A family affair that became a national event

From one goat slaughtered for the family, the Wine and Whiskey Jamboree has taken on a national dimension PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
From one goat slaughtered for the family, the Wine and Whiskey Jamboree has taken on a national dimension PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES

The Wine & Whiskey Jamboree held annually on New Year’s Day at a farm in Chanoga began from a humble family gathering but it has now evolved into a huge lifestyle festival. Mmegi Staff Writer THALEFANG CHARLES, attended this year’s festival and writes from Maun

For years the families of Mosimanyane, Lekau and Kepadisa in Maun held their annual family gathering at their farm at Chanoga along the Boteti River on New Year’s Day. The families used to slaughter a single goat for their intimate get-together, but as time went on and their fraternization grew so more goats were needed. 

In 2010 one of their grandsons, Dose Mosimanyane who is the brains behind the My Maun Experience concept, brought his famous friends to the family gathering.

Mosimanyane’s friends were some of the then local celebrities and socialites who were attending the My Maun Experience festivities. “There were bo Dipsy [Diphetogo Selolwane – Zebras star], Nijel Amos, Amantle Montsho and Bissau [Gaobakwe]. We played beach volleyball, had local food, like Tswii and fresh fish, the Okavango bream. So everyone enjoyed Chanoga so much and wanted to come back the following year,” remembers Mosimanyane.  His cousin Mochaena Kepadisa brought wines to the farm and everyone had a great New Year’s Day and that is how the idea of Wine & Whiskey Jamboree was born.

The farm, which is now named Lek-A-Valley (from Lekau), is located on a ridge overlooking the beautiful Boteti River and extending down towards the riverbank. It has a small picturesque island that is accessed by a wooden bridge that doubles as a boat ramp too. The following years Kepadisa, who became the lead organiser of the Wine & Whiskey Jamboree called their other cousin, Malebogo Busang, who is an event organiser to do the set up at the place. The set up décor was pleasure to the eyes.

It was mostly white ottomans against the lush green grass with wooden tables littered stunningly around the small island. The images that came from the event draw more numbers to the following events.

This year the event teamed up with Cigar Lounge from Phakalane under the directorship of Pedriel Mokwadi Nyame, who is also a family friend of the Kepadisas. This year’s event introduced the VIP area, with impressive décor by Native Events where people paid to mingle with some South African actors from The Queen television drama. As the norm, participants came dressed to impress with mostly colourful floral dresses for women and short pants for men. Fashion is proving to be such a big deal at the Wine and Whiskey Jamboree as more people arrived early in the afternoon with their new clothes to get the event photographers’ eyes and shoot stunning Instagram pictures.

Another norm at the jamboree was the afternoon showers. For years, New Year’s Day at Chanoga interestingly received afternoon thunderstorms that usually lasted for a few minutes before giving way to the beautiful sunset over Boteti River.

This year there were heavy downpours on the night before the event and early in the morning. Despite the rains,  hundreds of people made their journey to Lek-A-Walley farm and partied until late at night.

Despite the event being a wine and whiskey themed party, it was hard to find the finest wine, but the Cigar Lounge bar had plenty varieties of premier whiskeys.  The Wine and Whiskey Jamboree has now become the headline event for people seeking to have My Maun Experience.  This year, the event included exciting activities like boat cruising on the Boteti River, which had so much water than the Thamalakane River in Maun, horse riding and quad biking with load roars that disturbed the serenity of the event. The 2019 event also included an act by the sensational Han C of Sedi Laka fame.   Han C’s song with DJ Kuchi titled Rejection is currently a trending local song and was warmly welcomed in Chanoga.

Kepadisa said the event is on a rapid growth, but they would like to keep it to its original concept of a chilled wine and whiskey session. 

“The event is both a shutdown of the festive season and an opening reception of the New Year. It happens when people want to unwind and get ready to return to their respective homes after the hectic festivities, so we would like to strive to keep it as chilled as we can,” Kepadisa said. He also said that this year they struggled to find suited partners for the event, but they are hopeful that many would come on board going forward.

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