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

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From beauty parlor and salon concerns over COVID restrictions to the cancellation of this year’s Maletsunyane Braai Festival, here’s a wrap of a few local and global headlines.

1. Local headlines

Maseru beauty parlor and salon owners have joined the growing chorus of Basotho business owners demanding that the National Covid-19 Secretariat (Nacosec) categorize them as essential service providers, thereby allowing them to operate during the ‘Orange level restrictions’. 

This after police were seen around Maseru forcing beauty salons to close down they are considered Covid-19 hotspots. Salon owner George Mando says they are willing to engage NACOSEC to come up with a mutually beneficial solution.

“We are prepared to observe the prescribed WHO safety protocols, like we are already doing. We invite Nacosec to come inspect our workplaces and familiarize itself with our operations before classifying us as a Covid-19 hotspot. We cannot afford to shut down; hunger will kill us.”

[Beauty parlors up in arms, The Reporter]

2. Local headlines

The National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) and the Lesotho Red Cross Society this week held a Covid-19 training for community policing forums at Ha ‘Mamathe in the Berea district.

Community policing forums (CPFs) are made up of people from different communities and police representatives who meet to discuss safety problems in their communities. They aim at ensuring police accountability, transparency, and effectiveness in the community.

The training focused mainly on prevention of Covid-19 and touched on different safety protocols like regular washing of hands, and the importance of wearing masks.

NACOSEC health practitioner, Nosipho Lerotholi, said they took time to come to the community policing forums as they know that they are the ones that work with the community the most. She said they wanted to educate them about the safety measures of Covid19 and how they can protect themselves and the community against it.

[CPFs trained on Covid-19, The Reporter]

3. Global headlines

Although none of the coronavirus vaccines under development has proved its efficacy yet in clinical trials, at least 5.7 billion doses have been pre-ordered around the world. First shipments of a Covid-19 vaccine created by Western laboratories have often been snapped up by the United States.

Five vaccines – three Western and two Chinese – are in Phase 3 efficacy trials involving thousands of people. In a surprise announcement, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Tuesday that a vaccine dubbed “Sputnik V” – after the Soviet satellite – conferred “sustainable immunity” against the novel coronavirus.

As research laboratories around the world race to develop a vaccine, manufacturers have received financing to help them prepare to have millions of doses ready to administer in 2021 or even before the end of the year.

[Global pre-orders of Covid-19 vaccines top five billion, News24]

4. In lifestyle

In a recent post on their official Facebook page, the organizers of the Maletsunyane Braai Festival announced that this year’s event has been cancelled. The post read  “

Maletsunyane Braai Festival has been a warm international festival in the past 4 years. We share the same passion: listening to great music, camping & braaing, making new friends and enjoying life to the fullest. It makes us unique and ensures that we overcome the greatest challenges together.

MBF 2020 had all the ingredients to become one of the most outstanding editions: unseen creative ideas, brand-new outdoor concepts, an amazing lineup and as always-the most beautiful international crowd.Unfortunately, due to the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak we have to cancel this year’s edition. These are exceptional times for all of us. It’s our mission to unite souls, but it’s also our top priority to look after the well-being, health and safety of our clients.

With a lot of pain in our hearts, we inform you that Maletsunyane Braai Festival 2020 cannot take place.  The 5th edition of Maletsunyane Braai Festival will take place in 2021 (26-28 November 2021)”.

[Maletsunyane Braai Festival 2020 cancelled, Maletsunyane Braai Festival]

5. What we’re reading

In this piece, Teboho Polanka reminds us that with the cost of living on the steady increase, we all need to think of ways to become more self-sufficient. Polanka offers a few recommendations for how we can all do this in our own lives, from owning land responsibly to adopting a long-term mentality. 

[Self-sufficiency: Breaking Free From Work-earn-spend Consumer Economy, Selibeng]

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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.