FRANCISTOWN: The annual Domboshaba Cultural Festival has been postponed to 2021 following weeks of speculation as to whether the festival’s 21st edition would take place this year amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
Organizers view this as an opportunity in disguise for them to fine-tune the event with the objective of making it more entertaining and hence silence detractors.
Chairperson of Domboshaba Cultural Trust (DCT), Kangangwane Phatshwane, who are entrusted with preparing the festival, said Tuesday government’s restrictions on travel and gatherings to curb the spread of the coronavirus necessitated the postponement.
Meanwhile, Phatshwane added they were still in talks with relevant stakeholders to consider accommodating fine arts exhibition at the next edition of the cultural festival.
“The rationale behind hosting a fine arts exhibition will be to attract a wider audience. We have been working on ideas to diversify the event in order for it to appeal to many people,” he said.
In recent years, a number of people attending Domboshaba had complained that the vibrancy of the event was waning. They had often called on organisers to come up with strategies
The main mandate of the cultural festival, which usually attracts hordes of people from various parts of Botswana and the SADC region, is to promote the Ikalanga culture.
Domboshaba started in 2000 and has been held every year ever since without fail.
It has grown to be a formidable brand and has become one of the largest cultural festivals in the country, indelibly getting etched in Botswana’s cultural calendar and attracts thousands of tourists both domestic and international.
The festival inspired many cultural festivals around the country, which together have given rise to cultural tourism as an economic activity and in the process made a considerable contribution to the development of the performing arts.
The Domboshaba was billed for October 1, 2020. Several other key events have also been postponed to next year as part of attempts to curb a surge in COVID-19 cases.