Lesotho – The Three Kings

Three Kings are featured on the front of out banknote. On our right, wearing the hat, is the first king, King Moshoeshoe. On our left, wearing glasses, is King Moshoeshoe II (Constantine Bereng Seeiso) (1938-1996). In the center is the present King of Lesotho,King Letsie III (born David Mohato
Bereng Seeiso; 17 July 1963). 

The First King…

King Moshoeshoe I, was born in 1780 the eldest son of a chief of a regional clan known as the Basotho people.1 Renowned for bravery, as a young man he organized a raid on a rival, the Ramonaheng, and took posession of their herds of cattle. As customary among his people, he composed a poem depicting his exploits in which he declared that he had “shaved the beards” of the rival Ramonaheng; the action of shaving a beard making a sound resembling the sound of the spoken words “shoe” …. “shoe”, he became affectionately know as Moshoeshoe, “the shaver”.

Moshoeshoe and his followers established their village and began to grow in the early 19th century coincident with the nearby rise of Shakra and the Zulu kingdom. Military pressure from the nearby and growing Zulu, forced Moshoeshoe to relocate his people to the Qiloane plateau (elevation 2 km) which proved to be an impregnable stronghold for the people. It was later named Thaba Bosiu or “mountain at night” because it was believed “to grow during the night and shrink during day”,2 enhancing its defensive qualities. The era was to become known as “the time of troubles”3due to incessant conflicts. But Moshoeshoe took care of his people and prospered.

In addition to bravery, Moshoeshoe became renowned for diplomacy. During the time of troubles, his influence grew as he extended friendship to defeated enemies, providing them with land and protection. In later years, in the era that would come to be the Boer Wars, Moshoeshoe negotiated a treaty for protection of his people under Great Britain. With his death in 1870, the colonial era is considered to have begun. However the status of Lesotho was that of British protectorate, as negotiated by King Moshoeshoe I, rather than that of many other colonies, a forced annexation. Moshoeshoe’s people would continue on.

The Kingdom of Lesotho…

In 1966, the Kingdom of Lesotho came into existence with independence from Great Britain. The ruling party, upon losing in the first post-independence election, refused to cede power to the election winners, and imprisoned its political opponents. A struggle continued until 1986, twenty years following independence, when a military coup d’etat pushed the usurpers out of power and brought in Constantine Bereng Seeiso, who took the name King Moshoeshoe II. When he sought to strengthen executive power through amending the constitution, he was forced into exile and his son was installed as King Letsie III. King Moshoeshoe II was reinstated as king in 1995, but briefly, dying in an accident in 1996. His son, King Letsie III was brought as king and so continues to this day.

And King Meshoeshoe’s people continue, to this day.


The flag and coat of arms of Lesotho are shown above.

Known as Basutoland, established as a British crown colony in 1884. Called the Kingdom of Lesotho upon its independence from Great Britain in 1966, October 4.

closeup detail from swaziland 10 lilangeni banknote, year 2014 back


Swaziland 10 Lilangeni Banknote — Year 2014 — Face and Back
swaziland 10 lilangeni banknote, year 2014 back
swaziland 10 lilangeni banknote, year 2014 front
closeup of artwork on seychelles 10 rupees banknote front, featuring sea turtle


Seychelles 10 Rupees Banknote, Face and Back
seychelles 10 rupees banknote front, featuring sea turtle
seychelles 10 Rupees banknote back, featuring coat of arms
closeup detail from Namibia 10 Dollars 2015 banknote front (2)


Namibia 10 Dollar Banknote – Face and Back

Namibia $10 banknote front

Dr. Sam Nujoma is featured on our banknote of Namibia.

Namibia $10 banknote back, featuring springbok
Malawi 50 Kwacha 2017 banknote back featuring elephants of Malawi

Elephants of Malawi

50 Kwacha Banknote – Face and Back
Malawi 50 Kwacha Banknote back, featuring elephant and eco tourists
Malawi, 50 kwacha, back

Elephants, a tree, and a safari vehicle in Kasungu National Park decorate the back of this banknote.

Kasungu National Park extends along the Zambian border.  It averages 1000 meters in elevation and is covered with woodlands and bush and numerous grassy river channels running through it.  It provides home for elephants and hippos, antelope, impala, zebras and buffalo.  The illustration shows a safari vehicle in the foreground and an elephant nearby, but the perspective belies the true size of our beloved creatures. 

photo of elephant and safari vehicle
photo from internet

Try this photo. 

Our elephants can be 4 meters tall!

closeup detail of Malawi 50 Kwacha Banknote back, featuring 2 elephants
detail from back of Malawi 50 kwacha banknote

African elephants are very social beings.  Both the men and women have tusks.  The elephants illustrated in the 50 kwacha note are a mother and child.  Herds are led by a matriarch, usually the oldest woman and consist of their daughters, sisters and their children.  The boys remain with the herd through adolescence and then generally move on.  The men tend to be loners but will sometimes congregate in smaller bachelor pods.  Now for the tree.

If you look closely, the immensity of the tree trunk can be seen below baby’s neck and through mama’s legs.  Yes, this appears to be none other than the wonderful Baobab!  Please compare it to this photo from the field.

photo of baobab tree in Malawi
“Tolkein Tree”, Liwonde national Park, Malawi

This baobab tree resides in Liwonde national Park, Malawi, which is just 250 miles are so, as the creatures roam, from Kasungu national park.

The baobab is also known as the “Tree of Life”.

As to why this particular tree is called the “Tolkein Tree”, well, that is a tale for another post.

For more stories from the Southern Africa in this website, click here.

Zambia 50 Kwacha banknote back (2), featuring imafe of Zanco Mpundu Mutembo breaking his chains

Zambia – The Chain Breaking Man

Art of Zambia 50 Kwacha Banknote – Face and Back
Zambia 50 Kwacha banknote back
Zambia 50 Kwacha banknote back
closeup detail of Zambia 50 Kwacha Banknote, featuring  Zanco Mpundu Mutembo as “Chain Breaking Man”
detail from Zambia 50 kwacha banknote, reverse, “Chain Breaking Man”

Zanco Mpundu Mutembo was arrested and handcuffed with chains which he broke in the presence of 18 soldiers armed with guns.


Shockingly, he broke the chains in full view of soldiers and photographers who took shots of what seem like magical power.

He dropped out of school after his father’s death and joined the political struggle led by Robert Makasa and Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe .

In 1957, having already made his impact in Northern Province, suffering imprisonment and beatings in the process, Mutembo, along with seven others were sent to Kenya where Dedan Kimathi was leading a rebellion against the colonial rulers. Their mission was to learn how to carry out their own rebellion back home.

Before Kaunda and others would speak, Mutembo would go on stage first to tell the crowds how bad the colonial government was hence the importance to fight for independence.

Early 1960s, Kaunda wrote a letter to the governor, Sir Arthur Benson, to protest against a clause in the constitution that gave Europeans an upper hand in the legislature. Mutembo took up the task to deliver the letter to Government House (now State House ).

On his way out, however, he was arrested and tortured. At about 15:00 hours that day, he was taken to Kaunda’s office in Chilenje where he was celebrated as a hero.

About 03:00 hours the following day, Mutembo was taken to Cairo Road where he climbed a tree with a megaphone to denounce the new constitution. At 06:00 hours, he started proclaiming his message, but was soon surrounded by police who threatened to shoot him if he did not get down. He was arrested.

Today, the tree still stands opposite the Main Post Office and later came to be known as “Zanco Tree “.

Mutembo appeared in court after having been involved in a political brawl in Matero . He had been badly beaten in the fight and lost two of his front teeth, a mark he still bears. When the judge asked him to demonstrate to the court how he had been beaten, the young freedom fighter walked across the courtroom from the witness box and, reaching where one of the prosecutors – a white man – was standing, and punched him in the face, giving him a bloody nose. His action was a blatant show of rebellion in the face of the colonial government. At the end of the trial, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison plus four lashes for punching the prosecutor. He was sent to Livingstone State Prison where he was held in chains.

At Force Headquarters, after being interviewed, he was taken to a room where 18 military officers stood with guns at ready. He was then handcuffed to a chain and ordered to break free or get shot. Shockingly, he pulled so hard and broke the chains in full view of soldiers and photographers who took photos of what seemed like magical power. It was from these photos that the Freedom Statue would be crafted by casting experts.

Mutembo was also given an official vehicle – a Land Rover station wagon – bearing the initials of his status “SNNRG” (symbol of the nation Northern Rhodesia Government) and a Union Jack.

A statue was made depicting the scenario when Mutembo broke the chains in 1963. On October 23, 1974, during the celebrations of the 10th Anniversary of Zambia’s independence, the Freedom Statue was unveiled and became a symbol of Zambia’s freedom from the British colonial regime, and has earned its place on some of the country’s most important articles, including its currency. The statue is a reminder of Zambia’s fight for freedom. It is displayed at the Government Complex along Independence Avenue in Lusaka.

For more stories from Southern Africa in this website, click here.

Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar banknote 2008 front (2), featuring balanced stones

Zimbabwe – The Signpost of the Balancing Rocks

Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar Banknote, Year 2008 – Face and Back
Balancing Rocks of Zimbabwe featured on Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar banknote 2008
Balancing Rocks of Zimbabwe featured on Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar banknote 2008 front

This stacked configuration of rocks is a common trail marker for hikers in North America, and, I’d guess, the rest of the world.  Two stones stacked might be a coincidence.  But three stones stacked, or more, isn’t considered natural.  Such stacking is an evidence of intent, and therefore, a signal, or signpost.  And so, such hand stacked stones are commonly used for trail markers in the wilderness.

But these rocks in Zimbabwe are massive. They weigh tons.  For a sense of scale, note in the image, the treetops surrounding the stones.

What giants stacked such stones?

And what sign did they wish to leave for us?  What trail did they intend to mark?

They are signposts of the constructing powers nature.  These stones congealed from molten lavas, as plutonic granites, within massive volcanic flows, just beneath the surface of the earth.  As subsequent ages of erosion by wind and water lowered the surface of the land, and scoured the soils between the stones, these giants of the past were left, revealed.

The travel brochures tell us that the stones symbolize a need for balance between development and ecological preservation.  That’s nice sentiment, and I am sure it is true.  But it’s a sentiment that feels somehow imposed, rather than derived; and more contrived to sell postcards rather than to communicate a wisdom learned.

 Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar banknote 2008 front , featuring balancing stones

Especially considering this simple 3 stone signpost of nature appears beside the number One Hundred Trillion on a Zimbabwe banknote.  “Trillion” is a word that was almost never heard a decade ago.  It was used for measurements in science but almost never for money.  A trillion is a thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand.  It’s a number that we really cannot imagine.  A thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand dollar bills, stacked on top of each other, would reach over 60 miles high.  That number on a banknote indicates something seriously out of balance.

In the 1990s, president Robert Mugabe used monetary policy to rebalance the country’s culture after the serious racial imbalance of the past.  The adjustments created serious imbalances in other ways. and the national economy was impoverished.   The relation between a day’s labor, and the money received, became entirely out of balance. An imbalance of money was printed to offset the other imbalances; and the self-perpetuating cycle of hyperinflation took off, until the dollar was meaningless.  This 100 trillion dollar banknote, in just a short time, became equal to zero.

zimbabwe leagal scales in gold

Imagine placing 100 trillion dollars on one side of a balance scale and nothing on the other side, and the scale showing a perfect balance.

But those three stacked stones remain, balanced, an eternal signpost.

Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar banknote 2008 back
Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar banknote 2008 back

For more stories from Southern Africa in this website, click here.

Malawi 1 Kwacha 1992 banknote back (2) featuring workers harvesting tobacco

Malawi – Tobacco

Malawi 1 Kwacha Banknote – Face and Back
Malawi 1 kwacha banknote (1993) reverse, featuring farmers harvesting tobacco
Malawi, 1 hwatcha banknote, featuring tobacco workers

From wikipedia here:   Tobacco production in Malawi is one of the nation’s largest sources of income. As of 2005, Malawi was the 12th largest producer of tobacco leaves and the 7th largest global supporter of tobacco leaves. As of 2010, Malawi was the world’s leading producer of burley leaf tobacco. With the decline of tobacco farms in the West, interest in Malawi’s low-grade, high-nicotine tobacco has increased. Today, Malawian tobacco is found in blends of nearly every cigarette smoked in industrialized nations including the popular and ubiquitous Camel and Marlboro brands. It is the world’s most tobacco dependent economy.

Burley leaf from Malawi makes up 6.6 percent of the worlds tobacco exports and accounts for over 70 percent of Malawi’s foreign earnings. Tobacco sales generate 165 million dollars per year for Malawi, with tobacco making up 53 percent of Malawi’s exports.

Approximately 75 percent of the population depends on tobacco farming although only a small proportion of Malawians are smokers. 5 million workers are indirectly employed in related industries or are family members of tobacco workers.

Malawi 1 kwacha banknote (1993) obverse, featuring portrait of President-for-Life Hastings Banda
Malawi, 1 kwatcha banknote, 1992, President-for-Life Hastings Banda

During the era of Hastings Banda, 1966-1994, the local tobacco industry grew and changed and flourished.  Production rose 100% by the 1970s from the pre-independence days.  Furthermore in the 1970s, tobacco production began its huge shit from the “developed” nations to the “developing” nations, a movement upon which Malawi capitalized.  Formerly one of the very poorest of African nations, its economy has been bolstered substantially by tobacco.

Malawi gained independence in 1964, and Banda the presidency in 1966.  In 1970 he was named President-for-Life, a position held until he lost a UN pressured election in 1994.

Malawi 5 Kwacha 2005 banknote back (2) Featuring mother and children preparing food - Food Security

Malawi – Food Security

Malawi 5 Kwacha Banknote, Year 2005 – Face and Back
Malawi 5 kwacha banknote  (2005) reverse - featuring an image of family preparing food - Food Security
Malawi, 2005 banknote, 5 kwatcha, featuring artist’s theme “Food Security”

“Food Security”.  The beautiful artwork suggest, perhaps, a Mother, two older daughters and a young child.  The Mother is smiling.  She is pouring into a basket almost ready to overflow. This makes her happy.  Her family will be fed into the future.  The older daughters are working the heavy poles, processing the produce picked from the fields behind them.  They have learned their Mother’s ways and priorities.  One must provide for food for the family.  The young one is learning from her older sisters.  The artwork is beautiful.  The illustration is moving.

As I write this, I am mesmerized.  I am sitting in a pub, on my second beer, feeling a little uncomfortable because I ate too much food for lunch.  As I did yesterday.  And the day before.  And the day before that.  As I am getting older, I do find myself worried about “security” in my future.  Some kinds of security.  But I have never, not for one moment, ever, in my now somewhat long life, been worried over food security.  Have you?  I’d love to hear your stories.

A site I just discovered is here, the Famine Early Warning System Network, referenced from this Malawi report, here.  From this, I learn that there are very many people working together toward Food Security.  I want to help. 

Do you?

Malawi 5 kwacha banknote  (2005) front, featuring portrait of John Chilembwe
Malawi, 5 kwatcha banknote, featuring John Chilembwe, Preacher and Political Activist, early advocate of Independence for Malawi
Malawi 20 2015 back

Malawi – 2015

Malawi 20 Kwacha Banknote, Year 2015 – Face and Back
Malawi 20 Kwacha banknote, year 2015 back back, featuring machinga teachers training college, text books and graduation cap and tassle
Malawi 20 Kwacha banknote, year 2015 front, featuring portrait of  Inkosi Ya Makhosi M’Mbelwa II, also known as Lazalo Mkhuzo Jere
Malawi banknote, featuring Inkosi Ya Makhosi M’Mbelwa II, also known as Lazalo Mkhuzo Jere
Malawi 5 Kwacha 2005 banknote front (2), featuring John Chilembwe, a minister and educator

Malwai – John Chilembwe

Malawi 50 Kwacha Banknote – Face and Back
Malawi 50 kwacha banknote (2007) reverse , featuring Independence Arch - Blantyre

Featured on the back side of our banknote is the Independence Arch of Malawi, which also featured significantly in the independence celebrations of 2017, chronicled in the local media here.

Malawi 50 kwacha banknote  (2007) obverse, featuring John Chilembwe

John Chilembwe, a minister and educator, was against the colonial movement in the days of Nyasaland, the early 20th century.

The following is from a Wikipedia article here:
The Chilembwe uprising was a rebellion against British colonial rule in Nyasaland (modern-day Malawi) in January 1915, led by John Chilembwe, an American-educated Baptist minister, whose radical evangelical views of racial injustice may also have been influenced by millenarian Christians. Based around his church in the village of Mbombwe in the south-east of the country, the revolt was centered on the black middle class and encouraged by grievances against the colonial system, including forced labour, discrimination and the new demands on the indigenous population caused by the outbreak of World War I.

The revolt broke out in the evening of the 23rd January 1915, when rebels, incited by Chilembwe, attacked the A. L. Bruce plantation’s headquarters at Magomero and killed three white colonists; and a largely unsuccessful attack on a weapons store in Blantyre followed during the night. By the morning of the 24th January the colonial authorities had mobilised the white settler militia and redeployed regular military forces south. After a failed attack on Mbombwe by troops of the King’s African Rifles (KAR) on the 25th January, a group of rebels attacked a Christian mission at Nguludi and burned it down. The KAR and militia took Mbombwe without encountering resistance on the 26th January after many of the rebels, including Chilembwe, fled, hoping to reach safety in neighbouring Portuguese East Africa (modern Mozambique). About 40 rebels were executed in the revolt’s aftermath, and 300 were imprisoned; Chilembwe was shot dead by a police patrol near the border on the 3rd February.

Although the rebellion did not itself achieve lasting success, it is commonly cited as a watershed moment in Nyasaland history. The rebellion had lasting effects on the British system of administration in Nyasaland and some reform was enacted in its aftermath. After World War II, the growing Malawian nationalist movement reignited interest in the Chilembwe revolt, and after the independence of Malawi in 1964 it became celebrated as a key moment in the nation’s history. Chilembwe’s memory, which remains prominent in the collective national consciousness, has often been invoked in symbolism and rhetoric by Malawian politicians. Today, the uprising is celebrated annually and Chilembwe himself is considered a national hero.

malawi The last known photo of John Chilembwe (left), leader of the uprising, taken in 1914 from wikipedia
The last know photograph of John Chilembwe (from Wikipedia article sited above).
Malawi 100 Kwacha 2014 banknote front (2) James Frederick Sangala, nicknamed Pyagusi by his people, One Who Perseveres

Malawi – James Frederick Sangala

Malawi 100 Kwacha Banknote, Year 2014 – Face and Back
Malawi 100 kwacha banknote 2014 front, featuring portrait of James Frederick Sangala

James Frederick Sangala, nicknamed Pyagusi by his people, One Who Perseveres, was instrumental in the independence movement of Malawi in the middle 20th century.

Malawi 100 kwacha banknote 2014 back, featuring College of Medecine and stethescope
Malawi 200 Kwacha 2017 banknote front (2) featuring Rose Lomathinda Chibambo, “One of the Founders of Malawi”

Malawi – Rose Chibambo

Malawi 200 Kwacha Banknote – Face and Back
Malawi 200 kwacha banknote (2018) face, featuring portrait of  Rose Lomathinda Chibambo

Rose Lomathinda Chibambo, featured on our banknote, has been heralded as “One of the Founders of Malawi” by a local news outlet upon her 2016 passing.  More of this talented and courageous woman’s story is told below.

Malawi 200 kwacha banknote back

From Wikipedia:
Rose Chibambo organised Malawian women in their political fight against the British as a political force to be reckoned with alongside their menfolk in the push for independence. She was arrested on 23 March 1959, two days after giving birth to a girl, and taken to Zomba prison. Her fellow freedom fighters, including Hastings Banda were arrested earlier, on the morning of 3 March when governor Robert Armitage declared a state of emergency. After Malawi gained independence in 1964, Rose Chibambo was the first woman minister in the new cabinet. When she fell out with Dr. Hastings Banda she was forced into exile for thirty years, returning after the restoration of democracy.

Mozambique 5000 Metical 1988 banknote front (2) featuring wood carving by Alberto Chissano

Mozambique – 5000 Meticals – Year 1988

Mozambique 5000 Meticals Banknote, Year 1988 – Face and Back
Mozambique 5000 Meticals banknote 1988 front, featuring wood carving by Alberto Chissano and painting by Malangatana Valente
Mozambique 1988

The image on the left 1 is a wood carving by Mozambique’s son, Alberto Chissano.  The image on the right is a painting by Malangatana Valente.

Mozambique 5000 Meticals banknote 1988 back
Mozambique 1988

The emblem of Mozambique is on the front of our banknote.  It’s symbols are explicitly defined in the constitution.

closeup of Mozambique 5000 Metical banknote 1988 banknote back (2)
Mozambique 1988

From the constitution:
Article 194 The emblem of the Republic of Mozambique shall contain as its central elements a book, a gun and a hoe, superimposed on a map of Mozambique, representing, respectively, education, defense and vigilance, and the peasantry and agricultural production. Below the map the ocean shall be represented. In the center shall be the rising sun, symbol of the building of a new life. Enclosing all this shall be a toothed wheel, symbolizing labor and industry. Surrounding the toothed wheel there shall be, to the right and left respectively, an ear of maize and a piece of sugar cane, symbolizing agricultural wealth. At the bottom there shall be a red strip with the inscription “Republic of Mozambique.”2

Angola 5 kwanza 2012 banknote (B550) back featuring bird flying over Ruacana waterfalls

Angola 2012 – 5 Kwanza – Year 2012

Angolan 5 Kwanza Banknote Year 2012 – Face and Back

Angola 5 Kwanza Banknote Year 2012 front featuring double bust of Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Antonio Agostinho Neto, two presidents of Angola.
Angola, 5 kwanza banknote, dated 2012

Conjoined busts of Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Antonio Agostinho Neto, two presidents of Angola.

António Agostinho Neto (17 September 1922 – 10 September 1979) served as the 1st President of Angola (1975–1979), having led the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in the war for independence (1961–1974). Until his death, he led the MPLA in the civil war (1975–2002). Known also for his literary activities, he is considered Angola’s preeminent poet. His birthday is celebrated as National Heroes’ Day, a public holiday in Angola.1

José Eduardo dos Santos, born 28 August 1942)[2] is an Angolan politician who served as President of Angola from 1979 to 2017. As President, José Eduardo dos Santos was also the commander in chief of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and President of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the party that has ruled Angola since it gained independence in 1975. He was the second-longest-serving president in Africa, surpassed only by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, who took power less than two months before dos Santos.2

Angola 5 Kwanza Banknote Year 2012 back featuring the Ruacana waterfalls
Angola, 5 kwanza banknote, 2012

The Ruacana waterfalls are featured on the back of our banknote.  The Ruacana falls are on the Kuene river which forms much of the border between Angola to the North and its neighbor Namibia to the South.

closeup of Angola coat of arms from Angola 5 kwanza banknote
Angola Coat of Arms

The Angola coat of arms is featured on our banknote.

Central is the machete and the hoe, symbols of revolution and agricultural workers.

The star rising represents progress.

The right half of the circle is a cog, or gear, symbolic of industrial workers.  The left half of the circle is a wreath of maize and cotton leaves, symbolic of agricultural workers.

The banner is Portuguese for Republic of Angola.

Angola celebrates its independence day November 11.  November 11, 1975 is the date of independence from Portugal.

closeup of Lesotho coat of arms from Lesotho 5 maloti banknote

Lesotho – 5 Maloti – Year 1989

Lesotho 5 Maloti Banknote – Year 1989 – Face and Back
lesotho 5 maloti banknote year 1989 front featuring portrait of King Moshoeshoe of Lesotho

Lesotho, “the land of the people who speak Sesotho”1
Depicted on the front of our banknote is King Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho.  Moshoeshoe II presided as king in Lesotho during the era in which Lesotho gained full independence from Great Britain in 1966. He took his name from the great King Moshoeshoe I, founder of the kingdom in the 18th century.

lesotho 5 maloti banknote year 1989 back featuring  Maletsunyane Falls of Lesotho

The waterfalls depicted on our banknote our located in very remote territory, and, consequently, seen by very few people.. This is the Maletsunyane Falls of Lesotho, on the river of the same name.

The banknote featured is Lesotho, 5 maloti, dated 1989.  The currency is named loti, plural is maloti.

Lesotho celebrates its Independence Day on October 4.  In 1966, Lesotho declared its independence from Great Britain.

closeup of Lesotho coat of arms from Lesotho 5 maloti banknote
Lesotho Coat of Arms

The coat of arms of Lesotho is featured on our banknote.

The central crocodile is featured on a Basotho shield, the symbol for the largest ethnicity in Lesotho.  This symbol has been retained from Basutoland which preceded the establishment of Lesotho.

The shield is upheld by two Basotho horses.

Two weapons, the knobkierie club and the assegai spear are crossed behind the shield.  Vertically between them is a thyrsus tipped with ostrich feathers.

Peace, Rain, Prosperity, the motto of Lesotho, is written on the banner below