The Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC) Thapelo Olopeng has revealed the plans for the eventful 2016 as Botswana celebrates her 50th independence anniversary in September. The ministry is charged with organising and handling events and the coordination of all celebrations that will be held towards the independence. Olopeng said progress has been made in the preparation of the Golden Jubilee. He said in order to stimulate the celebration mood they have activities such as Golden Jubilee Fridays, the national roving torch, the radio debates and many other activities in order to create the national hype around the celebrations.
He encouraged Batswana to make sure that they are creative in all the activities in order to fully celebrate their golden jubilee. “Through engagement with District Independence Committees we are ensuring that there is proper planning and ownership by all,” he said. With the Heads of State in the SADC region and those across the globe having been invited to come and celebrate with Batswana, the minister encouraged that Batswana fully demonstrate ‘Botho’ and continue to embrace and uphold it. Olopeng rather expressed disappointment with regard to tenders that have been extended to Batswana for producing and providing certain services because most of them have been quoting very ridiculous amounts. With that he boldly said that he will not hesitate to involve people from different countries who would be cheaper.
The roving torch has been around the country since it was launched by the President last year on the 1st of October. By the beginning of last week the roving torch has been to about 220 villages. The torch will go to all the districts and places until it reaches Gaborone on the 25th of September. At district levels there will be a religious service, religious concert, arts and history exhibitions, poetry and comedy, dikhwaere, traditional dance festivals, football matches, contemporary music festivals and fireworks and parades by the boys’ scouts and girl guides with Dikgosi inspecting the parades across districts. There will also be district local art festivals and essay and poem and art competitions.
He encouraged the media to be supportive in making sure that the message is put across to Batswana, especially the private media. Lewis Malikongwa, who is the coordinator of BOT50, revealed that they want many young people to come on board and be a part of the celebrations to show off their creative skills and partake in this historic celebration. “In many of our projects we are involving young people because this is their time to shine and we reward them well as evidenced by the BTCL BOT50 phonebook cover,” he said.