Botswana/Namibia cultural event slated for October

GANTSI: Preparations for the Botswana/Namibia cultural exchange event are already at an advanced stage, according to Gantsi District Council (GDC) chairman Thato Tshweneyagae.

Tshweneyagae told Arts & Culture that the event, which will be held at Legare Stadium in Gobabis, situated in the Omaheke Region of Namibia, is slated for October 22-24, 2015.

Tshweneyagae said GDC has decided to revamp the event, which was incepted in 2009.

He also said that the event is a culmination towards Botswana’s 50th Independence celebrations next year.


 “We are also going to sign a new agreement between the two countries. Our intention is to have the event annually and next year we will be hosting the Namibians,” he said.

This event is also an opportunity for Botswana and Namibia to promote the two countries’ arts and culture considering that there are similarities in the cultures, and an interchange of customs and traditions.

Baherero, Barolong, Bakgalagadi and Batlharo, who are found in Botswana, are also scattered across Namibia.

According to Tshweneyagae, local artists will also perform at the event.

 “The idea is take all cultures that make up the Ghanzi District and exhibit their music, cuisine, attire, show case their artifacts to market themselves and their products. Traditional dance such as setapa, tsutsube, phathisi, oshiri and gari will be performed,” he explained.

Tshweneyagae added that attendees would be able to learn a lot from their Namibian counterparts especially in the area of tourism, which they have fully utilised to diversify their economy. 

Traditional cuisine will be on sale, and selected cooks will demonstrate how to prepare local dishes.

“From Botswana, there will be dikgobe, serobe, seswaa, kabu, while from Namibia they will be ngodibi - aromatic oil extracted from milk thruogh vigorous shaking of its container, usually a calabash. the oil is used for cooking, especially in frying meat.

‘There  will also be  omaere (sour milk) and otopa almost similar to mageu, and others. Traditional food will be in abundance,” he said.

Tshweneyagae said Botswana kwasa kwasa maestro Franco, who is popular with the Namibians, will also perform at the event. The newly formed Obligatto Band from Gantsi will also entertain the attendees.

Thsweneyagae applauded the Namibian High Commissioner to Botswana, Tshenolo Modise, for the sterling job her office has done to prepare for the event.

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