KALAKAMATI: This year’s Domboshaba Festival was characterised by a diversity of other cultures that came to showcase their pride alongside the Kalanga, who host this annual event.
The festival has been celebrated annually since 2000 with the objective of preserving the Ikalanga language and culture.
This year’s event was held under the theme, ‘Inclusion in and through education, language counts’.
The festival has grown to become one of the largest cultural festivals in Botswana and as usual it attracted multitudes despite competing events nearby, in particular the Makgadikgadi Epic Sky dive which was held over the weekend at Nata village.
Over the years some critics viewed Domboshaba as an event that fuels tribalism as it excluded the participation of other tribes. The event has become known to exclusively celebrate the Ikalanga culture.
Over the weekend the event attracted traditional groups from Molepolole and New Xade in Kgalagadi. Xaanga traditional group from New Xade mesmerised spectators with their Tsutsube dance repetoires.
In fact the group’s exciting performance left revellers begging for more. Also from Molepolole, Ngwao Setso traditional group entertained the audience with the Phathisi dance which is a rare sight especially among elders in this part of the country.
Giving an update on cultural village development, the Domboshaba Cultural Trust Coordinator Chigedze Chinyepi said that for years some people viewed their festival as fanning tribalism, but to show that they are against tribalism they have invited other tribes’ traditional groups to join them and entertain the audience as the event has grown to draw revellers across the tribal divide.
She said whilst the festival promotes the history and culture of Bakalanga, it is not discriminatory as some people think, hence their decision to celebrate with other cultures. Chinyepi said that the idea is for other tribes to attend the event and learn more about the Bakalanga and how they do things. Chinyepi told The Monitor that they would make sure that every year they invite different tribal groups so that there can be cultural exchange. “This does not benefit them only (the invited groups) but we also benefit as the Bakalanga because through their dance and songs we learn their culture and how they do things as well,” said Chinyepi.
Chinyepi applauded the revellers’ impressive attendance saying such a gesture was motivating. She said they will continually devise fresh ideas to make the event more interesting. She disclosed that every year they are committed to entertaining the guests with stories about the Bakalanga history.
“The idea is for other Batswana to know and understand our culture, educate our children their history and culture. Over the years the festival has managed to bring the Bakalanga together to celebrate their culture and heritage,” said Chinyepi.
Kgosi Kgari Sechele III, the paramount Chief of Bakwena also graced the event.