Ha Mamathe, Lesotho — Senate Masupha sits in her family home in the village of Ha Mamathe in Lesotho, under a portrait of her late mother.
The inscription on the portrait, written in the Sesotho language, acknowledges her mother's role as principal chief of Ha Mamathe and the villages that surround it -- a position that she held for 12 years before her death in 2008.
Outside, the carefully tended flower garden, wooden trimmings on the porch and old sandstone buildings have a story to tell. For generations, members of the Masupha family have lived and served as chiefs of this area.
David Masupha, Senate Masupha's father, was principal chief before his death in 1996, and was a direct descendant of King Moshoeshoe I, the revered founder of Lesotho, home to the Basotho people.
"My parents were chiefs for all of their lives -- that was their right. I felt very secure when I was growing up," recalls Masupha. "But when my mother passed on, I was taken out of my comfort zone. There was a sudden tension in the family about who would inherit the chieftainship. I was a victim of this tension, because it was as if I wasn't even there."
Masupha is the only child in her family, but Lesotho's laws prohibit women from inheriting the chieftainship. Women can take on the role if their chief husbands die, but afterwards the position can be inherited only by a male heir.