By Neo Kolane
Forty-five-year old Mpho Molikeng is a multifaceted artist, curator, actor, musician, carnival artist/organizer, street performer, praise poet, painter, story teller and cultural activist/entrepreneur who wants use his work to help people heal.
Born and Raised in Naleli, Ha- Tṧosane, in the Maseru district, Molikeng completed his training in fine arts at Bloemfontein’s Motheo FET College in 1995 and studied drama at the Soyikwa Institute of African Theatre in 1998.
“I’m a passionate lover of the arts. Art is life and vice versa. I have grown to understand the importance of art in our lives, sometimes to escape some harsh realities of life, compliment life itself, soothe the disturbed and disrupt the injustices of our lives. I’m not sure where I would be if it wasn’t for the arts.”
He is currently a musical director of Walt Disney’s ‘Doc McStuffins’ series which he is translating into Sesotho.
He has acted in revered Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiongo’s play ‘This time tomorrow’ which was directed by Mufunanji Magalasi in 1998. He also played Octavius in Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ – directed by Jerry Raletebele in 2000.
In his many works, Molikeng has toured Lesotho, Swaziland, Durban and Cape Town as part of his ‘Of Bows & People Tour’ in 2015.
“In music I play almost all Lesotho and Southern African indigenous instruments – lesiba, ‘mamokhorong, setolotolo, mbira, djembe and others.
He is also a member of Methapo Sounds, a band that fuses African and Western Instruments.
“I think the COVID-19 pandemic has given us a blank page to sift through and recognize the need to use art both remotely and technically to heal people.”
An advocate of indigenous music of Africa, Molikeng is at the moment embarking on a journey to teach people around Africa how to play and appreciate Basotho music.