Celebrating the sotho culture
Most crests are European inspired, with this brief; to design a family crest for the Mokoena family we wanted to challenge this ideology, and create an identity that the Mokoena family will be proud of, not only as a Sotho people but as Africans. Everywhere we look in post-colonial Africa we are met with ancient European heraldry art and designs that perpetuate this style; metal shields, knights helmets, latin writing etc. All this can be seen on University badges, security logos, government logos, coat or arms and flags.
So we took a different approach. Instead of writing in english or latin, we used Sesotho the home language of the Mokoena family. Lelapa la Bakoena translates to 'Family of Bakoena'. This designs crest pays homage to the Basotho’s mokorotlo (straw hat) which is the national symbol of Lesotho and the design of the hat is believed to be inspired by the mountain Mount Qiloane. Koena in SeSotho means crocodile/ the crocodile tribe. By merging these symbols together in a simple geometric style that references Sotho mud house wall painting, we were able to create a design that celebrates the Sotho culture.