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Domboshaba festival starts

Former chairperson of Domboshaba Cultural Trust (DCT) says the upcoming Domboshaba Cultural Festival is not only for Bakalanga, but for everyone who wants to experience and learn about the Kalanga culture.

Speaking at a press briefing, Chigedze Chinyepi said the festival was not discriminatory. “There is a myth that Domboshaba Cultural Festival is for Bakalaka, other tribes are not welcome and that is not true at all,” she said.

She indicated that the festival was scheduled for September 26-28 and will be held at the Domboshaba cultural site at the Domboshaba Hills.Chinyepi said the main objective of the festival was to promote and celebrate the Kalanga culture and its history.

“DCT was conceived in 2007 and since then it has been an annual event and continues to grow in leaps and bounds,” she said. She further said the festival was important to youngsters who had lost touch with their cultural roots and could not speak nor write the iKalanga language.

On September 26, Chinyepi said the festival would start off with a tour of Gandanyemba cultural site as people will be taught about the history of the place.

She said last year’s tour visited the Nswazwi Royal Cemetery and they will look to continue visiting heritage sites every year to educate people on the history of those places.She further said the first day of the festival will also have a night around the fire where stories of Kalanga heritage will be told.

“When we were growing up we did not have television sets and our only entertainment after dinner was sitting around the fire with our folks and they in turn told us stories,” she said. Chinyepi said the theme for this year’s festival is “Local Languages for Global Citizenship”, adding that people should take pride in their local languages.

She said as much as the emphasis is on Kalanga culture, Batswana should not ignore other local languages.

“Wouldn’t it be nice for all of us to know Seswara, Seyei, Sekalaka, Setswapong etc and take pride in all out local languages,” she quizzed, adding that no one chooses which tribe he/she is born into and as such Batswana should respect their cultures.

This year, she said they have also introduced camp sites and people with tents can utilise the provision. “Also that do not have tents can enquire but we can only assist them if there are a certain number of people requiring tents,” she said.

She went on to say that on September 28, there will be a cultural exchange involving students from the University of Botswana, Primary School pupils from Nswazwi, Secondary School pupils from Nswazwi and elderly people from Nswazwi.

For her part, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) marketing and communications director, Bomolemo Selaledi said her organisation will sponsor this year’s Nswazwi marathon which is under this year’s Domboshaba Cultural Festival and the University of Botswana with P30 000.

She said the money is from the FNBB Foundation which was established in 2001 with the aim of sponsoring corporate social initiatives. “So far the FNBB Foundation has spent P30million on various social projects,” she said. The Nswazwi Marathon is set to be held on September 28 and will be an annual event.

The race will include the senior, junior, local athletes and veterans and it will be a 21.1km race and also there will be a 4km bicycle race and a tug of war competition. ENDS

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