October 4 is Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Lesotho from the United Kingdom in 1966.
The present Lesotho (then called Basutoland) emerged as a single polity under paramount chief Moshoeshoe I in 1822. Under Moshoeshoe I, Basutoland joined other tribes in their struggle against the Lifaqane associated with the reign of Shaka Zulu from 1818 to 1828.
Subsequent evolution of the state was shaped by contact with the British and Dutch colonists from Cape Colony. Territorial conflicts with both British and Boer settlers arose periodically, including Moshoeshoe’s notable victory over the Boers in the Free State-Basotho War, but the final war in 1867 with an appeal to Queen Victoria, who agreed to make Basutoland a British suzerainty. In 1869, the British signed a treaty with the Boers that defined the boundaries of Basutoland and later Lesotho, which by ceding the western territories effectively reduced Moshoeshoe’s kingdom to half its previous size.
The extent to which the British exerted direct control over Basutoland waxed and waned until Basutoland’s independence in 1966, when it became the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Lesotho, officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country in southern Africa, completely surrounded by South Africa. Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.