A Little Light from Basutoland Continued from last number


A Little Light from Basutoland Continued from last number

Scope and Content

[Source - Ettore Morelli for EMANDULO, 2021: Second half of an article by Nehemiah Moshoeshoe, also known as Sekhonynana Ralikholu, son of Moshoeshoe king of Lesotho. This second half was published on the May 1880 issue of the Cape Monthly Magazine. The first half of 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 1844-1845; 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 second half of the article, he narrates the final acts of the war between Moshoeshoe and Makheta with the killing of the latter. The piece then goes on recounting the history of Moyakisane, Makheta's nephew and among the first Basotho to enter in contact with the colonists, and at a time in service of Andries Pretorius in Graaff-Reinett. Moyakisane was knonw in the Colony as 'Old April'. The article then moves on to the arrival of the first colonists at Thaba Bosiu, followed by the missionaries, and to Mnyaluza and Danster. An important section deals with chronology and the measurement of time, with several years named by Nehemiah after topical events, including a reference to five years of 'Fetcani'. The article then deals with some events during the Orange River Sovereignty, and mentions the cave Marimatle, the creation myth of the Bapeli, but does not say where it is located. Most important is the following section, where Nehemiah explains which communities are Basotho and which ones are not, also distinguishing between seboko and 'clans named after a person'. A description of the burial of a chief follows. The article ends with a story of Moorosi of the Baphuthi and cannibals. For the context, this second half of the article was published in May 1880 but there is no mention to the order to disarm the Basoto, made in April, that was leading to the outbreak of the Gun War later during 1880. This could mean that the article was written as a single text and that it was divided in two for editorial reasons. Finally, in the same issue of May 1880 two contributions were received and published by Herodotus Australis, a consequence of the publication of Nehemiah in April 1880: the statements of Walaza and Matlhomahulu.]



A Little Light from Basutoland Continued from last number

[ 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 2 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 May 1880, when it was published on 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 original 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 May 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 May 1880
HerodotusAustralis Editing before May 1880
Nehemiah Moshoeshoe Writing before May 1880
Direct Links

If you have difficulty accessing the objects, use these links.

A Little Light from Basutoland Continued from last number


Attachment - added to contribution


Login using the Log in/Register button (top-right of page) to add a contribution.
Page actions:link link to pagecode view XML metadata