Botswana Defence Force (BDF) held its 9th Inter Garrison Gospel Choir competitions at Sir Seretse Khama Barracks over the weekend.
The objective of the annual competition is to bring together military personnel, their spouses, dependents and the members of the community in a communion of faith through a gospel-inspired music competition. The coordinator Chaplain Captain Obert Magagwa said the event began back in 2007. “This event is special because it shows how we communicate with God through music.
Gospel is very significant in connecting us with God,” Brigadier Magare Gilbert Dithupa highlighted in his welcome remarks. There were seven choirs from different BDF camps. Each choir was expected to perform two songs that they were being judged on. The songs were the standard song and Lerabi, which is a danceable song.
Remain Ahead from Thebephatshwa Air Base scooped first position and gold medals with 76.2 points. The silver medallist position went to Vision Catchers from Francistown 2MG with 75.2 points. In third position was Hope of Glory choir from Glen Valley with 74 points. The winners were also given cash prizes with first position pocketing P2,000, P1,500 for second position while third got P1,000.
The standard song winner was Hope of Glory, with Remain Ahead winning Lerabi section. The best conductor award went to Terence Moses Dube of Hope of Glory choir. All the winners received trophies.
The adjudicators were Mike Modise, Goitseone Phuti and Temba Bothata. Modise explained that in the standard song, they expected the voices of choir to blend. “We looked at the placement of voices. If they are placed properly and for the
For the best conductor, the role of the conductor is to show how the song flows and balance the voices,” he said. He further explained that it was hard to select the best conductor because they lacked the basics of conducting. He suggested that the conductors should be trained on conducting prior to the competitions so as to improve their skills.
“In a gospel competition we are all winners and we do not have losers because we are praising God. I am grateful for the presence of everyone who saw it fit to come enjoy with us,” he added. “I am going to look for incentives to give to the winners and events like this mean a lot to families because they get an opportunity to be together and enjoy as a family,”
Brigadier Lingililani Joseph said. A representative of Old mutual, who are the sponsors of the competition, Winnie Lekang said they are very famous for choir competitions such as the national choir festival in South Africa.
“It hosts choirs from around five countries which is Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa. This year we were not able to bring the Old Mutual choir festival to Botswana so BDF came to us and asked for our sponsorship. We saw it as a good opportunity to extend a helping hand to the community we are in right now,” she said.