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Theatre group on a mission to grow Lesotho theatre

Business

Poloko Mokhele

Despite having been operational for less than a year, local theatre group Creative Minds Entertainment is on a mission to change the theatre industry in Lesotho through educative and entertaining plays.

This was the strong affirmation of its founder, Sello Makoae when speaking to Newsday this week.

Makoae said he is on a mission to save the youth of Lesotho and their talents, bring solutions to challenges facing the theatre industry.   

Asked what inspired the establishment of Creative Minds Entertainment, he indicated that he wanted to groom more young people into the theatre industry and ensure that they all benefit from his longtime experience as a theatre director.

“Creative Minds Entertainment was established because I wanted to groom young people with love for theatre by nurturing their talent from an early stage,” he said.

“Having been a theatre director for over 10 years, I often got requests from people who wanted me to assist them individual with their talent.

“So because sometimes they were in different locations, I thought it would just be a great idea to establish one home where all theatre lovers can come together and create magic. I also wanted to change the face of theatre in Lesotho because it was slowly dying” he said.  

Makoae was quick to highlight that Creative Minds Entertainment, which is dominated by theatre plays, also equips upcoming musicians with skills to build their talent and secure collaborations for them with musicians outside and in Lesotho.

“I think it is also important to mention that besides our organisation being known as a theatre club, we also have a group of musicians whom we are trying to ensure grow and build collaborations.

“We also have gumboots and pantsola dancers because I have realised that we no longer have many dancers, so my aim is to change that.”

On how the journey has been since the club’s establishment, Makoae stated that it has not been easy since the group’s establishment in November 2022, highlighting that sometimes they have ideas they want to implement but due to lack of adequate financial resources, they end of opting for less than they had preferred.

“We struggle a lot as creatives in Lesotho, I am not only talking about theatre people or filmmakers but everyone who recognises themselves as creatives. Unlike in countries like South Africa, where people make a living through their talent we do not get enough support from government, even the private sector not many companies are interested in supporting us.

“This is why you see most musicians, actors, sportspeople to mention but few leaving Lesotho for green pastures to South Africa, where their talent will be appreciated, we are trying but it is really not easy,” Makoae pointed out.

On Saturday last week during the King Moshoeshoe I Film Festival which attracted the likes of veteran actor South African actor, Jerry Mofokeng wa Makhetha, Stephen Chigorimbo from Zimbabwe, Lindiwe Gigaba and Zakhele Mabuza both from South Africa, Creative Minds Entertainment shared the stage in a joint performance with Blah Blah Brothers Production, a South African theatre group.

“I met Blah Blah Brothers Production through Facebook because they fell in love with my work and asked how we can work together. At that time, they did not know that I have my own theatre club, so I invited them to come to Lesotho last year and they came in December.

“I wanted them to host workshops for Creative Minds Entertainment and Mankabelane Theatre Club from the National University of Lesotho and they really played a big role in helping those creatives that I work with.

“So this year they were invited to the King Moshoeshoe I Film Festival and since the performance had to be about him, they asked us for a collaboration because they wanted people who understood the Basotho culture more,” Makoae said.

He added that the collaboration was a great opportunity for them to grow because the performance was quite different to Lesotho theatre and they have since been getting calls of people enquiring about their services.

“It was also a great experience for junior members of Creative Minds Entertainment because some of them that was their first time performing at an event as a huge as the King Moshoeshoe I Film Festival,” he stated.

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