Film ID:
NEFA 21943

THE POSTAGE STAMPS OF LESOTHO

1972

Visitor Tabs

Description

An amateur film produced and narrated by David Williams comparing the postage stamps of the southern African Kingdom of Lesotho with their real-life locations visited on a trip to the country in 1972 by special invitation of King Moshoeshoe II. The film begins at the border with South Africa followed by views of the capital city Maseru including the Lesotho Royal Palace where the king is filmed being mobbed by his people. The film includes a number of excursions to visits some of the countries well known attractions including the prehistoric dinosaur tracks in the western parts of the country, the cave paintings at Ha Barona and a special excision by aircraft to see the Maletsunyane Falls. As well as a commentary, the film also features a musical track sung in the local dialect.

Title: The Postage Stamps of Lesotho

The film begins with a map of South Africa with the independent Kingdom of Lesotho highlighted within in it.

The film cuts to the show the Lesotho coat of arms attached to a wall at a border post. The film changes to show a Lesotho postage stamp showing the same location that includes an image of the Queen Elizabeth II in the top right corner.

Back at the border crossing, a number of cars are parked waiting to pass through the checkpoint. Written across the top of the border post is written ‘Lesotho – Kena Ka Khotso’.

Four postage stamps relating to the country’s independence from British rule in 1966 follow next including the image of the kingdom’s then ruler Moshoeshoe II. The film changes to show a British Council franking stamp with the name of the country’s capital city at the bottom; Maseru. Two more stamps appear, one showing maize or another corn crop and the other a longhorn cow.

A general view of a street in Maseru quickly cuts to a black and white photograph of the same location. The image fades back to the street where a car drives past.

General views follow of a number of buildings in Maseru including the front of the new Queen Elizabeth II Hospital. A UNICEF badge is attached to the rear of an ambulance parked outside, writing along the side of ambulance reads in both the local language of SeSotho and English ‘Ministry of Health – Ambulance’. General views of the exterior of the hospital follow with a flag flying from a pole on the roof.

A road sign for ‘Castle Lager’ also points in the direction of ‘Lancer’s Inn’. General views show a car park and modern building complex. Behind it, in the near distance, a pathway leads up a small hillside towards the monument of King Moshoeshoe I.

The film cuts to a decorative gate leading to the monument, the inscription reads ‘Khotso – Pala – Nala’ (Peace – Rain – Prosperity). A number of people walk up the hillside towards the monument. The film cuts to general views of the bronze sculpture and the country's coat of arms. Images of a postage stamp of the monument follows next.
 
The film changes to show the marching band of the Lesotho Mounted Police parading along the street near to the Lesotho Royal Palace. They are parading as part of the changing of the guard. Behind them come a number of men on horseback and at the rear a platoon of officers marching with rifles.

Inside the palace, the country's flag flies from a pole, thi is followed by a view of the gardens and a member of Lesotho Mounted Police standing to attention. The film cuts to show a postage stamp of the palace that fades to an official invitation to the palace for David Williams that features the signature of Moshoeshoe II. The film cuts to show King Moshoeshoe II walking through a large crowd.

The film cuts to show The Basotho Hat Craft Shop on Kingsway in Maseru built in the shape of a traditional woven hat know as a ‘Mokorotlo’. This is followed by postage stamps of the building.

A couple walk past along a road. General views show pedestrians, cars and bicycles travelling along a road.

The film cuts to show the exterior of the city’s modern post office with cars parked out front and customers coming and going.  A sign attached to a wall reads ‘Headquarters. Ministry of Post and Telegraph’.

The film changes to show a poster reading ‘Post Office Centenary 1872-1972. Lesotho Mail’. Inside the post office, a view of a wall of post boxes is followed by a postage stamp of the new building.

The film cuts to show a view of the old post office followed by a couple looking at the Lesotho Park Crocodile WWII Monument that features a large crocodile on the top.  A small airplane flies overhead followed by views looking down on the ground below from a similar aircraft.

The film cuts to show postage stamps for the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland to commemorate the presentation of its first degrees in 1967. The film cuts to shows stamps relating to UNESCO who have a keen interest in the education of Lesotho.

The film returns to the aircraft in flight flying near to Lancers Gap where the country has its radio communication station. The film cuts to show a postage stamp for the radio station.

The film returns to the ground and a man leading a team of four longhorn cattle along a dusty road. The cattle are pulling a sled on which sit a chest of draws and a table. The film cuts to show postage stamps for cattle. Next a phantom car ride coming to a stop as a cow stands in the middle of the road. A boy rushes over and moves the animal out of the way.

General views of a Giant Aloe plant and a second with flowers growing to twenty-five feet into the air over a building. This is followed by a postage stamp of the Aloe. The film cuts to a postage stamp of one of the country's staple food crops; maize. This is followed by views of a maize plant as well as another staple crop, sorghum. A view of a postage stamp for sorghum follows on.

The film changes to show a map with three main towns; Fouriesburg , Butha-Buthe and Leribe . An arrow points at Leribe.

General views show a street in Leribe with pedestrians and traffic. In the distance a tower, part of Fort Smith. More general views show people walking past, some with bundles on their heads. A postal stamp of the town follows.

Two men on horseback ride past along a dusty track, the film cuts to a postal stamp showing people on horseback.

The film cuts to show a man walking across a rocky plateau followed by various views of the many dinosaur footprints that can be found in the prehistoric sedimentary rock. A hand points out some of the footprints including a rare five-toed dinosaur.

A Land Rover drives past along a track with views from the car travelling along a bumpy road and over a bridge. General views follow of the driver and the passing mountainous landscape.

A road sign points towards Thababosia [Thaba Basiu] followed by general views looking down from the top of the sandstone plateau of the surrounding landscape.

The Land Rover drives past along a dusty road. Inside the vehicle, a man in glasses smiles at the camera. The film changes to the map seen previously and the arrow now animated moves towards mountains.

A sign on the side of another vehicle reads ‘The Star. Roof of the Africa Rally’. The film cuts to show an archive photograph of a car taking part in the rally as well as a postage stamp relating to the event.

A phantom car ride follows inside the Land Rover as it travels along a track past men and horses. The vehicle climbs into the mountains and snow now covers some of the rocks. The film cuts to show a postage stamp of someone skiing.  

A herd of cattle makes its way through a field along with a pony. In the distance are hills known as the ‘Diamond Hills’ followed by postage stamps showing the same location. The film cuts to show four stamps relating to the country's industries; diamond mining, pottery, weaving and construction. There is a close up of the diamond mining stamp.

General views show a car driving along a mountainous track or road and also the surrounding landscape. A metal road sign reads ‘Bushman’s Pass. Altitude 7400’.

A herd of horned sheep follows with views of huts in a village. A postage stamp follows showing sheep shearing.

From a ledge, a man looks down and waves at the camera. Water drips down from a cave overhang, the film cuts to show a group of people walking along a track. They pass three women walking in the opposite direction, one woman carries a small child on her back. The film cuts to show a postage stamp of a woman carrying a child.

Next two shepherds tend their sheep. Both are wrapped in blankets and wearing hats. Views of the sheep dogs cut to postage stamps featuring shepherds.

The film returns to the map seen animated previously and the arrow travelling away from the hills. A man smiles from front passenger seat of the car seen previously as it turns and drives away.

The film cuts to show the Land Rover driving past a small hut cutting to show an image of postage stamp of similar buildings.

General views follow of a village and of children standing nearby. Seated on the ground a woman breastfeeds her child followed by a group of women doing their washing in a stream. A nearby large billboard advertises Surf washing powers, it’s tag line reading ‘Surf puts true whiteness back into your wash’.

The film cuts to the Ha Barona cave and views of the many cave paintings including  blue cranes (now white), archers and a eland cow. This is followed by a series of postage stamps of the same cave paintings. The group walk back to the parked Land Rover then drive away.

A collection of stamps relating to Lesotho Soil Conservation is followed by a view of an earthen dam and sluice built for local irrigation near Leribe. On the far side of the dam a number of birds swim on the water. In a tree a Hoopoe bird sits before flying away and is filmed on a telegraph wire. General views follow of postage stamps relating to various birds of the country.

The film cuts to show an aircraft hangar with writing above the sliding door that reads ‘Basutair – Welcome to Lesotho’. The film changes to show a postage stamp for Leabua Jonathan Airport.

General view of the control tower at Leabua Jonathan Airport is followed by an aircraft flying lower over the runway. A postage stamp for Maletsunyane Falls follows next. A group of six people make their way towards an aircraft near the hangar followed by views from the aircraft flying over the landscape making their way to Maletsunyane Falls.

The plane comes into land on a strip and the passengers disembark and make their way along a track towards Maletsunyane Falls. They pass a barn-like structure, outside of which stand a number of Basuto ponies. A postage stamp of the animals follows next.

General views show the group making their way along a rocky track passing a village of small huts. Corn is laid out on sacks beside a stonewall. The group make their way across a plateau or field, a man on horseback rides past cutting to an image of a rider on a postage stamp.  General views of sheep and goats are followed by examples of the animals in stamps.

A large sign attached to a lone building reads ‘Frasers Ltd. Ramosa Le Ralipere Falls. Pororong’. Outside the building stands another Basuto pony, in the background high snow covered mountains.

General views show Maletsunyane Falls seen in the far distance along a deep gorge with water falling down the 650ft gap. A number of local and European men stand near the edge of the precipice looking out towards the falls. The film cuts to show more postage stamps of the falls.

Another small airplane flies overhead and the film ends showing a series of postage stamps and Air Mail letters.  

End Title: The end