Film ID:
NEFA 21942

LESOTHO CHILDRENS RE-ENACTMENT

1969

Visitor Tabs

Description

An amateur film made by David Williams who was part of an educational delegation from Durham University visiting the country of Lesotho in southern Africa in 1969. The film begins with the delegation visiting a building built on top of a hill and local children making murals in the earth. The second part of the film records a re-enactment by children in a school of a local folk tale watched over and assisted by the student teachers working with the Durham delegation.  

The film opens on a group of men, one of whom is wearing a distinctive red tie talking and looking around the scene in front of them. General views show a number of small huts and people nearby. A young boy wrapped in a blanket walks away from the huts, down a slope towards a stone building with a corrugated roof that is near the edge of a cliff. Groups of people stand outside the building.

Two girls walk down the slope, one is carrying a bucket on her head and the other a metal can. At the bottom of the slope, they place the bucket and can on the ground near to the stone building with the corrugated roof.

A girl uses a pick-axe to cut a line in the earth. A general view shows a mural made from coloured stones laid out in concrete on the ground. The year 1969 is made out in stones. The film cuts to show a girl pouring water from a tin onto a mound of cement or earth, a girl beside her with a spade turns the mixture. A number of stones hold down a piece of paper on the ground, a hand draws on the paper.

The film changes to show two men from the Durham delegation standing around in a schoolyard. Nearby a number of boys stand dressed in costumes and wearing red headdresses. On the ground beside them on their hands and knees are two other boys wearing a harness. They are lead around the school grounds by the other boy who gently taps them on the shoulders with a stick as if they were cattle in a field ploughing.

The film cuts to show the boys sitting on chairs in a row beside a podium covered in coloured paper or card. A sign on red paper hangs from a tree near to one of the seated boys. Writing on it can partially be made out and reads; ‘Morene…’.

Standing beside a small table are a number of girls in aprons listening to a woman speaking. A homemade paper red and white cross hangs from a tree behind the woman, it reads ‘Red Cross’. The film cuts to a banner hanging nearby that reads ‘Lekala la tea Bophelo’.

The film cuts to show the costumed boys performing a dance, one boy swings a large stick in the air over his head.

A boy lays on the ground beside the Red Cross table, the girls stand around him.

The film changes to show a boy wearing a colourful paper hat and cloak. Stepping forward from a line of boys he begins to speak. Standing in front of him are a number of other boys wearing yellow paper masks. Sitting nearby are the girls watching the performance. The film cuts to show the boy in the cloak standing on a platform, writing along the bottom includes the word ‘chief’. Standing beside him on both sides of the platform a number boys wear yellow sashes.

One of the boys seen previously wearing a yellow facemask pushes a wheelbarrow, the girls sitting on the ground begin to clap. The boy pushes the wheelbarrow past, with another boy sitting in it.

The boys and girls begins to dance around the schoolyard, a teacher collects in the sticks from the boy. The children dance  in unison accompanied by some of the teachers.

The film cuts to show a man in a suit speaking with the children now seated on the ground. Beside him, a number of adults sit on a chairs listening.

The film cuts to show a drawing resting against a chair and the film ends with close ups of the boys wearing yellow masks.