#Top5atFive: Here’s what’s happening in Lesotho and around the globe


COVID-19 cases on the rise, elephants dying mysteriously in Botswana and a breakdown of Thoso’s Tlali Mothoana — catch up with these and other stories from the weekend!

1. Local headlines

Thetsane Police station has temporarily closed after one officer at the station tested positive for COVID-19. The station shut down indefinitely from 4 July 2020; all members of staff will be tested for the virus, as well as those that may have come in contact with them. Those in need of services are requested to go to the Maseru Central Charge Office. [Tsebiso ea Sepolesa, The Post]

2. Local headlines

Lesotho’s Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro says the government has an immediate responsibility to protect all Basotho, especially health workers, against the highly transmissible Covid-19 pandemic.

Majoro said this in a televised statement on Saturday evening, as he revealed that the country’s confirmed Covid-19 cases have now climbed to 79. With over 4,000 tests having been conducted, he said the infection rate stands at two percent.

“It is now incumbent upon the government to ensure hospitals are adequately equipped with all the necessary tools like beds for patients and personal protective equipment. But above all, we cannot over-emphasise the importance of education as a vital tool in the fight against this pandemic,” he said.

Note: as of 5 July 2020, the Ministry of Health reported that the number of cases had increased to 91. [Covid-19 cases stand at 79, The Reporter]

3. Global headlines

More than 360 elephants have died in mysterious circumstances in Botswana in the past three months, according to local conservationists.

Some carcasses were found clustered around waterholes, while others appeared to have died “falling flat on their faces,” according to Niall McCann, director of conservation at United Kingdom charity National Park Rescue.

Live elephants seen nearby appeared physically weak, and one was walking in circles, unable to change direction, observers said. Other species in the area did not appear to have been affected by whatever struck down the elephants. The Botswana government is testing samples from the dead elephants, but is yet to determine a cause of death.

Botswana is home to 130,000 African elephants — more than any other country on the continent. The Okavango Delta, where the carcasses were found, is home to around 10% of the country’s elephants, McCann said. [More than 360 elephants die from mysterious causes in Botswana, CNN]

4. In lifestyle

Afro-pop and afro-jazz star, Tšitso Chalatsi, affectionately known as Tshitso says he is targeting the international market and is currently taking it step by step towards achieving that goal.

He released an afro-pop single titled Lerato la ka in April during the national lockdown, but he says the album has not received much support due to Covid-19 outbreak as he has not been able to get on the road to promote it.

“So far, I have worked with Juvy and am currently working with Selimo Thabane on another project. I would also like to work with the legendary Tšepo Tšola and vocalist Leomile Motsetsela in my music career,” he says. In the two genres that he is pushing, afro-pop and afro-jazz, he says the former is receiving more appreciation than the latter. [I want to go global Tshitso, Maseru Metro News]

5. What we’re reading

Thoso’s new album, Tlali Mothoana No.1, has been making waves since it’s release, with some speculating that it might be the album of the year in Lesotho. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the tracklist to give you a sense of the inspiration behind it. [A track-by-track breakdown of Thoso’s new album ‘Tlali Mothoana No.1’, Selibeng]


Matlhabeli Molaoli
Matlhabeli is a reader, an Afro-feminist and a firm believer in the power of human-centered design to create lasting social-economic impact. She is a rising junior at Smith College where she majors in both Biochemistry and Anthropology and also dabbles in venture consulting for the local start-up ecosystem. Matlhabeli also enjoys dialogue so she has spent much of her time attending, speaking at and organising TEDx conferences in both Lesotho and South Africa during her time as a student at the African Leadership Academy.