This year’s Son of the Soil cultural festival takes place at Serokolwane lawns on February 25. Organised by Bana Ba Mmala, the festival started in Tlokweng in 2005 in order to relieve, learn and enjoy Botswana culture. The theme for the 2017 event is ‘Ko re go ayang – Re Kgabile’ which aims to celebrate the centrality of attire to important events in Botswana culture. Bana Ba Mmala spokesperson Pontsho Pusoetsile said the main event and accompanying workshop will be used to investigate culture and celebrate the evolution from historical to futuristic cultural dress in Botswana. He said they make it a point that as the event moves around the venues there is no impact on the environment. “SOTS 2017 will be a two-day event on the weekend of the main event and we will additionally have the workshop on the Friday of the week before the main event so that it may get the publicity it deserves,” he said. He said it is at the workshop where they will demonstrate how far they have gone in terms of continually keeping the Setswana culture current and relevant. The workshop will take place on February 17. On February 24 – a day before the main event – patrons will be invited to a relaxed session of mainane, maboko, song and dance.
“This Friday evening session which is called Metswaisong Evening Chillas is targeted at those that wish to get up close and personal with Setswana culture so that they can be able to admire the Setswana culture and its many nuances,” he said. Pusoetsile promises a hit of an event this year where there will be di-Kgotla resembling Botswana national colours as the sitting arrangement. In the morning revellers will participate in breakfast cooking, then competitive cooking for a Setswana dish by the four dikgotla; playing and engaging in competitions, traditional dance, dikhwaere and many other sessions until midnight. He said they continue to make sure that Botswana tourism promoters and patrons continue to benefit from a product that is easy to predict and geared towards the whole family. He said they have ditched the Setswana Sunday Jazz this year due to the low interest it drew in previous years. The cover charge for SOTS 2017 is P200 for adults and P50 for a child which qualifies one to attend all the events.