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date: 05 December 2023

History of Lesotholocked

History of Lesotholocked

  • Motlatsi ThabaneMotlatsi ThabaneIndependent Scholar


The history of people of the Basotho nation, who live in the territory known as Lesotho in the early 21st century, can be traced from the development, and separation, of Nguni and Sotho-Tswana cultures before 900 ce, and migrations that led to the occupation of early 21st-century Lesotho since the 1600s. Two main areas of Lesotho’s history are of interest. First is the emergence of the Basotho nation under the leadership of Moshoeshoe I against the background of conflicts known as lifaqane in the 19th century when various clans, ethnic groups, and individuals joined, or became subjugated under, Moshoeshoe I’s chiefdom; the Basotho encounter of, and loss of land to, white settlers from the 1830s onward; and the role of the British in the alienation of the Basotho’s land. The second includes the phases of British colonization of the Basotho and their territory, beginning with Lesotho’s annexation to the Cape Colony, in 1871, and ending with the territory’s handover to imperial rule, in 1884. The conflicts that resulted from the Basotho’s resistance against the Cape Colony government’s attempts at imposition of colonial law in Lesotho led to the Cape Colony’s decision to hand the territory over to imperial rule. The events leading to Lesotho’s independence, in 1966, highlight the political and socioeconomic characters of Lesotho since independence.


  • Colonial Conquest and Rule
  • Southern Africa

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