THE ROYAL ARCHIVES, MUSEUM AND INFORMATION CENTRE
POST OF ACCESS ASSISTANT
The Royal Archives, Museum and Information Centre invites applications from suitably qualified Lesotho nationals for the position of Access Assistant. The successful candidate will be part of the Royal Archives Team.
TERMS OF REFERENCE
Under the general supervision of the Assistant Manager, the Access Assistant will be expected to:
Perform the general paraprofessional duties of the Royal Archives and Museum by mainly servicing the access points
Collect information resources comprising museum objects and archival records
Be in charge of recording acquired/incoming materials
Superintend the circulation of materials being used only for reference within the centre including shelving and shelf reading
Assist in the processing of acquired material
Attend to general Archives and Museum clerical duties.
The incumbent will also perform any other duties that may be assigned from time to time by the Assistant Manager and the Board.
A holder of post-COSC Diploma in Library and Information Studies (LIS)
Possession of strong information computer literacy and skills
Mature self-motivated person
Energetic person with initiative and ability to pay attention to details
Demonstrating a positive attitude and willingness to work on weekends, in the evenings or during holidays when required
Able to efficiently communicate in both written and oral official languages
The center is located within the royal village in the office of the late Paramount Chieftainess ‘Mantåebo Seeiso and King Moshoeshoe II. The official opening itself was quite eventful with a full cultural programme from elders reciting praise poems of Moshoeshoe1 and other important historical figures to performances of Ndlamo, Mokhibo by traditional dancing groups and school groups.
COMMEMORATING THE LIFE OF KING MOSHOESHOE II, 1938-1996
The month of May marks the birth of the late King Moshoeshoe II and is, therefore, very important to the Royal Archives & Museum.This year, in celebration of King Moshoeshoe II�s birthday, we will provide snippets of his life. The following is the first in a series.
King Moshoeshoe II was the eldest son of Morena e Moholo Seeiso Griffith and Mofumahali ‘M’a-Bereng (born Sekhothali Lebopo). He was born on 2nd May, 1938, at Salang, in Mokhotlong district, and given the name Bereng; and named Constantine at baptism. He was also known as ‘Selala’, the initiation name of Letsie I’s son, Bereng, after whom he was named. The name ‘Bereng’ came from the way Basotho pronounced ‘Barends’, the name of a Griqua man, Barends Barends, whom Letsie I had befriended.
Khosana (Prince) Bereng Constantine Seeiso received private tutoring from 1942 until 1947 when he joined Roma College (later Christ the King High School), where he completed his Junior Certificate in 1953. He then proceeded to Ampleforth College in 1954, and then to Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, in 1957, both in the United Kingdom. At Oxford he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE). On the 12th March, 1960, Khosana Bereng Seeiso was installed as Motlotlehi (His Majesty) Moshoeshoe II. Unlike his predecessors, he was neither a colonial Paramount Chief nor a traditional Morena e Moholo. On 23rd August, 1962, he married Khosatsana (Princess) Tabitha ‘M’asentle Mojela, daughter of Morena Thabo Lerotholi Mojela and Mofumahali Tabitha Pali Mojela ( born Nkuebe) in a splendid Roman Catholic wedding held at Mofumahali oaThlolo (Our Lady of Victories) Cathedral in Maseru. They were blessed with two sons, Khosana Mohato (now King Letsie III); Khosana Seeiso (now Principal Chief of Matsieng), and a daughter, Khosatsana (Princess) ‘M’a-Seeiso, who sadly passed away in 1994, after a short illness.
King Moshoeshoe II’s 36 year reign started at a time of dramatic changes in Africa in general and in Lesotho in particular. Basotho, like other African nations, were clamouring for the restoration of their independence after close to a century of British colonial rule. Like Letsie I, Moshoeshoe II was going to be the first king after the introduction of a new and unfamiliar political arrangement. On succeeding his father in 1870, Letsie found himself faced with a situation where he did not exercise power in a manner similar to what his father had done and, instead, having to receive orders from and account to white colonial officials. Moshoeshoe II was destined to rule a country in which political power was going to reside not in the hands of the king but of the commoners whose voice was now going to be greater than that of the king. Needles to say, this presented the young king with challenges that none of his forbears had faced.
His very ascension to the throne in 1960 became very controversial and divided the country into the supporters of the king on the one hand and the supporters of Chieftainess Mants’ebo (his father’s senior wife who had acted as regent from 1940 when his father died) on the other. The formation of the Marema Tlou Party late in the 1950s to push for his enthronement was just one indication of how divided the nation was as well as of how committed some politicians were to the cause. He ascended to the throne after failing to secure a set of constitutional conditions that he would have preferred and therefore became king under a constitutional arrangement to which he was wrongly or rightly opposed. The problems that Moshoeshoe II had had during negotiations for Lesotho’s independence continued after independence. The country received its independence in October, 1966 and less than five years later politicians forced the king into exile in the Netherlands. He came back from exile under extremely restrictive political conditions which were imposed on him by the government of the day.
Following a military coup in January 1986 the king agreed to work with the military government but this uneasy alliance collapsed some four years later in 1990. One of the consequences of that fallout was that once again he was exiled and later dethroned in November, 1990. When he died in 1996 King Moshoeshoe II had just been returned to the throne by the government a year earlier in January, 1995.
King Moshoeshoe II left behind him many significant milestones to which he had contributed directly or indirectly. The king was not only an important factor in Lesotho’s negotiations for independence from Britain but after independence he engaged in a series of efforts to find lasting solutions to the problems of poverty, inequitable society, lack of respect for human rights and instability in Lesotho in particular and in the region in general. The results of these efforts remain today as building blocks for national and regional development. As an internationalist, King Moshoeshoe II was well-known as a fighter against apartheid in South Africa – one of the primary explanations, in fact, for the uneasiness and eventual collapse of his alliance with the military government.
Download Genealogy of the Great Chiefs and Kings of Lesotho
The official Launch of the Royal Archives
His Majesty King Letsie III will officially launch the Royal Archives at a ceremony to be held on the 30th November 2012 at Royal Archives building in Matsieng, adjacent to the Royal Home at 9:00 a.m.
The royal family has been based at Matsieng continuously since the founding of Matsieng, which has been a ‘royal hub’ of the Basotho kingship and chieftainship. The documents that have accumulated at Matsieng cover material dating from the early 19th century. The collection includes records of historical, political, legal and economic significance: The collection was rescued from the Royal residence by the National University of Lesotho Archives in 2007 after the ceiling of their building collapsed, leaving the paper documents exposed to the rain. Among the records are: records on chieftainship and succession to high office; court proceedings and judgements; boundary disputes and resolutions; traditional marriage systems and records; inheritance documentation and disputes; official speeches; correspondence; publications; official administrative records; records of public works; and financial records of government divisions.
The Royal Archives, Museum and Information Resource Centre is a registered non-governmental organization which was established in March 2008 by the Royal family and is administered on its behalf by professionals in various fields of academia. The Royal Archives, Museum and Information Resource centre is administered, on behalf of the Royal Family, by a ten member Board of Trustees, all of whom are volunteers, experts and professionals in fields related to anthropology, cultural, historical and library studies, archives and museum, and architecture.
The institution has already achieved a lot. rescuing of the archives, treatment, cataloguing, digitisation. with the official opening the archives will now be open to the public. The Royal Archives and Museum will work hand in hand with Matsieng Community in various developmental projects meant to empower residents of Matsieng and surrounding areas. These strategies are planned to empower the community whilst eradicating poverty. Youth empowerment is among key outreach programmes that the Royal Archives and Museum has planned for the future.