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SOTS Tackles Roles Of Women

Onnetse Makhumalo speaking at Son of the Soil workshop PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
With this year’s Son of The soil event-celebrating women, organisers of the event Bana Ba Mmala recently hosted a workshop to tackle the roles of women in areas such leadership, traditional weddings and culture.

Held at University of Botswana Library Auditorium, one of the topics of the day was the role of women in Ovambanderu culture. Attendees seemed to have keen interest in the presentation.

The key speaker, Mbasuviwa Katjarava who was cultured and raised in the settlement of Ovambanderu in Ngamiland said women are the pillars of Ovambanderu culture. She said Ovambanderu people are one of the minority tribes that originate in Namibia and majority of them settled in Ngamiland. “We are pastoral farmers and we believe that a cow is a holy and valuable animal to Ovambanderu culture,” she said.

She said there was a slight difference between the Banderu and Baherero but highlighted that people should not confuse the two.

Regarding the role of women in her culture, Katjarava said the women are the core of the Ovambanderu culture and there is a point in the life of a young woman where she becomes a woman and gets to wear

the iconic headgear called Otjikaiva.

She said once she is recognised as a woman, now she gets to play a lot of roles like child upbringing and being an educationalist. “Women make ornaments, perfumes, cosmetics and garments. They also make mud houses and some of their roles include milking cows,” she revealed. Katjarava also highlighted that women play so many roles compared to men in Ovambanderu culture.

It was a day of celebrating a woman in Setswana culture. Some speakers gave presentations about the role of women in initiation schools such as bojale. Other topics discussed include the beauty of a woman, women’s rights and culture and the extent to which cultural socialization of women affect the leadership potential.

The main event of SOTS will be held at Staywell Gardens in Rasesa this coming Saturday. Held under the theme kwa rego yang re belegwe, the event will further celebrate women and how they contribute to Botswana culture.


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