Samuel Matekane (1968-)

Matekane smiling in a purple and green jacket in the countryside
Samuel Matekane, Maputo, Mozambique, September 20, 2022
Courtesy European Union Election Observation Mission under Creative Commons

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Samuel Matekane became Prime Minister of Lesotho on October 28, 2022. Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane was born on March 15, 1968 in the remote town of Mantsonyane, Lesotho. His parents were Hoohol and Mantuba Matekane and he was the 7th of 14 children. Matekane attended Bocheletsane primary school in his hometown and, later, Mabathoana High School in Maseru the capital of Lesotho.

In 1980 Matekane started a business importing donkeys from South Africa and selling them in Lesotho. A few years later he expanded his business into manufacturing bricks and then mining and selling sand. He further expanded his business interests into transportation, construction, and property development.

In 1992 Matekane consolidated his ventures into the Matekane Group of Companies. Twelve years later, in 2004 he created the Matekane Mining Investment Company which is involved in diamond mining in Lesotho. In 2009 he turned his attention to aviation by creating a small airline after becoming the first Mosotho (citizen of Lesotho) to own an aircraft. Today he is considered the wealthiest person in Lesotho. His business acumen has been widely praised and in 2021 he was awarded Forbes Best Africa Entrepreneur Award.

Matekane is also highly regarded for to his philanthropic endeavors. He created the Sam Matekane Foundation. He has donated funds for local community development, scholarships for students from primary to university level, and promoted soccer by building a football stadium in Lesotho. He has donated ambulances, ICU beds and wheelchairs to hospitals throughout the country. During the COVID-19 pandemic be provided testing equipment, vaccines and medical necessities to hospitals and clinics in Lesotho.

In March 2022 Matekane announced he was entering politics by forming a new political party, Revolution for Prosperity. He spent freely during campaign and used his personal helicopter to campaign throughout the country. His “rags to riches” life story attracted voters along with his promise to make Lesotho great.

In the 2022 general election Matekane’s party won 56 seats in the National Assembly; just five seats shy of a outright majority. His party formed a coalition with two smaller parties and Matekane became Prime Minster on October 28, 2022.

Matekane has promised to fight corruption in Lesotho. He plans to lower the government debt and hopes to create jobs to boost employment in Lesotho. He has also promised not to take a government salary as Prime Minister. Matekane is the father of seven children and several grandchildren.

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