Royal nod of approval

Royal nod of approval

Rose Moremoholo


Lilian Dube is a feisty character who has been an almost constant feature on our television screens playing various roles in South African comedies and soap operas.

While Lesotho is often portrayed in the soaps in pejorative terms, Dube has gone out of her way to defend her cultural heritage through the use of the Sesotho language.

A cultural icon in her own right, Dube has been an excellent ambassador of Lesotho over the years.

On Monday, Dube was among the five Basotho civilians who were conferred service awards by King Letsie III as part of his 51st birthday celebrations at the Royal Palace in Maseru.

She was conferred with the Most Loyal Order of Ramatšeatsana (OMLOR) award.

All in all, 422 Basotho who included police officers, correctional service warders and soldiers were conferred with the awards.

Lillian DubeDube, nee Raseobi, is a Mafeteng-born television actor who features in many Sesotho films, popular among them is Mopheme where she plays the notorious Baratang.

Mopheme is a comedy adapted from a book of the same name by a popular Lesotho author and school teacher Sebolai Matlosa.

Dube has cut across different genres of movies and soapies in South Africa and the award she got was for having portrayed the culture of Basotho and the Sesotho language in every role she plays in films.

“She stood out as an actress who could fluently portray Basotho’s culture and language,” says Habokhethe Sekonyela, the Home Affairs principal secretary and member of the national ceremonies committee that selected the nominees.

Sekonyela said Dube has been a champion in the talent God gave her and has been faithful in keeping the culture and language of Basotho known and understood through the years she has been on the television.

Dube makes it no secret that she is a Mosotho and was raised in Mafeteng.

She says she is always aware of her roots adding it is her past that moulded her into what she is now.

Dube says this award has been a blessing to her because it has made her realise that her efforts to keep her culture and language are being recognised.

“For all these years, I have been acting passionately but without even knowing that people of Lesotho recognise what I am doing,” Dube says.

“Today my King has just honoured me with an award I shall not forget,” she says.

Dube says she will continue to inspire the younger generation and teach them that they should be consistent and love what they do.

“Every work you do, do it with passion and efficiency, do it in a way that will make you proud.”

King Letsie III’s birthday celebrations will be held in Qacha’s Nek on Sunday.

Of those who were awarded service medals were 177 members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), 189 members of Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) and 59 Lesotho Correctional Service members.

The medals were the LDF Military Medal for Meritorious Service (MMMS), 30 Years Military Service Medals (MSM), Police Medal for Long and Loyal Service (PMLLS), Police Medals for Gallantry (PMG), Police Medals Meritorious Service (PMMS), Police Medals for Outstanding Service (PMOS), Correctional Medals for Gallantry (CMG) and Correctional Medals for Meritorious Service (CMMS).

Senior officers who received the medals include the Commissioner of Police Molahlehi Letsoepa who got two medals of PMLLS and PMMS while others like Senior Deputy Commissioner Masupha Masupha and Senior Assistant Commissioner Shekhoe Sebutsoe who were awarded PMLLS.

IMG_5142In the army the most senior officers who were awarded the MSM awards were Colonels Daemane Matamane, ’Matšotetsi Tlelai, ’Matumelo Ramoqopo, Lieutenant Colonel Cecilia Kebane and six others in the rank of major.

The names of the recipients of the medals will henceforth be followed by the abbreviations of their medals, for example Commissioner Molahlehi Letsoepa PMLLS, PMMS.

The LDF’s Colonel ’Matšotetsi Tlelai received a medal for 30 years of military service. Colonel Tlelai is the director of Makoanyane Military Hospital and has been recognised for providing health services in the army.

Under her stewardship the hospital signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health to offer effective delivery of services among Basotho people to those in hard-to-reach parts of Lesotho.

The Senior Deputy Commissioner Masupha Masupha received long and loyal service for his 30 years in the police service.

David Jandrell, a businessman based in Mohale’s Hoek who deals in farm feeds in the southern districts of the country, was presented with the Most Loyal Order of Ramatšeatsana (OMLOR) for being an outstanding businessman who has contributed to Lesotho’s economy over the years.

Ramatšeatsana was a trusted man in the court of King Moshoeshoe I, the founder of present day Lesotho.

A Roman Catholic nun, Sister Julian Manele, was awarded the Most Loyal Order of Mohlomi (MLOM) for showing courage in developing home-based care for those living with HIV and AIDS and being an advocate in matters concerning the disease.

Manele established an orphanage at St Cammelius Centre in Mohales’ Hoek which takes care of at least 24 orphans.

Manele was awarded the 2016 Woman of Courage award by the United States ambassador earlier this year.

Mohlomi, whose honour she received, was Moshoeshoe I’s mentor after graduating from initiation school.

’Mampoi Matete received the OMLOR award.

Matete founded a famo music group called Sefakosa Menoaneng, currently led by Lebohang Letšohla and has garnered following a strong following among famo lovers.

Matete has been an inspiration in the teaching of traditional music among young girls.

Livestock farmer Mothibeli Makhetha was awarded the OMLOR for outstanding performance in the production of wool and mohair from his merino sheep and angora goats.

This Qacha’s Nek farmer has been influential in the success of the Lesotho Wool and Mohair Growers Association.

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