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Kuru dance fest celebrates 20 years

The Kuru Development Trust’s Kuru Dance Festival, a two-day event celebrating the rich culture and beautiful traditional dances and music of the San, will be celebrating 20 years of existence this year. The organisers are calling for more support from Batswana.

This celebration of the San culture to be held from August 24 - 25, 2018 at Dqae Qare San Lodge, near Gantsi, Botswana has always catered both to locals and to a wider international audience in the past years.

The coordinator of Kuru Development Trust, Mangana Mangana told Arts & Culture that they want to attract more people this year. “Culture is our identity, more tribes have to come here so that we share our culture. All we need is to see the participation grow, this event is not meant for profit,” he said.  Mangana added that through the festival they want to showcase their culture as Batswana.

“We want to be recognised as a tribe and we would like more partners to take part,” he said.

He said the event is not only about the San people but it is supposed to be a platform for cultural exchange.  “To know someone is to know their culture so Kuru Dance Festival is the perfect place for such.”

Despite being sponsored by Barclays Bank of Botswana and the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Mangana said there is more to be done to grow the

event.  He said they still struggle to arrange transport for artists who perform at the festival.

“In the end, people may think that we manipulate artists for profit. We should be grateful for their commitment to this because this is neither a competition nor entertainment. It’s a celebration of culture,” he said.

Last year’s festival featured 15 San dance groups from Botswana, as well as two San groups and one Zulu group from South Africa, but Mangana said people should expect even more this year.

Even more so, Mangana said the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development has been on their side despite the lack of support from various stakeholders.

He said their challenges with funds over the last 20 years gave them the courage to soldier on.  *Friday 7pm - 11pm (or later): traditional healing dances *Saturday 10am - 11pm: opening ceremony and more dancing

*Sunday - Departure

Price: P100 for Friday, P150 for Saturday, P200 for both days.

Tickets for children under 12-years-old are half price, and children under six attend for free. This price includes entrance fees only. Food and drink are available for purchase, camping available for additional charge. ​


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