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A Lunch Hour Session Of Marimba

MOETI MOHWASA
Marima band PIC: MOMPATI TLHANKANE
There is nothing refreshing like the sound of a youthful marimba band during a lunch hour session. This past weekend Botswana Craft hosted Bot River Marimba band from South Africa and Maruapula (MAP) School Marimba band to serenade people as they enjoyed their afternoon meals.

Marimba has a very cool, unique sound but both bands which were mostly made of students found a way to own the entire session. Bot River as visitors from the Western Cape played some of the songs, which seemed very challenging. One of the amazing things about this group is they were almost always learning new songs. The audience though seated most of the time was cheerful when the music started playing.

Marimba music is upbeat and blissful, but the young band found a way to strike emotion out of the xylophone-like instrument. With a wooden tone the audience was enchanted with a sound similar to steel drums but with African reverberation.

When MAP school students hit the stage and with their Botswana roots, the music was so vibrant and joyful that people almost forgot that there were visitors around.

Maruapula School is one of the few schools with a marimba band. Led by music teacher and

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conductor, some of their songs sounded like popular genres of house music. MAP band oozed water-dripping sounds, but also exposed Bot River to local culture. To some, the two bands seemed like they were in competition but their collaboration built bridges and provided understanding.

MAP is not new to this, as over the years they have built such a cadre of talent and collaboration with one of the highly regarded marimba bands like Bot River could not have come at a better time.

Not only did the audience experience the power of live music over food, but they somehow saw how some schools like MAP still prioritise the preservation of African music. Bot River was brought to Botswana through sponsorship by Enlighten Education Trust and it was their first tour outside SA borders.



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