The annual cultural festival, Son of the Soil, synonymous with celebrating Botswana culture through song, dance, food and dress will be held on January 31, 2015.
The theme for this year is ‘Kwa Re Go Yang – Bana Ba Kgaupe Ba Laelana Go Sale Gale’, to be hosted at Boetelo Sun Valley Resort along the banks of the Notwane River.
According to Bana ba Mmala Trust Publicity and Media Relations, Pontsho Pusoetsile, they plan to grow from a two-day event into three days of Son of the Soil.
“The plan is to start off the event with a cultural workshop during the day on Friday,” he said. Pusoetsile added that the workshop would target other organisers of similar events from across the country to learn from cultural thought leaders and traditional leaders on how culture can best be preserved.
“As Bana ba Mmala we are very proud of the leadership role that ‘Son of the Soil’ cultural event has been building in the cultural preservation space. We want to continue to grow this area nationally,” he added.
Pusoetsile also said that the Friday workshop would be another building block on top of the research that they had been conducting annually on cultural themes. They will also publish a booklet on the subject.
Furthermore, the workshop would culminate in a relaxed session of mainane, maboko, song and dance, he said. The Friday evening session will be held at a different venue from the where the workshop would be.
The next day would be hosted as held previously with traditional cuisine, traditional games, song, dance and an evening Setswana themed fest. The event would also continue on Sunday with live jazz as a winding down of the ‘Son of the Soil’ activities.
“The main event on Saturday and the Jazz on Sunday present a great opportunity for our sponsors to showcase their messages and also demonstrate their love of the people of this country by showing support for their way of life,” Pusoetsile added.
He said the overarching theme for the next 10 events is ‘Kwa Re Go Yang’, meant to show that culture would be one of the pillars for national development. They strongly believe that development must be anchored on a strong national identity, he said.
“The sub-theme for 2015 event ‘Bana Ba Kgaupe Ba Laelana Go Sale Gale’ is meant to be a clarion call for the nation to introspect culturally. It is meant for Batswana to sit back and say ‘have we retained the good elements of our culture in the last 50 years, and what are we going to take along from a cultural perspective, as we move into the next 50 years of our journey?” he said.
He added that Son of the Soil targets young and upwardly mobile urban dwellers that want to keep in touch or reconnect with their culture. The event has been part of the annual events calendar for 11 years now, he said.
Pusoetsile said the strictly traditional dress code of the event has also encouraged growth in the fashion industry.
“This trend has of late been visible in the sudden modernisation of the leteitse among the young and upwardly mobile members of society. As Bana ba Mmala we are very proud of this little contribution,” he said.
Jeans are strictly forbidden along with coolers boxes and bags that must be left in the car. Only traditional cups must be used for all drinks. Pricing packages will be P350 for one adult and one child under 12-years-old, P600 for two adults and two children under 12-years-old, P100 entry for one child under 12-years-old except for Sunday Jazz. All the tickets include food coupons for the main event.
Individual tickets cost P50 for one adult entry by the fireside, P200 one adult entry at Saturday’s main event - food not included, P200 entry at Sunday Jazz, P50 for under 12s on either Friday or Saturday. Food coupons are not included for individual tickets.
Tickets are available at the following Computicket venues: Checkers Airport Junction, Shoprite Station, Shoprite Game City in Gaborone. Also tickets will be available at Shoprite Molepolole, U Save Mochudi, Shoprite Francistown and Shoprite Maun.