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The 2nd annual Nama Culture Festival returns bigger and better

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The second annual Nama Culture Festival will be held on Friday and Saturday at Lokgwabe village, Kgalagadi North. The festival will attract members of the Nama community from Botswana and Namibia, as well as guests who include Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Kgalagadi South MP Frans Van Der Westhuizen and Gantsi North MP Noah Salakae.

Also expected to grace the event is a delegation from the University of South Africa Sol Plaatjie Institute and University of Botswana San Research Centre. Kgosi Molatole will welcome all the guests in a regal ceremony. According to the festival public relations officer, Nichodimas Cooper, the festival is growing in leaps and bounds. He divulged that opening a Trust has made it easier for stakeholders to come on board.

The German Embassy, European Union, Metropolitan Botswana and the National Museum sponsor the event. In an interview, Cooper told Vibe that they aimed to ensure that the Nama culture is celebrated and recognised.The Nama are derived from the Khoi Khoi. He explained that the event would begin with a trek to the Simon Cooper monument in Kaartlwe Pan, situated about nine kilometres from Lokgwabe. In 2011, the area was recognised as a national monument by the Botswana Museum. Simon Cooper, who passed on in 1913, is the chief who led the Nama people from Namibia to Botswana following the German wars.

“We always honour him and celebrate his legacy. In our culture we refer to chiefs as captains. Our Captain Cooper is celebrated for his resilience and strength in helping fight the Germans in Namibia,” he said. Cooper further noted that Simon Cooper, who is also known by his Nama name, /Gomxab, was the only Nama chief who died a natural death as the previous chiefs had all been killed by the Germans.

“He managed to evade being killed and would retreat to Botswana and fight the Germans from this side. We will share this history at the event,” he said. The Nama and Herero were amongst the ethnic African communities who fought against racial extermination and punishment meted on them by the Germans in then German South West Africa (now Namibia) between 1904 and 1907.

Approximately 10, 000 Nama people died during those wars. Cooper added that other activities at the festival would include Nama stap dances as well as other traditional dances, horse karding and parades as well as dramatic depiction of the German-Herero-Nama war and the cultural practices of the Nama people. “We will show how a boy child and girl child are raised. We will also show how we conduct affairs such as birth, marriage and so forth.” The Nama people are known for their colourful attires which they make themselves, and upbeat dance moves.

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Motlha to finally release debut album

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Trendsetting songbird Motlha is pencilled to release his solo album in February next year. Motlha is signed under Rok Lefatshe Records. The album will be produced by Suffocate. The vibrant singer currentlyhas three singles out and they include Hisa Hisa (featuring ATI), Mmamotse (which catapulted him to the top of the charts) as well as Nnenekwane.

Speaking in an interview with this publication last week ahead of his debut at the Mascom Live Sessions event featuring Bongo Maffin, he revealed that he started work on music for his debut album right after the release of Mmamotse.

He also says that the album is still a work in progress, and that he is yet to finalise the final list of songs that will make it into the album, as well as the name of the album. Ï am still eliminating and adding songs,” he explains.

He further says that his fans should look forward to collaborations with artists such as Zanda Zakusa (South Africa) and Soul Culture (also from South Africa). He reveals that he wants to work with a lot of artists who are in line with his vision.

He also notes that it is difficult for him to identify his genre. Some he says, classify his music as Afro Jazz, other Jazz with a fusion of RnB. Ï am still trying to classify my genre, and I might have to come up with a name for my sound,” he notes.His goal, he says, is to make music that touches and changes lives in a postive way. “I want to empower people through music.”

Meanwhile, Motlha proved his mettle as a stage performer of note when he put on an impressive performance at the Mascom Live sessions this past Friday.He gave revellers their money’s worth and many cheered and sang along throughout his energetic performance.

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Kokoamokoko entrances poetry lovers at his wedding

Irene Shone

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TALENTED: The recently married poet is working on a new album.

Former President’s Day competitions poetry award winner Okabo Gaopelo, also known as Kokoamokoko, tied the knot in style this past weekend in Mankgodi. The energetic performer could not help but serenade guests with his rich Setswana poetic rhythm. The superb poet better known as ‘Kokoamokoko’ planned on enjoying his day while listening to other poets doing what he loves best.

A variety of poets made his day as they added the cherry to the blissful wedding by presenting poems to him. While he had sworn that he would not recite any poem, his talent itched to be shared and he asked for the mic and gladly presented poetic verses, singing praises to his gorgeous wife.

The guests cheered him in amusement, imitating his usual line “Ke kokoamokoko weeee.”Gaopelo glamorously rocked his traditional attire that he normally use for his poetic sessions, saying that it is his signature for the love of arts. The bridesmaids and groomsmen also looked the part in the African attire, and they danced magnificently, showing off their well-choreographed moves.

They danced to the poet’ traditional song Ao ntate, from his album Tswhwarelo. Gaopelo told Vibe that he performed his work on his wedding day in order to motivate upcoming artistes who enjoy poetry and traditional music. He pointed out that many people think that many people seem to think that musicians and other arts practitioners do it to earn a living, but that is not the case.

“I wanted to show that we also do this out of passion and to showcase our talent. It really felt wonderful to perform for my wife and guests, and to also dance to my own song on my wedding day.” Gaopelo added that he plans to release another album next year.

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