For half a century the Basotho people were ruled by the founder of their nation, a wise
and just king who was as brilliant in diplomacy as he was in battle.
To create Basutoland, Moshoeshoe united many diverse groups, uprooted by war, into a stable society where law and order prevailed and the people could raise their crops and cattle in peace. He knew that peace made prosperity possible, and he often avoided conflict through skillful negotiations.
Even so, the Basotho had to fight for their survival. First came plundering Africans, later European colonialists – the British and particularly the Boers, who took more and more land from the Basothos.
Moshoeshoe solidified Basotho defenses at Thaba Bosiu, their impregnable mountain capital. From this stronghold he engineered a number of major victories over superior forces.
But eventually the relentless Boers were about to annihilate the Basothos and take their remaining land. Moshoeshoe persuaded the British to intervene and make Basutoland a protectorate in 1868. It was yet another of his diplomatic coups, one that not only helped assure his nation of its survival but also helped assure Moshoeshoe of a permanent place in African history.