Bakwena culture revival

SHARE   |   Sunday, 07 September 2014   |   By Staff Writer
Bakwena women celebrating their culture Bakwena women celebrating their culture PRESSPHOTO

Dithubaruba cultural festival, which got underway on Saturday at Ntsweng heritage site outside Molepolole, will soon come under the management of Bakwena tribe through a community trust, chairman of the Kgosi Sechele I museum board of trustees Kgosi Basiamang Garebakwena has revealed. 

He told The Patriot on Sunday that after learning from those who initiated the project, like the Kgosi Sechele I museum, and with the support of different organisations and government departments Bakwena are now ready to take over the management of Dithubaruba to explore cultural and economic opportunities it creates. "We have learned over the years from the projects we have hosted, we want to be self-sustaining going forward. There has been tremendous growth in the event, especially participation from Bakwena main diphatsa," said Garebakwena. 

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Other Kgosi Sechele I museum board of trustees include Bakwena paramount chief Kgosi Kgari III, Keineetse Sebele and Titus Mbuya. Garebakwena said Dithubaruba benefits extend beyond monetary terms to development of the lives of the locals. To further enhance these efforts Garebakwena revealed that plans are already underway to register a community trust for Bakwena to manage the whole event, and other projects on behalf of the tribe. 

He boasted that through Dithubaruba they have managed to establish strong ties with Bafokeng in South Africa, who have already indicated appreciation for the lessons they have learned from their counterparts in Botswana on preparations of dishes and other traditional rituals for wedding and other ceremonies. He also said Dithubaruba is a celebration appreciated by most Bakwena and Batswana in general and tourists from outside the country and abroad. 

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Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) is a partner in Dithubaruba and promote the event on their website for international audience. Acting Chief Executive Officer, Thabo Dithebe told The Patriot on Sunday that his organisation has embarked on a deliberate effort to partner with different communities around the country to support cultural events as a way of diversifying the tourism portfolio.

The spokesperson of the organsising committee, Tlamelo Letlole said this year's Dithubaruba is aptly themed "Botswana pele, maropeng goa boelwa..." to capture the objective to trace the Bakwena dynastry throughout the continent and to regroup, unite and celebrate the sekwena culture. He said the have confirmed visitors from Phokeng, Kimberly, Bloomfontein and Mafikeng in South Africa, Pilikwe and Lesotho. The Namibians could not make it due to logistical challenges.

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To spice up the event special events have also been included in the programme like feasting on pounded meat (go jewa mokoto), thororo ya masa- demonstration of Sekwena wedding ceremony, traditional games like  koi (skipping rope), morabaraba, rwabi and contemporary games including sack race, egg race and dibeke.  

He said the derive economic benefits by renting out stalls for selling foodstuffs, and display and sale of handicrafts, renting out space for camping services to provide accommodation, lodging facilities and to support other youth businesses, products and services. 

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On the other hand participants and visitors will benefit from cultural exchange between Bakwena from different parts of the country and the region and other tribal groupings in and outside the country. 

Proceedings will kick off at 0700hrs followed by the official presentation before a Unibersity of Botswana (UB) theatre group performs a drama Sechele I . The guest speaker at the event will be the acting minister, youth sport and culture, Vincent Seretse.  Dithubaruba started off as an initiative by volunteers from Kgosi Sechele I Museum in partnership with the District Commissioner's office and bogosi from the core Ntloedibe, Maunatlala, Mokgalo, Tshosa main wards. Dikgosi have pledged traditional food for the event and donation of a kgama by Molepolole north MP, Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri. 

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Multitudes were expected to throng the popular Ntsweng heritage site over the weekend as culture enthusiasts from all over the country and outside flocked to the venue popularly known as  gaMmakgosi for the eighth annual Bakwena culture day, Dithubaruba. Ntsweng is the battle field where Bakwena with the help of other tribes defeated the marauding South African boers in a battle for Dithubaruba.Ntsweng is located in the beautiful hills of Dithubaruba where Bakwena settled during the reign of Kgosi Sechele I; a combination of amazing landscape and colour. Over the years Dithubaruba has proved to be growing in popularity as it always attracts multitudes. The Dithubaruba Cultural Festival dates back to 1997 and aims to promote the understanding and appreciation of Kweneng cultural heritage, while at the same time providing leisurely time to all Batswana in general. In the cultural festivities food stalls rent out for P500 alongside craft and artefacts stalls. A camp site has also been established at Ntsweng for tourists and travellers.  

Performances

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Poets

Rabojalwa Keetile, gender activist Boipuso Leatso from Thamaga contemporary, Kobamo Kgweba-young poet from Ntloedibe ward and herd boy poetry Kaone Stopper Mahuma also from Molepolole.  

Guitarists will include Solly Sebotso and Sbongile Kgaila. Other artists from dikhwaere and other performing arts also spiced up the day.



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