The 10th Presidentís Day comedy and drama competitions were well received by the packed Mantlwaneng hall at Westwood International School over the weekend.
This year’s general theme is ‘Creative Industries: A Vehicle for Sustainable Development’, something that arts administrator, Dean Molebatsi noted in his welcome remarks that was relevant in that the creative industry values their best resources which is human capital investment and creativity.
“The arts are tools of creative knowledge and innovation as well as socio-economic development. They are tools of therapy, beauty and renewal of urban states and clearly the arts go beyond just being entertainment,” he said.
Molebatsi urged people to come together to appreciate the arts and encourage young people to seriously indulge in arts as it can assist them create job opportunities and achieve economic development.
The script for the drama competitions was entitled Sebaga and written by Edward Moroka and Neelo Ontebane. The play was about a girl who completed her degree in mining and stayed home for two years as a result of limited job opportunities.
In order to solve that, she established a creative arts business idea of advertising of which her parents disapproved of because they strongly believed that for one to accumulate wealth in Botswana, they should work in the mines. Sebaga managed to be financed for her innovative idea, created a prestigious advertising firm and made her parents proud.
There were four drama groups from different parts of the country and they all performed the Sebaga play.
Tse Dikgolo House of Theatre from Mmankgodi
Representing the adjudicators, Mpho Rabotsima said the foundation of drama was distorted by the performers as they added details to the play which were initially not there.
“We looked at how the drama was delivered in terms of if the groups fully followed the script and if the characters in the play were acted accordingly. We urge the groups to rehearse thoroughly in order to eliminate and avoid unnecessary movements on the stage while moving around props during scene changes,” he said.
Eight comedians participated in the comedy section. The first position went to Bokamoso ‘Penene Ponyonyo’ Nthompe from Maun with 76%, and second position went to Boniface ‘Roy Sesana’ Phetolo with 73%. Coming third was Augustus ‘Monate Aromat’ Philemon with72% while Sindimba ‘Yellow Bone’ Shitah was in fourth position with 70%.
The category fluctuates in terms of growth. The adjudicators noted that comedians confuse stand-up comedy with storytelling comedy.
They judged the comedians based on the originality, as the participants were expected to compose their own materials instead of making common jokes their own. The comedians were encouraged to read more and research in order to improve the originality of their jokes.