Tjilenje Tje Ngwao to showcase Botswana’s rich culture

Tjilenje Tje Ngwao
Tjilenje Tje Ngwao

FRANCISTOWN: Tjilenje Tje Ngwao, a traditional group based in Francistown will host a cultural event at Nyangabgwe Hill to showcase Botswana culture on April 3.

The founder and director of the group, Ngwisiwa Ntogwa said they would first screen a documentary, which showcases Botswana culture, from traditional dances, food and traditional games, to poetry.  Ntogwa told Showbiz that after submitting a project proposal to them, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture had given them P100, 000 in support of the event.

Ntogwa said on the day of the event, they would decorate the caves at Nyangabgwe Hill, adding that the elderly would be in one cave where they would share the history of Botswana. The other cave, he said, would house people playing traditional games such as diketo, mhele and koi (skipping rope) among others. He said several Cabinet ministers and councilors were also expected to grace the historical event.  Ntogwa added that they hoped that veteran Ikalanga jazz maestro Ndingo Johwa and popular award-winning ensemble Culture Spears would serenade the crowd with their melodic tunes.  “Culture unites people. What I saw when I was in India last year was amazing. Over five million people gathered in one place during the Mysore Dasar cultural event to exchange their beautiful culture and it was so uplifting,” he said. Ntogwa explained that before the documentary screening, they would show it in primary schools to educate young citizens about Botswana’s rich culture, so that they value it as the aspect of human development. 

“We aim to inform pupils about where their roots and where they are heading to. They should see culture and tradition as a link to their past and a pointer to their future. All this, in efforts to preserve our   knowledge and history,” he said.  He added that the Botswana culture was beautiful, and deserved to be practiced and preserved for future generations to enjoy.  Ntogwa also noted that youth would also be advised on moral principles.  “Youth nowadays lacks discipline, which contributes to the high rate of teenage pregnancy, school dropouts, as well as alcohol and drugs abuse,” he said.

Ntogwa noted that the Tjilenje Tje Ngwao mandate was to uplift youth of this country by taking them off the streets, encouraging positive bahaviour, and to help them be creative and innovative. He said if given the chance and properly invested into, youth could contribute to Botswana’s economic growth.

Ntogwa however expressed concern over people in the music industry who exploit young artists.  “What we have observed in the music industry is sad. Some dubious individuals use children who are hungry for success sexually, or they don’t pay them. Such people should be dealt with accordingly because they kill young people’s talented minds,” he said.

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