Barclays Bank of Botswana is sponsoring the Kuru Dance festival this year to the tune of P400 000. This was revealed at the launch on Thursday. Patron for the festival - former Vice President of Botswana Ponatshego Kedikilwe - applauded Barclays for having chosen to sponsor the festival. This will be the 17th year that the Kuru festival has been running. The festival is scheduled to take place at Dqae Qare San Lodge from August 28 to 30. It was developed by the Kuru Development Trust that was founded in 1986 by the late Braam le Roux who was a missionary and board members Gaobolelwe Ngakayaja, James Morris and Arone Johannes.
Johannes said that the initial focus of the trust was on livelihoods and economic empowerments projects for the San but could never let go of their dances. The trust later then organised Kuru dance workshops to promote song and dance. “This elevated the dancing spirit of the San within the D’Kar community and ultimately leading to a major highlight of the Botswana cultural calendar to date,” he said. He added that the festival means a lot to the San, not only from D’Kar but for the San throughout Southern Africa. He said their cultural centre, museum and their game farm Dqae Qare are anchored around the event. Kedikilwe expressed excitement that the dance festival is back on the arts calendar. He appreciated having been chosen by Kuru Dance festival to be their patron. He urged the Kuru festival lovers to be thrilled as he assured them that the festival will be held with pomp this year.
“Supporters of the Kuru dance festival can look forward to a colourful event illustrating how diverse the Botswana culture is,” he said. Kedikilwe said the festival brings an educational, interesting and innovative way of celebrating culture since it has become relevant to both locals and internationals audiences, making it an event one cannot miss. Barclays Bank Botswana CEO Reinette Van Der Merwe said they are very proud to be sponsors of the esteemed event this year. She said they are glad to be playing a significant role in enriching and contributing to the sustainability of the arts and cultural landscape of the country. She said events like this are in line with their ethos at Barclays. There will be 15 groups both local and international performing at the festival.