FOR the past seven years, Teboho Mochaoa has been the flag bearer of a remodeled Lesotho sound through an array of international performances.
Oct. 6, 2021
3 min read
Morena Leraba gears for European tour
Lesotho song writer and rapper, Teboho Mochaoa aka Morena Leraba
- Artist uses Sesotho lyrics and combines them with electro, afro house
- Confirmed international gigs will be announced soon
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Hailing from Ha Mojela in Mafeteng, Mochaoa, commonly known by his stage moniker, Morena Leraba is a Lesotho song writer and rapper.
He largely uses Sesotho lyrics and combines them with electro, afro house and hip hop to create an entrancing sound that is still evolving.
With his lyrics deeply rooted in Lesotho's traditional music, poetry, and its sub-genre, famo, Morena Leraba is gearing up to soon take that unique sound of his to an even wider global audience in Europe in the cities of Paris and Dijon in France, Berlin in Germany and Vienna in Austria.
"Confirmed gigs and festivals will be announced soon," the singer who is currently in Cologne, Germany said on Wednesday.
He made his debut appearance on international scenes in 2014 when he was featured in a song called “Do You Know Lesotho” by a Cape Town/German band, The Free Rangers.
His single “Bojete” followed shortly thereafter and caught the attention of Brooklyn-based producer, Kashaka, leading to collaboration in the song, “Lithebera.
Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Morena Leraba is currently working with a live band that includes Thamsanqa Ngwenya (marimba and vocals), Bronwen Clacherty (percussions and vocals), Molaoa Resholofetse Mosola (drums), Molefi Makananise (bass), Lebogang Edgar Dichabe (guitar) and Steven Hogg (synthesisers).
Like most of his countrymen, Leraba spent much of his youth looking after animals in his home village of Ha Nchela), taking inspiration from the solitude that tending livestock brings.
“If you’re from Lesotho, looking after animals is a common thing,” he says.
“Growing up I was a shepherd, but I also went to school and later university. Still, the experience remains pivotal. Being alone in the mountains you create your own stories every day, and I developed an awesome communication with nature and animals," he recalls.
Dubbed “The shepherd of Lesotho electronic music”, Leraba is a communications and media studies graduate from the National University of Lesotho (NUL) and the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.
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He has made appearances in several notable carnivals that include the Banlieues Bleues Jazz Festival – Paris, France (2017), Festival 2018 (Commonwealth Games) - Queensland, Australia; Festival Groningen - Netherlands (2019) and Cape Town Electronic Music Festival in South Africa (2019).
He also performed at the MTN Bushfire Festival in Mbabane, e-Swatini (2019), Sentebale AUDI Concert 2019 at Hampton Court Palace in London, United Kingdom and the Oslo World Festival 2019 in Oslo, Norway.
"During his teen years, I knew him as a lead member of a hip hop group called The Dungeon. They were young hardcore rappers from Mafeteng. To be honest, I didn't think Teboho would take it this far and become an acclaimed international artist. But we are proud of his achievements,” says another local artist, Tumisang Leshobokho, who also does collaborations, live performances and single songs.