In any gathering, if there is one thing that can get a group of people together in an instant is dikhwaere. This year’s Son of the Soil (SOTS) was no exception and the culture aficionados displayed a beautiful swarming behaviour whenever the DJ rocked their favourite dikhwaere song.
While swarming is a collective behaviour exhibited particularly by animals, especially flying insects, the uniqueness of people swarming at SOTS is that they aggregate together to form a beautiful dikhwaere colony.
Like a group of flying ants swarming the sky in summer, women’s varying colours of German print and African print formed a rainbow, as the lovers of dikoma migrated in some different direction.
While dancing to dikwaere requires moving back and forth and sometimes forming a circle, the routine was like no other and all people wanted to do was dance and sing along as the voice of Shumba Ratshega’s Dumelang rumbled from the speakers.
‘Dumelang Batswana dumelang’, the lyrics of Shumba Ratshega’s song was also meaningful as a group of strangers came together in less than a minute to enjoy that particular moment.
The green at Serokolwane Lawns was waterlogged due to recent heavy rains, but people cared less as they trampled on the muddy grass leaving their feet soaked wet.
Even though the group of happy souls was milling about the same spot, they initially came from different tents labelled as wards or dikgotla in Setswana language. The centre stage was a playground of dikhwaere and others nearly slipped and fell as they ran back to the centre stage.
There is only one man who has the ability to flock people together in a split second and it is none other than Dr. Vom, the man who had the President on his feet last September.
With his signature song
He was at his best. After he finished the performance, everyone left for their respective dikgotla and the centre stage was clear like the sky after a thunderstorm.
It is said that when a colony of ants gets too big it parts with a new queen to form an entirely new colony elsewhere. The people at Son of the Soil displayed swarming behaviour due to the love they have for dikhwaere and the fact that they were brought together by the same thing, did not kill the competitive spirit within.
Speaking of competition, the battle for the dikhwaere crown continued as the people from the Northern and Southern parts of Botswana took to the stage.
The line was drawn but as soon as the battle began, the geographical line of Dibete was breached once again with the North aiming to take the crown for the first time ever.
The North started well and the South’s lukewarm first song almost cost them the crown. The choice of song killed the North in what was supposed to be an easy win at the finish line. The South came back more fierce as they silenced their opponents when they sang the final song.
While the North repeatedly sang ‘a di bope dipoo’ throughout, the South’s ‘ke rekile terekere’ song was enough for them to retain the title.