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Sehahle’s dream lives on!



MASERU – MANY Basotho will recall a late 2000s Lesotho Television anti-drug abuse advert in which Shoaepane ‘Schweppes’ Sehahle plays a dirty drug addict with unkempt dreadlocks.

The memorable part of the advert is where Sehahle staggers until he falls down, crawls and the camera zooms out a scared facial expression as Sehlahle cries out: E nkenile Baba!

E nkenile Baba, a Sesotho-Zulu pidgin meaning “it has entered me, Father”, became a derogatory name for many drunken, dirty people, especially those with dreadlocks.

Sehahle had, prior to the anti-drug abuse advert, been featuring in many theatre and screen dramas but it is this humorous advert that saw him rise to fame countrywide.

For many, primary or secondary education is what they consider a foundation for the future. Sehahle from Sea-Point in Maseru, is not an exception.

“My calling to be an actor was cultivated during my high school years,” he said.

At Sefika High School, the school’s policy was to compel every learner to engage in at least one extra-curricular activity.

It was common for boys to join sporting or music activities. But since Sehahle was gifted in neither, he opted to join the drama and debating club.

He soon realised that acting ran in his veins once he joined the club.

“I gave it my all during rehearsals and my confidence grew robustly.”

After completing high school and in dire need of employment, Sehahle went to look for general work in Rustenburg, South Africa, but it was in vain.

He felt it was time to return home and do whatever it would take him to have a decent life.

He went on to work as a volunteer at the Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA), where he was a peer educator in health awareness.

It was a move that opened doors for him into the mainstream film industry.

“My work at LPPA was to disseminate information through adverts that were played on Lesotho TV from 2008.

“I then began to be recognised and many producers began to identify my acting talent, the likes of Silas Monyatsi and Lilaphalapha,” he said.

From presenting adverts for organisations, Sehahle featured as an actor in Kau la Poho where he played the starring role.

“It posed a lot of challenges since I was then a rookie who was performing with more experienced and professional actors.

“What bothered me most was that I was always supposed to be on set due to the role I was playing,” he recalled.

The synopsis of the story was about a young lad entrapped in ruinous city life and cohabiting with a girlfriend.

In the name of money, he gave away his girlfriend to an elderly man. In the twist of events it turned out the man was a friend to his father, which made matters awful.

He was the lead actor known as Mojalefa, Jeff, a notorious guy who moved from a rural area to town where he worked as a taxi driver.

He came to live a city life of alcoholism and prostitution that saw him ultimately acquire HIV.

Then, there was still a lot of stigma around HIV/AIDS and people began to discriminate against him in real life.

His social life began to be negatively impacted as some people would not want to associate with him on social platforms as the character had depicted him as a reckless young man.

“People did not understand the fact that what one performs as an actor is per script and does not necessarily apply to their real lives.

“They unknowingly construed that to be applicable in my real life situation,” he said.

Despite this, he lauds the film for giving him a breakthrough into the industry.

According to Sehahle, acting is one of the most innovative industries which mostly presents leisure activities and opens frontiers to the world.

“It only requires one to be creative, ambitious as well as (versatile). It needs one to always follow the latest trends around the globe in different spheres of life.

“As an actor, you need to give the profession your all.

“Being adaptable to different situations by doing independent research about backgrounds of characters you are tasked to portray helps.”

Sehahle believes it is ideal to always nourish one’s art by joining training sessions such as workshops to stay up to date with contemporary matters that are involved in acting.

“As the world is evolving, so too is the profession. Therefore one doesn’t have to rest on their laurels once they have broken through on to the screen.”

Sehahle has featured in several local film productions which have stood out. He is more popular in documentaries and comedy video strips.

He has by far managed to play different characters with success due to determination he has towards his acting profession.

“In all films I took part in, I have always managed to efficiently portray the character I had been expected to play. But among them, I think I managed to excel more in Lilaphalapha, Kau La Poho and It’s Not A Burial: It’s A Resurrection.

“To be honest, I’ve always given my best shot in all films I’ve been scripted.”

For Sehahle to remain noticeable in his performances, he always drew admiration from American actor and producer Samuel Leroy Jackson.

He says Jackson is one actor who makes acting look easy as he is able to perform according to any character given at hand.

“Jackson does it all for me. He is the kind of person who is able to vividly portray any character put on the table.

“As a comedian, he does wonders and, of course, in any general film setting.”

He says Jackson “is not a stereotype kind of a character who can only gel with certain characters”.

“He’s so amazing to watch and I always strive to give out genuine performance like his whenever I’m on set.”

In the midst of high unemployment rate, Sehahle thinks acting can help create jobs.

“There are a lot of talented actors in all districts of the country but they do not have platforms to showcase their talents.

“There is need for broader government intervention to build infrastructure which would be utilised to create opportunities for them,” he said.

Calvin Motekase

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[BREAKING NEWS] Lebona sets curfew



MASERU– In an effort to curb the rampant increase of homicides in Lesotho, the Minister of Police Lebona Lephema has announced a 10:00pm-4:00am curfew, effective Tuesday May 16, 2023. Failure to comply with the curfew attracts a 2 years imprisonment or a fine.

Staff Reporter

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Two nurses deleted for misconduct



MASERU – A Kolonyama midwife, ’Mamalibeng Ralenkoane, who allegedly neglected a woman during labour has been deleted from the nurses’ register for the next six months.

The woman went on to deliver her baby by herself without professional assistance.

In another case the secretary-general of the Lesotho Nursing Council (LNC), ’Mamonica Makhoswonke Mokhesi, has also been deleted for violating a patient’s privacy.

The LNC’s disciplinary chairman, Advocate Rapapa Sepiriti, said Ralenkoane had committed an act of serious misconduct and deserved severe punishment.

Advocate Sepiriti ruled that Ralenkoane “should not be seen anywhere attending (to) patients”.

Ralenkoane was working as a midwife at the Little Flower Health Centre in Kolonyama, Leribe, when ’Mateboho Letlala was admitted there for labour in August 2020.

Letlala told the panel that Ralenkoane took her to the examination room and later left her despite that there were signs that she could give birth anytime.

“At 19:00 pm Ralenkoane examined the patient but left her unattended and the patient had to deliver on her own,” Advocate Sepiriti said in his verdict.

“Clearly the blame has to be put at the door of Ralenkoane,” he said.

Adv. Sepiriti ruled that she should be deleted with immediate effect for 12 months, half of which was suspended.

“During these six months period, Ralenkoane is prohibited in any way from attending patients and this judgment should be delivered at her place of work,” he said.

Letlala in her testimony said by the time Ralenkoane arrived, she was already having severe labour pains and was told to go to the labour ward for assessment.

She said when she stepped down the labour bed Ralenkoane said to her: “Ua seke ua tatela ho hema empa molomo oa popelo o buleile ka 3cm’ (meaning she seemed to be in a hurry yet the cervix had opened by 3cm only).

“I was so surprised because I could feel I was very close to delivering because this was my second child and I could say I have experience,” she said.

She said she told the nurse that she needed to use the toilet but was instructed to use a pan instead.

“As she left me on the bed pan I could not stand from the pan as the pains were severe. I called for help but to no avail,” she said.

She said the moment she got energy to stand from the bed pan she saw blood, she called her but there was no response.

“Ralenkoane promised to come after two hours but there were no instructions on what to do in case I needed help prior to two hours,” she said.

“I wheeled myself to the bed and sat on it, still calling to no avail.”

She said while still alone, her membranes raptured and the time of birth came and the baby was delivered.

“The child did not fall as I was able to hold him,” she said.

She phoned her aunt who told her to find s scissor to cut the umbilical cord.

She said she bled a lot and ran out of energy, then Ralenkoane arrived at around midnight.

“When she came in she asked where the baby was and I pointed to where I had put him where he clamped the cord,” she said.

She said it was then that she got assistance.

The investigator for Professional Conduct Committee (PCC), one Nteso, told Advocate Sepiriti that his findings were that “the mother’s life was in danger as she was found having bled heavily and tired and the baby’s life was also in danger from prolonged exposure which could lead to hypothermia and brain damage”.

“Ralenkoane was not there for the mother until she delivered in the absence of the midwife, this is a case of negligence,” he said.

However, in mitigation Ralenkoane said this was her first time to appear before the panel and has been a nurse for more than nine years.

She said she has two children to support and she has already been punished by the clinic as she was dismissed and that she has policies and loans.

She pleaded with the panel to have mercy on her.

In another case Mokhesi who was the Secretary General of LNC was also deleted from the register for two years after she was found guilty of sharing a patient’s picture on social media without their consent.

She was accused of defamation of character and violating the patient’s privacy by posting pictures of the injuries he had incurred.

’Malimpho Majoro

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Nurses back at work



MASERU -NURSES who have been on strike since Monday are set to resume work this morning after the government started paying their salaries.

The nurses went on a go-slow last week but escalated to a full-fledged strike on Monday after the government delayed their salaries. Some nurses claimed they had not been paid since March.

Morephe Santi, the secretary general of the Lesotho Nurses’ Association (LNA), said they have started telling members to go back to work after the government said the salaries will start reflecting in their accounts last night.

The strike has inflicted huge reputational damage on Prime Minister Sam Matekane’s government which came to power on promises of efficiency.

Minister of Public Service Richard Ramoeletsi blamed the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and the Human Resource Management System (HRMS) for the delay in April salaries.

Ramoeletsi told parliament last week that the two financial management systems were unable to reconcile, leading to delays in salaries.

But that explanation was little consolation for patients who bore the brunt of the strike.

At least 20 expectant mothers at Machabeng Hospital in Qacha’s Nek were told to go home because nurses could not help them.

Some of the women were later admitted at Tebellong Hospital, a facility under the Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL).

“We were staying at the hospital’s roundavel awaiting our time to go to labour but on Thursday afternoon (last week we were called by the nurses and they told us to go to other hospitals or go back home,” said Maretlotliloe Mpeli, who is heavily pregnant.

She said the nurses told them that they could not work on empty stomachs.

’Matlotla Poling, 19, from Ha-Rankakala said she had to call her parents because she did not have any money to either go back home or to Tebellong Hospital.

The Machabeng Hospital management declined to comment, referring thepost to the ministry’s headquarters in Maseru.

Ministry of Health spokesperson, ’Mateboho Mosebekoa, said Machabeng Hospital “did not expel the expecting mothers but merely sent them back home”.

“Due to the ongoing strike by doctors countrywide …they decided to take those women to the places where they would get help,” Mosebekoa said.

There was similar anguish at Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital.

“The strike has affected all the departments including the kitchen, maternity, and emergencies, but the managers are on duty,” said ’Makananelo Sepipi, the hospital’s spokesperson.

Sepipi said managers were forced to hold the forte “because some sections cannot be left unattended utterly due to their importance”.

“The operations are happening in the emergency section, even though they do not operate in a normal way.”

She said patients whose operations were scheduled for this week were sent back home.

Santi, the LNA’s secretary general, blamed the government for the chaos caused by the strike.

Santi said as much as the government likes to call them an essential service they do not prioritise their ministry.

“They do not appreciate us, it is like they do not see the importance of our job,” Santi said.

“The government turns a blind eye to the fact that our working environment alone can put us at risk of contracting diseases.”

“Now we are not able to buy food and other necessities.”

Nkheli Liphoto & Thooe Ramolibeli

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