.

Nkhono ’Mantsopa was this powerful woman; no woman in her time had the same powers she had. Nobody in her time could predict war and the outcome. So when she was discovered her influence became a threat to the power of Moshoeshoe.

We have her monument today in Modderpoort and not in Likotsi because after she was seen as a threat, she fled her country Lesotho to the Free State where she found refuge and settled.

‘Mantsopa’s powers as a healer, rainmaker, and diviner were inherited from her uncle Mohlomi , another revered prophet who foresaw the Difaqane Wars as he lay on his deathbed. Her power promoted her from being just a prophetess to being an adviser to King Moshoeshoe.

‘Mantsopa, besides her predictions, was very wise and foresighted. She had a sharp eye.

Her great storytelling abilities, “remarkable in her power to hold people spellbound as she related what had appeared to her in dreams…” says it all about how smart and talented she was in leading people to give them an exact picture without leaving out any important detail.

Her ability to make crucial decisions with benefiting outcomes worth celebrating is one other attribute that afforded her the advisory position.

Why am I talking about Nkhono ‘Mantsopa now post-independence? Why am I reciting a story that’s been told over and over all these years? Because ‘Mantsopa before she died predicted that Lesotho would gain her independence. Today here we are, 56 years later, an independent state, a kingdom.

But what do we have to show for the independence we gained? An endless fight over reforms?

I want to believe she was the “right-hand man” of the King because honestly, she was worth the seat on the right-hand side since she was the go-to person when everything was not clear. On the other side of the throne was ‘Malere.

Not much has really been said about ‘Malere in our history books but a man I trust for information taught me a thing or two about this prominent woman. Lere, a walking stick, is needed normally by older people to provide them with support when walking for they sometimes lose balance at that age.

Not that the King was old but he needed all the support he could get in order to lead his people in the right direction, safely.

‘Malere then, was there for such purposes; to help ‘Mantsopa and Moshoeshoe so they could defeat the enemy.

‘Malere o ne a na le lithebere tsa ho reba lira. She was a very powerful traditional healer famous for possessing the power to destroy the tactics of the enemy. With the prophetess on one side and the female traditional healer on the other, King Moshoeshoe was sure his people were safe.

Here is a thing about why women make great leaders. Or better yet why I wish our male leaders had women advisers. The fact is: You cannot put two bulls in one kraal and expect peace. No, there will be war.

Women are compassionate and strong. It’s in their nature.

They are able to command, gently so, and they know their boundaries this is why so many people, Moshoeshoe included, reacted to everything ‘Mantsopa said, not because she’d tell them so but because her approach was more humanely, empathetic, inclusive and had that ‘care’ lingering in it.

That’s women taking leadership roles for you.

The challenges then were the white men who were very much determined to fight Basotho, perhaps with a motive to wipe out their entire existence and take over their land.

But because they had ‘Mantsopa then who would see them coming even before they could leave their country and ‘Malere who would know what potion to brew for the war, none of the British’s dreams ever came to reality.

I want to believe these two women looked at the world with bravery and that’s why they were able to act accordingly, trying in their power to put pieces of their little found Basotho nation together like a not-so-complex puzzle. Today here we are heads hanging above water, struggling to breathe because of an omnibus Bill.

Like, a list of carefully researched requests from the people, and it’s got a lot of us worried about the future of this country.

A whole kingdom that’s under the guidance of a King that ascends from the bloodline of a great King that reaped sweet fruits under the advice of women that served him and his people selflessly. A

King that won wars because he believed in the power women possessed.

No offence in this but what if for just a short period of time our men give women a chance to hold offices and let them sail this ship in a different direction before it sinks?

Bokang Masasa

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Copyright © 2022. The Post Newspaper. All Rights Reserved