Moshoeshoe's Day

Moshoeshoe's Day

March 11
Moshoeshoe (also called Mshweshwe or Moshesh, and pronounced mow-SHOO-shoo; c. 1790-1870) was a leader in South Africa who organized a group of tribes to fight the Zulu warlord, Shaka. He called his followers the Basotho (or Basuto) people, and although they succeeded in fending off the Zulu, they were eventually drawn into a war with the Europeans who started settling their territory. Moshoeshoe and the Basotho retreated into the mountains, and from this position they were able to keep the European invaders at bay. In 1868 the Basotho nation became a British protectorate known as Basutoland, and in 1966 it became the independent kingdom of Lesotho within the British Commonwealth ( see Lesotho Independence Day).
The Basotho people continue to honor their founder on this day with a solomn wreath-laying ceremony in the capital city of Maseru, along with sporting events and traditional music and dancing.
CONTACTS:
Lesotho Government
Ministry of Communications
P.O. Box 36
Maseru, Lesotho
266-22-323-86
www.lesotho.gov.ls
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 42
BkHolWrld-1986, Mar 12

Celebrated in: Lesotho