Lithoko are praise poems from Lesotho, which is today a landlocked country surrounded by South Africa. These may be sung to praise chiefs such as Moshoeshoe the founder of the Sotho kingdom, there are also, lithoko tsa makoloane, praises performed at initiation rites and lithoko tsa bafo, the praises of male commoners.
The following self-praises of one commoner, Kola Khoali, was documented by Hugh Tracey in 1959 during his recording tour in 1959.
Be quiet and listen to celebration,
Mixed with cries of weeping…