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Francistown Jazz festival finally here

KOKETSO KGOBOGE
Selaelo Selota PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
FRANCISTOWN: The first chapter of the long-awaited Francistown Jazz Festival will finally be held on Saturday at the Francistown Old Stadium. The jazz festival will be first of its kind in the northeast, which had previously failed to take course on the initially scheduled date, two months ago.

The organisers at the time decried lack of sponsorship, but they have since confirmed that this time around it is all systems go.

Soares Katumbela of Streethorn, the festival organisers, said they have now ensured the most important pieces of the festival jigsaw are secured. He said lodging arrangements are in place and they are expecting all artists to arrive in Francistown on Friday. The festival will be headlined by South Africa’s jazz legends, Selaolo Selota and Ringo Madlingozi.

The duo will be complemented by the finest line up of local acts that includes Sereetsi and the Natives, Shanti Lo, Amantle Brown, Moroka Moreri and Bana Bana Ba Ntogwa to mention a few. “There is no turning back this time around. We are rounding up our last sponsors and our preparations are near complete.”

“We have ensured there would not be any last minute checks on the important issues such as the stage, sound and lighting and of course the artists,” Katumbela said.

He said the activations they held in some areas around the country have restored belief in the jazz enthusiasts across the country and they are starting to

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reap the rewards of their persistent efforts. He said as a result of the mini-functions they have experienced a satisfying rise on ticket sales since last Friday. “We had managed to attract a number of companies through our activations and they had pledged to buy our tickets and we are happy because they are coming forth on their promises,” he said.

“Individuals are also purchasing the tickets in satisfying numbers and that is a sign of restored belief and trust that we have been working on.  We are optimistic come D-day we will have a handsome attendance. There really is no room for disappointment now.” Katumbela encouraged adults to bring children for the Kid’s Corner that resumes at 11am until 6pm.

“We had a family fun day in our activation at Supa Ngwao Museum and the number of children was not that impressive. We want them to enjoy and learn what jazz is all about.” “Admission is free for all children under the age of 12 and we encourage parents to bring them. I can guarantee they are going to have a memorable time,” he said.



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