A Little Light from Basutoland


A Little Light from Basutoland

Scope and Content

[Source - Ettore Morelli for EMANDULO, 2021: First half of an article by Nehemiah Moshoeshoe, also known as Sekhonynana Ralikholu, son of Moshoeshoe king of Lesotho. This first half was published on the April 1880 issue of the Cape Monthly Magazine. The article is introduced by a short text by 'Herodotus Australis', an unknown contributor of the Cape Monthly Magazine that called for further collection of African stories by colonial magistrates. From textual and contextual evidence, Herodotus Australis appears to have been living in the Colony, to have been personally related to Nehemiah, and was possibly a colonial officer. It is unknown if the text was originally written in English or in Sesotho. Nehemiah studied in Cape Town in 1844-1846; he could write in Sesotho and English. The title of the article is a translation of 'Leselinyana la Lesotho', the name of the missionary newspaper that was published in Sesotho in Lesotho since 1863. In this first half of the article, he details his position within the family of Moshoeshoe, discusses the three royal houses of Moshoeshoe, and the hostilities within the family of Mohlomi, including a case involving 'Hlubi servants'. The article then narrates the wars involving Shaka, the amaNgwane of Matiwane, the amaHlubi of Mpangazitha, the Batlokoa of Sekonyela, and the Basotho of Moshoeshoe. It also describes the taking of Thaba Bosiu from None and the genealogy of Moshoeshoe's ancestors. The final part of the article deals with the end of Matiwane and the wars between Moshoeshoe and Makheta, another descendant of Monaheng who at some point allied with the 'Korannas'. Perhaps most surprising in the article is Nehemiah's claim, right at the beginning, that he was second in line of succession after Letsie, firstborn of Moshoeshoe who was king/paramount chief in 1880. This could be a claim to the throne aimed at the colonial public. Likewise important is the context: in April 1880 the Government of the Cape Colony issued the order to surrender weapons to the people of Lesotho, increasing the tensions that erupted in open rebellion in September 1880. This conflict is known as the Gun War, and Nehemiah sided with the colonial Government.]



A Little Light from Basutoland

[ Source of title : FHYA using material ]

Material Designation

Textual Record

Reproduction Conditions

Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC-ND https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Descriptions and Notes

Part 1 of 2. Although there must have been a physical copy of the Cape Monthly Magazine used to create the digital copy, we can find no information about it.

Archival History

[Source - Ettore Morelli for EMANDULO, 2021: The article was written by Nehemiah Moshoeshoe, also known as Sekhonyana Ralikholu, presumably in the months before April 1880, when it was published in the Cape Monthly Magazine. A digital copy of the April issue was obtained by UCT libraries at an unknown date via Gale Primary Sources. It is unknown where the originally physical copy came from or who originally digitised it. Benathi Marufu from FHYA selected and extracted the pages relating to the present article from the April issue.]

Event Actor Event Type Event Date Event Description
Five Hundred Year Archive (FHYA) Online curation 2021 - Digitised by Gale Primary Sources
Gale Primary Sources Online storage 20 –
Gale Primary Sources Digitisation 19 –?
Cape Monthly Magazine Publication April 1880
HerodotusAustralis Editing before April 1880
Nehemiah Moshoeshoe Writing before April 1880
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A Little Light from Basutoland


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