Lesotho: The Hub Wages Into Climate Change, Environmental Fight

20 January 2020

MORIJA based creative technology lab, The Hub, has released a short clay animation (claymation) film titled Matsohong A Rona with the aim to raise climate change and environmental degradation awareness.

Released on 27 December 2019, the film is currently available on the organisation's Facebook page and on YouTube.

Loosely translated to "in our hands", Matsohong A Rona points to the role of humans in the destruction of the environment.

Produced last November, the film provides a glimpse into Lesotho's likely future if the environment is not properly managed.

Tsebo Makakole, a multidisciplinary artist and member of The Hub, told the Weekender that the film was part of the organisation's on-going efforts to care for the environment.

"The film features a young girl who has the ability to magically transport herself and others into the future," Mr Makakole said.

"With this power, she is able to give us insight into what Lesotho will look like in 2050 if we continue on the current path of environmental destruction."

In November 2019, the producers held a competition in search for the leading actress. The competition was eventually won by 12-year-old Thakanyane Moffman. Administrator of The Hub, Meri Hyoky said the involvement of young girls would ensure that they take ownership of the project.

"The competition was our way of giving everyone an opportunity and so it was open to girls under age 14 because we wanted the voice to sound like a very young girl," Ms Hyoky said.

Matsohong a Rona was conceptualized during a workshop led by Anna Cai and Lehlohonolo Tlhaole at The Hub last November and was funded by the Leger family, one of whose members also sits on the The Hub's advisory board.

The project also involved other members of The Hub aged from 12 to 30 years while the soundtrack of the project was done by Pitso Rah Makhula.

The film illustrates the negative impact of continued cutting down of trees, land and water pollution through littering among others.

Experts in the field have predicted that there will be a sharp rise in global temperatures by 2050 and according to a recent United Nations Africa Renewal publication, the increase may be as high as three degrees Celsius.

The Hub is currently raising funds to develop discussion guides and also recruit facilitators who will take Matsohong A Rona and Mamela Lefatshe, another environmentally-themed production of theirs, to schools around Morija.

"We plan to hold screenings of the films and facilitate discussions with young people to raise awareness on climate change and how they can be part of positive change by taking good care of their environment," Makakole said.

The Hub was established in 2015 and is based at the Morija Museum. It provides residents in and around the area with affordable access to computers and the internet while also operating a library and resource space.

The Hub offers digital media training and a variety of other programmes and hosts workshops that tackle an array of issues through arts and activism.

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