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Cultural Activists Reflect On Setswana Culture

MOMPATI TLHANKANE
Kgosi Segale Linchwe was among the speakers at the workshop
With the theme of Son of The Soil (SOTS) this year being, “Kwa re go yang - Re Ipela” various speakers reflected on how Batswana celebrate their culture during a Kitsong Cultural Workshop held at the National Museum last Friday.

The workshop hosted by Bana Ba Mmala Trust (BBMT) assembled cultural activists and thought leaders for an interactive engagement around cultural issues with topics that included celebrating dirwe tsa kgomo, cultural song and dance, the raising of a Setswana child and interrogating Sekgatla Koma.

Presenting on the use of dikopelo in Sekgatla to celebrate festivities, Kgosi Segale Linchwe said their music is all over and they have even registered in at UNESCO.

“In Sekgatla it is not dikhwaere but rather dikopelo and it’s unique to our tribe,” he clarified. He said dikopelo have never relied on government support, but Bakgatla worked together to promote the music.

Linchwe said they have grounds at their lands where choirs meet for dikopelo. “Every Mokgatla child knows dikopelo. There were used back then to encourage them to visit the cattle post during school holidays,” he added.

Linchwe was also quick to emphasise that during Christmas

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holidays elders were the judges as the competing dikopelo choirs battled for supremacy.

“Judges looked at many factors like choice of song, dress and behaviour of choir members,” he revealed. He said the rules were strict and some songs were used to fix some social ills. “Dikopelo are important, there are rarely any fight and its own own Sekgatla picnic,” he highlighted.

Another speaker, Miriam Seneo Semele who has been a music specialist for 38 years, said music is an important aspect when it comes to a wedding celebration.

 “Back then, people didn’t choose their life partners but rather their parents arranged everything,” she said.

Semele said every stage including preliminaries is important. She said songs change from patlo  (courtship) to kgoroso (bridal welcome). Linchwe even sampled the wedding songs to the crowd and they easily rejoiced. SOTS main event will be held at Serokolwane Lawns this coming Saturday.



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