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Molosi’s Dear Upright African out tomorrow

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Donald Molosi’ much-anticipated new book Dear Upright African – A call to action for taking history into our own hands, will be released tomorrow (February 28).

The book has already been endorsed by Tsitsi Dangarembga who wrote the revered Nervous Conditions, and Binyanvanga Wainana. The book is a manifesto that depicts what a decolonised Africa would look like. A shared sample from the book reads: “We need a revolution in education to take our history back into our hands, and to perform it through our eyes for humanity and ourselves.

Without question, our African histories are under siege by those who would rather believe that Africa has no history, and that colonialism is over.” Molosi, who is also classically trained actor and playwright, also penned the book Motswana: Africa, Dream Again, which highlights the transition of Botswana from a British colony to an independent state through the eyes of its people. He has also written a revered stage play, We are all Blue, an account of how despite which was also published in two parts as one book.

But perhaps he is best known for his play, Blue, Black and White, which came out in 2011, and tells the story between first President of Botswana Seretse Khama and his white British wife, Ruth, and how the relationship formed a model for Botswana’s multicultural multi-ethnicity.

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RASESA SOCIAL PICNIC A CUT ABOVE THE REST

Tshepo Kehemile

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The 5th annual Rasesa Social Picnic held this past Saturday lived up to expectations. Scores of youthful revellers turned up for the event dressed to the nines. The picnic, which seems to have grown in popularity over the years, also catered for the little ones who enjoyed playing a variety of games that brought a lot of excitement to the afternoon.

As evening approached, different local DJs including Max wa bana, Cassper the DJ, Khebah and NT Base, just to mention a few, took to the ones and twos and had revellers eating from the palm of their head with the tunes they churned well into the night. The event organiser, Bakang ‘DJ Bakito’ Phiri, told Vibe that this year’s event was a resounding success. “This was the biggest and best edition we have had so far. We are also grateful that the crowd was better behaved and responsible unlike during previous years when we had a few unfortunate incidents of unruly behaviour here and there.

The DJs also did their best on the decks and gave our revellers their money’s worth,” he said. Phiri reiterated that they had faced a few challenges as organisers of the event but they managed to overcome them. “For example, the venue that we normally use is surrounded by residential plots and with the consistent growth of the event, we cannot accommodate the ever increasing number of revellers,” he said.

He however noted that this would not hamper their plans to grow the event. “We want to develop the event into long weekend festivities and also include a soccer tournament for children as we want to unearth sporting talent in the village. We also want to do charity work to contribute to the development of Rasesa,” he said.

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Festival of Kerala – an explosion of Indian folk expression

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Hundreds of Malayalees – the Kerala Indian commuity living in Botswana –celebrated their Keralaotsavam or Festival of Kerala this past Saturday at Maitisong hall, Maru-a-Pula secondary school.

Held under the auspices of Kerala Samajam Botswana, the festival brought together the over 600-strong Kerala Community that resides and works in different parts of Botswana under one roof to share, reminisce and celebrate their culture in song, dance and to showcase their traditional attire. Dignitaries, among them former President Festus Mogae, India’s High Commissioner to Botswana, Dr Rajesh Ranjan and his wife, Dr. Upma Ranjan as well as Russian and Japanese envoys and the president of Kerala Samajan Botswana Sreejith Alakkat – graced the event.

Making a keynote address, former president Mogae extolled the importance of the festival as an ocassion to people-to-people diplomacy. Having visited the State of Kerala in southern India on three ocassions, Mogae, eho turns 80 this year, said the festival helps to cement the bonds and ties that exist betweenthe peoples of Botswana and India. It was however, not so much the speeches that the excited crowds yearned to hear instead they wanted to be immersed in the line-up of cultural events displayed in folk and contemporary song and dance.

The items on display in the various colourful array of presentation were performed by 130 participants under the able guidance of 12 dhoreographers, all of whom were given mementos at the end of every musical or dramatic show. Among the repertoire on show were Mohiniyatam – one of eght classical dances of India that was developed and remains popular in Kerala; Thiiruvathira – a Hindu festival celebrated in Kerala ss the birthday of Lord Shiva; there was also the Oppana- a popular form of social entertainment among the Mappila – these are the Kerala Muslims as well as Kerala nadanam – a relatively new style of dance curreently recognised as a distinct art form mevolved from Kathakali, which is a form of Indian dance-drana.

The performances continued until midnight and were punctuated by dinner; cinematic shows and prize giving breaks during which guests and patrons enjoyed sumptuous Indian meals. According to one of the Kerala Salamajan Botswana committee member, members of the Kerala Community comprise largely of professional Accontants and Teachers and have only recently ventured into the business side.

The patron of the association is Ramgoolam (Ram) of the Choppies brand; while some of the business-minded Kerala community membersare found in the gas and oil industry; Botho University; and accounting firms.This community is revered for having bequeathed Botswana with the first Indian doctor, Dr. Nair, who worked at Princess Marina Hosiptal and is renowned for having attended to the health of former presidents – the late Sir Ketumile Masire and former president Festus Mogae. She and her husband, one of the pioneering engineers at RoadsTransport and Safety will be retiring to India very soon.

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