Your Reporter Got It Wrong

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Reference is made to the article written by Lerato Maleke titled “Bakgatla Bojale Drum gets UNESCO Recognition” in The Monitor of February 16, 2015.

First we would like to thank you for showing interest in issues of intangible cultural heritage (ICH). This is a commendable effort on your part as we need media partners to help raise awareness about the importance of ICH. However, we would like to correct some mistakes contained in the article.

The title of the article suggests that a decision has been made to list the element referred to by UNESCO. This is not true. A decision whether or not to list the element will be made by the 2003 Convention Inter – Governmental Committee in November/December 2016.

The title of the article is also misleading as to the ICH element being prepared for nomination. As it stands, the article refers to a tangible element (Bojale Drum) which is different from the intangible cultural heritage element. The proper name of the element being nominated for listing is The Use of Moropa wa Bojale jwa Bakgatla ba Kgafela and its Associated Practices.

Ms. Lerato Maleke goes on to write that “the event was organised by Mohumagadi Mma Seingwaeng together with UNESCO officials”. The truth of the matter is that the event was organised by a Task Force formed by Kgatleng District ICH Committee.

The Task Force was formed to specifically fill gaps identified by UNESCO in the initial nomination form. While Mohumagadi Mma Seingwaeng is central to the element, as representative of Mohumagadi Mma Matshego, the Task Force worked with royal family members and heads of women regiments through a series of meetings and a workshop.

It is also important to note that the traditions associated with the use of the Bojale Drum are sacred, and therefore, only few people were invited. Unfortunately Ms. Lerato Maleke – who was not invited to the event – managed to reach Phuthadikobo Museum where the event was held. The Task Force members guided her towards the already listed element of Earthenware Pottery – Making Skills of Bakgatla ba Kgafela in Botswana’s Kgatleng District and requested her not to report on The Use of Moropa wa Bojale jwa Bakgatla ba Kgafela and its Associated Practices while the preparation for the nomination of the element was still ongoing.

Kgatleng District ICH Committee, through the  Phuthadikobo Museum which serves as the Secretariat, would like to correct these few mistakes, which nonetheless may have negative impact on the nomination of the element by UNESCO.  We are ready to give more clarity on ICH issues at all times.


Thank you,


Bathusi Lesolobe


Kgatleng District ICH Committee

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