Artist gaga about patriotism

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By Neo Kolane

Nthabiseng Mohanela, 28, an activist, musician, researcher and creative, is on a mission to jolt Basotho out of their comfort zones and adopt the mentality of defying the odds, breaking barriers and embracing the fact that in the pursuit of their dreams, people should ‘start from nothing to become something’.

The mother to a four-year old and a resident of Morija, a hometown situated on the fringes of the Maseru city, tells The Reporter that she holds a Degree in Interior Architecture and she has been freelancing in that regard.

“I am a professional musician. I create content through music to educate kids, to entertain and inform,” Mohanela says.

Nthabiseng is also Managing Director at Madhouse Rain, a family company engaging in all sustainable living activities and expression of art through music and crafts.

“At Madhouse Rain, we are very passionate about history and indigenous art,” she explains.

The multi-skilled mother says that before the lockdown, the company was running music workshops travelling to districts like Qacha’s Nek they taught children how to make music “out of anything really, and to express themselves out of music”.

“Apart from the crafty side, we also have a brand called Sprit of Art, which is a clothing and accessory brand where we use recycled materials, repurpose fabric and plastic. We also make beads from seeds. We just go natural,” she says.

“Unfortunately people were not buying any items from the brand. As a result, in February I made a studio in my home.”

She runs the studio with her producer Lithebe Lithebe. The team has worked on a project with Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) Malaysia, creating COVID-19 adverts.

She says they have submitted a proposal on doing LUCT’s podcast. She adds that they have worked with a couple of artists, including Wave Ryder and Rapelang.

“I am using music as a medium to educate the local masses on culture, patriotism and the pride of being a Mosotho,” she says.

Still on her music, Mohanela also reveals that she has partnered with Morija Arts Centre, a subsidiary of the Morija Museum to create an educational Sesotho album.

“Another big impact musically is that I have partnered with Morija Arts Centre, which is a mini branch of the Morija Museum. We have partnered to create an educational Sesotho album which is a 10 track album titled “Ithute” volume 1 that was released in June,” she says.

“The purpose of the album is to close gaps in Basotho produced content. There is no audio content for Basotho. We don’t have Sesotho.”

Mohanela, who describes herself a “very spiritually inclined human being”, also tells this publication that currently, she is working to bring to life the idea of designing reusable sanitary towels through a project called ‘Trash into Treasure Collection’.

“This is one project I am most proud of because I want to assist kids that are vulnerable and that cannot access sanitary pads. Our plan is to distribute pads all the way to Lesotho’s mountainous and remote areas,” she says adding she and her partner working hard to rope in investors.

She is currently still testing the product and working with ten women.

According to Mohanela, the reusable sanitary pads, are going to change many lives, reduce pollution as well as clearing the landfill sites “because we are collecting plastics that will be processed, cleaned and repurposed”.

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