The interim committee of the newly established Africa China Culture and Arts Exchange Society (ACCAES) has promised to create platforms towards promoting local arts and culture in the eastern part of world.
Addressing the media this week in Gaborone, interim chairperson of the society Ben Ngwato said that while there is abundance of talent in the arts and a rich cultural heritage in the country, local acts have suffered lack of exposure because there are not promoted well to the outside world.
He said that the society, which is due to launch on October 30, during an event, titled ‘Dumela night’ at the Sir Seretse Khama Barracks (SSKB) Auditorium, has been created to formulate strategies that will help package local arts and market it to the world.
“The society has been tasked to come up with a structured working plan.
We have to appreciate that there has been developments in terms of promotions of Arts and Culture but most of the time we fall short,” he said. Ngwato stated that local associations are activity based and do not have sustainable and tangible programs that would promote local arts. Ngwato also indicated that they have Reetsanang Association of Community drama Groups, Folkore Association, Botswana Choral Association, DJ association, Botswana Comedy association, Botswana Association of Theatre Activists, Botswana Film industry, Botswana Fashion and Botswana Poetry Association have come together to establish a Botswana Chapter.
“The chapter is the one that contributed to the establishment of the Arts Africa China Culture and Arts exchange Society, an initiative aimed at the development and promotion of cultural and arts exchange activities between Africa and china.” He said that the world, especially African countries are shifting towards the east for economic,
“And we are not leaving behind the performing arts. We want to take it out there and China plays a critical role in advancing African development. The Chinese have that hence they are bringing their arts here to perform on the 30th. But in the future an ensemble of Batswana artists will also visit china to perform,” he added.
For his part, the executive chairperson of Charity Association of Chinese in Botswana Miles Nan said that Africa, especially the Southern Africa has a rich history of culture ad artistic quality while the Chinese culture is profound and long standing. He said that through the ACCAES, they would be able to bridge and connect friendships between the two different regions.
“We need to strengthen the exchanges between the two major civilisations of China and Africa. We need to understand each other and better promote cultural integration and communication, making progress together and achieving common prosperity and development. Thus, the ACCAES has been created to promote cultural and artistic integration through exchange activities,” he said.
Moreover, he said that culture is very important in both Botswana and China. However, the local arts need to be promoted so that they are exported to the world.
Meanwhile, during the launch of the ACCAES, local traditional group Mafitlhakgosi will share the stage with an ensemble of Chinese artists. Tickets for the event, which is scheduled to start at 6pm and end at 9pm, are sold at P300 standard and P1,000 VIP.