By Neo Kolane
Photographer Justice Kalebe and his team recently raised awareness by showcasing Basotho and Lesotho culture in Tokyo Japan through a photography exhibition that ran from July 24-30.
The aim of the seven-day exhibition was to promote Basotho and Lesotho, and the work done at Ha Sekantṧi a rural village outside Maseru, where Kalebe hails from.
A celebrated photographer, Kalebe uses the power of pictures and imagery to let the world know how beautiful and picturesque Ha Sekantši is.
He said another purpose of the exhibition was for potential investment opportunities and cultural exchange of Basotho.
“Over 30 images which were taken by the children of Ha Sekantṧi were displayed at the exhibition.
“The children were taking pictures of what made them happy. I took the portraits of the children only,” he said.
He told theReporter this week that the exhibition was attended by the mayor of Tokyo, African ambassadors and foreign affairs ministers.
He went on to enthuse that the objective of the exhibition was indeed met.
“The feedback was very positive,” he says.
He explained that his team opted for a photography exhibition because it is through images that one can bring people closer to where one comes from.
He disclosed that the team figured that an exhibition was the cheapest and easiest way to do that.
“Exhibitions are expensive to organise, do not get me wrong,” he emphasized.
Kalebe, who has worked for several international organisations, says the plan for next year is to get one or two children from Ha Sekantṧi to actually go to Japan.
“We are planning on another exhibition in Lesotho.”
He boasted that his team received no support from the government of Lesotho, and he has no regrets about that since he wants to promote self-reliance; he hopes to foster an attitude that one can do things without the government to assist, because the government is overwhelmed.
This was the second exhibition held in Tokyo.
He explained that promoting, conserving and exchanging culture is continuous hence the exhibition was held in another country.
“My team and I have formed a partnership with one university in Tokyo and we are going to have a memorandum of understanding signed where we will have a cultural exchange programming,” he boldly said.
Justice Kalebe held his first exhibition at Alliance Francaise in Maseru in 2018 and his second one at Ha Sekantṧi in 2019.