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

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From continued unrest in Zimbabwe to Bam Group Foundation’s ongoing entrepreneurship seminars, here’s a wrap of a few headlines you might’ve missed this week. 

1. Local headlines

The government of Lesotho has confirmed receiving a US$49.1 (M814 million) loan from the International Monetary Fund.

This after the IMF Executive Board announced last week that it had approved US$49.1 million in Emergency Support to Lesotho to meet the urgent Balance of Payment needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ministry of finance confirmed in a statement on Monday that the government had requested to enter into an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to support eminent Balance of Payments imbalances. 

[Govt confirms IMF loan, The Reporter]

2. Local headlines

Bam Group Foundation (BGF) has resumed its monthly entrepreneurship  seminars that were halted due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic earlier this year. As a result of the lockdown restrictions put in place the seminars are now broadcast on Bokamoso FM every second week of the month on Tuesday unlike before where sessions were held at American Corner.

BGF Coordinator Lintle Tšita explained that BGF focuses on community development, women and youth empowerment alongside entrepreneurship development in Lesotho. “We realized that since entrepreneurship has become a tactic of survival in the country, there seems to be a shortage of soft skills and that is where BGF comes in,” she said. Tikiso explained that due to the Covid-19 outbreak, they had to resort to Bokamoso FM in order for them to proceed with their mandate. 

Speaking on the topic for the day which was understanding how financing, funding and investments for start-ups work, Tikiso said Covid-19 has negatively impacted the economic space of Lesotho. She emphasized that at the current moment, there are still places young people who have ventured into entrepreneurship can visit to seek funds for their businesses to prosper. She also said even the street vendors too still stand a chance since through their committees, they already received support from different organisations such as Alliance Insurance Company and Lesotho Post Bank. 

[BGF resume entrepreneurship seminars, Informative News]

3. Global headlines

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday warned he would “flush out” political opponents as rights groups reported dozens of activists had been arrested in a crackdown.

Mnangagwa, who took over from long-time ruler Robert Mugabe after a coup in November 2017, said his administration was facing “many hurdles and attacks” including “divisive politics of some opposition elements”.

“The bad apples who have attempted to divide our people and to weaken our systems will be flushed out,” he warned in a nationwide address. “We will overcome attempts at destabilisation of our society by a few rogue Zimbabweans acting in league with foreign detractors.”

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said on Tuesday it had represented more than 20 people arrested since last week when authorities thwarted anti-government protests that had been scheduled for last Friday.

The protests had been called by opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume, head of a small party called Transform Zimbabwe, against alleged state corruption and the country’s slumping economy.Police banned the protests and government described them as an “insurrection”.

[Bad apples ‘will be flushed out’ – Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa warns opponents, News24]

4. In lifestyle

In a world where artistes are often forced to change who they truly are in the hope for acceptance and fame, producer, musician and producer, Bluebisa, says he will remain true to himself in his quest to becoming an established artist.

Born Letšabisa Sehloho in Leribe, the Ha-Seoli resident is determined to make a name for himself in the music industry. Bluebisa is also pursuing a three-year associate degree in Broadcasting Radio and Television at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.

The newcomer said his parents and grandmother contributed immensely to his love for music.

“I learnt that I had to earn (my keep) to be where I am today,” Bluebisa said adding that despite the challenges that he has encountered, the desire to succeed has urged him on.

Although he prides himself in being a diverse artist, he is currently leaning towards producing Sesotho rap. “I love every kind of music because it gives me a huge space to learn and try different sounds but I am currently focusing on Sesotho hip hop and rap,” Bluebisa said.

Although a date is yet to be set, his debut full-length project titled Dirty Parcels should be anticipated before the end of the year.

[Bluebisa vows to remain authentic, Lesotho Times

5. What we’re reading

Today’s recommendation is This Mournable Body, a novel by acclaimed Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga. In the sequel, Tsitsi Dangarembga returns to the protagonist of her acclaimed first novel, Nervous Conditions, to examine how the hope and potential of a young girl and a fledgling nation can sour over time and become a bitter and floundering struggle for survival. It is a difficult but necessary reading, especially right now. 

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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.