As part of their mission to promote local tourism and celebrate culture, Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) Tourism students hosted their second annual Ngwao Yame Roots on Friday.
The event, organised, planned and executed by 53 students, attracted various institutions like University of Botswana, New Era College and Botswana Tourism Board amongst others.
A local entrepreneur and the managing director of Phiri Tourism Consortium, Tebogo Phiri delivered an inspiring message.
He said that tourism was the largest employer in Botswana and should be promoted. “Tourism is the future. If we do not sell our country then no one will,” he emphasised.
Phiri also acknowledged the need for Batswana to know their culture and tradition. He said people shy away from their heritage and as a result, they would be no one available to market tourism.
Phiri said culture and tourism go hand in hand and there is no way one could survive without the other. He advised BAC tourism students to realise the need to promote it.
“There are many opportunities to sell and promote the country, there is much to be done,” he added.
Phiri told students that the Botswana tourism industry needed people like them who could start and implement these initiatives.
The activities of the day began with a wonderful performance of the traditional Dikgafela ceremony. The women carried baskets full of harvest, ululating their way to the kgotla to declare what has been a successful year. The harvest included traditional food like magapu, mmidi, ntshe, makgomane and mabele. The village chief accepted the harvest and declared the Dikgafela ceremony officially underway.
From there, a young man named Otlaadisa followed with a wonderful presentation of a Setswana poem.
To put the icing on the cake, a talented young woman, Sekgabiso Tsiang also graced the stage with a culturally rich poem that signified how proud she was to be a woman of culture.
In her poem, she indicated that her name Tsiang meant that she was indeed the decorator of Botswana culture. Another poet, who mesmerised the crowd was Obakeng with his lyrical combination that was poetic yet comedic. He used satire to hail the traditional culture and critic the modern way of living, which is inspired by the western culture.
The event could not be complete without the importance of the traditional attire. Different fashion designers lined up their unique works and the students were there to parade the clothing to the appreciative public.
Among the designers of the day was Eddie from UB whose line was very much culture oriented, but with much emphasis on the modern influence. One of the fashion designers, Abigail said she started last year and as an upcoming designer needed support from everyone. Her line was a mixture of culture and funk.