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50 yrs independence celebrations start

SHARE   |   Monday, 21 September 2015   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang

As preparations for Botswana’s up-coming golden jubilee independence celebrations kick start, Batswana have been urged to take ownership and be part of the event. BOT 50, the committee responsible for organising the 50th Independence Day celebration has promised Batswana greatest celebrations ever.

Chairperson of BOT 50 Charity Kgotlafela said this year’s independence celebrations will be used as preparations for the grand celebration in 2016. Kgotlafela said starting from this year they want to make the celebrations inclusive of all Batswana. She explained that independence is for all Batswana regardless where they are.

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Kgotlafela called on Batswana to desist from only looking at government to give them money for the celebration but also come up with ways of raising their own. “We should make these celebrations very special as we are celebrating our own independence, so we have to help in any way possible and stop overreliance on government,” she said. 

To try to get all people involved in this there will be a roving torch that will traverse the whole of the country. “The intention of this torch is to try to build up for the 2016 independence celebrations. The torch will be launched on September 30th 2015 and will come back to Gaborone in September 2016,” explained Kgotlafela. 

She went on to say everywhere the torch goes the people of the particular area are expected to come together and showcase their achievements over the years as well as their culture. According to her this will also help Batswana to celebrate their heritages as the torch will also be taken to such places.

To ensure further inclusiveness there will be an Interfaith Church Service on the 29th September where churches will come together to thank God for the independence of the country. Batswana will also be treated to electronic music festival at Gaborone cricket club. This is a new addition to independence celebrations locally and Kgotlafela said it will be held in five areas including Gaborone.    
“The festival will be beamed in five areas where also local artists will be performing to showcase Botswana’s talent. What will be happening at the main event in Gaborone will be beamed at all the other four places so that people could see what is happening,” Kgotlafela explained. She said they are only starting with five places because they are piloting in preparation for 2016 celebrations where all 16 districts be part of the electronic music festival.

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According to Kgotlafela, if successful the festival will turn into an annual event dubbed Botswana electronic music festival. “It is clear that technology has broken the boundaries that have always been there. This is our opportune time for us to utilise this and reach Botswana’s vast population,” she said.
Kgotlafela therefore called on artists to come forth and be part of these news initiatives. She said it is their intention to empower local artists during these celebrations. Currently 15 artists have been engaged by the Ministry of Youth Sport and Culture for the performances during independence. Kgotlafela revealed that they took artist who got position ones during president day competitions.
However BOT 50 chairperson said the artists will be increased for next year’s event. She also went on to say other artist can still be part of the celebrations through their respective districts. She also revealed that all the procurements for the celebrations will be done locally share among Batswana. “For instance if we are in need of 3000 t-shirts we will procure at least from four different companies to make sure everyone get something,” she said. Only things that are not available locally such as expertise will be sourced outside.