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Mokoto Festival grows in leaps and bounds

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Mokoto wa Lesoso Cultural Festival held this past weekend in Shoshong attracted over 400 revellers.
This is a significant growth when one considers that they brought together only 200 people last year when they launched.
Mokoto Wa Lesoso was first started by a young group of Shoshong youth, under their social club dubbed, Makgobokane. The Makgobokane social club was formed as an organisation aimed at helping the underprivileged and giving back to the communities of the Shoshong village and its proximities.
To diversify on their mandate, the social club then looked back into their village, on what they can do to promote culture, bringing people together to embrace their culture as the Bangwato of Shoshong.

The idea of cultural preservation was then benchmarked from one of the biggest annual festivities in the Bakwena village, the Dithubaruba in Molepolole.
Chairman of the Makgobokane Social Club, Edwin Lesole told Vibe that they realised that as one of the much-loved dishes in the Bangwato area is the Mokoto, then started the Mokoto wa Lesoso in Shoshong.

Lesole noted that the event had attracted people from as far as Urban cities to celebrate this cultural event and were treated to the traditional mouth-watering dishes, such as bogobe jwa lerotse, seswaa, phane, morogo wa dinanwa amongst others.

The traditional brew, khadi was also served. From the music part, a local kwaito kwasa artist born and bred in Shoshong, Swagger Lady kept the guests hooked to her energetic kwasa moves with her six crew dancers, as well as the local choirs on the scene.

“This event helps us to raise funds and work with social workers and identify the needy around the area and see how we can assist them. We had previously decided to build a house for one beneficiary in Motlhabaneng, unfortunately the beneficiary then passed on, but we then completed the structure and hand over to the deceased’ child.”

Lesole lamented that finance remains a major challenge in hosting the event but because they do not want to let the Mokoto fest lovers down, he had to make sure that he makes it a success. “I had to spend about P20,000 from my pocket to make this event happen. I had to make sure that I find money to make the event a success.

We approached Barclays and Choppies amongst other stakeholders, Choppies only availed their Shoshong branch manager to be a speaker, but availed nothing in terms of money or food items,” he said.

When the Makgobokane association started it had about 500 members from the youth of Shoshong and evrery year members renew their membership by P100 and P10 as monthly subscriptions, and now those who renewed their membership had dropped in numbers. The social club then uses the membership subscriptions to find something that they can give back to the community.

According to Lesole, they had printed limit of 200 tickets and they were sold out, and people had to pay at the gate and the number even doubled to 400 and more. He added that the merchandise was also sold out, as compared to the previous year where a bulk of the merchandise did not sell.

To end the formalities of the day just before dusk, men were gathered at the kgotla to be served with the Mokoto. This meat is only served to men and is not to be eaten by women. As for the night crawlers, the event’s after party was moved to a farm outside the village to continue with the fun.

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Making outstanding art through waste material

Keletso Thobega

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Following one’s vocational calling can be a tall order in a world that still believes that white-collar work is the only way to make a living. No one knows this better than 28-year-old Khumoyame

Addam Ndove, who is a police officer by profession and an artist by vocation. While he is committed to his work as a law enforcer he dedicates most of his free time to making art. Ndove runs a company called Craft-eyed Designs which specialises in upholstery designing, artistic furniture and décor ornaments, mostly made out of waste materials such as empty oil drums, tyres and pallets, among others. The Francistown born and raised lad tells Vibe that his artistic journey started with a passion he had for art and using recycled material to create distinct new pieces.

One day he got an idea to try out a few art works and he went out to collect raw material and got down to work. “I knew I was talented in hand craft but had never explored my potential. I was impressed with what I managed to do. My work was interesting and outstanding. I also received positive feedback from the public and realised that this was something I could do out of passion and to complement my earnings,” he says.

Ndove explains that Art is a way of expressing himself. “I enjoy art because that is how I communicate and share what is in my mind.” He points out that he is also a businessman so selling his craft was not too difficult as he has the acumen. He however notes that the biggest challenge he faces is that a large number of Batswana do not appreciate art and therefore do not recognise the value of his work. Other challenges he faces include lack of operational space and shortage of capital.

He says that shortage of raw materials limits him from unleashing his full creative potential. Ndove currently runs his company alone and juggles it with his day job. He hopes to one day get an investor to bolster his business so that he can employ other people and grow the enterprise. “I would like to get a spacious workshop and showroom, and also hire relevant employees.” But doing what he loves makes him content. “Bringing an idea to life makes me fulfilled. I always feel great when I see my finished products.”

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BOMU awards go on…

Keletso Thobega

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The 10th annual Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) awards will be held on 26 January 2019 at GICC. Revellers should expect performances from Lister Boleseng, Nono Siile, Perion, Slizer, Matheke Letane and Kwaito Nation among others. Tickets are said to be already on sale through Webtickets.

The awards will also be broadcasts.
Over the past few weeks there has been confusion over whether the awards will go and this week Phemelo ‘Fresh Les’ Lesokwane officially confirmed that it is all systems go. Artists caused a stir this week on social media when they indicated that was confusion and miscommunication around the awards. But Lesokwane insists that there is nothing confusing going on as the interim committee had been planning the awards for a while now, and had even roped in sponsors.

He said that the awards had been organised since last week but they had to change the date due to a few glitches. Lesokwane says that they had opted for the people’s choice approach to awards. “We have given the public the power to decide who they want to vote for under the different categories. What happens is that when you vote you sms the category and name of the artist to 16565. We are then going to tally the votes when voting lines close on 23 January 2019.

We will then cut down the number of entries based on the number of votes. This will make the process easier for our judges, who will listen to the artists’ CDs and give them points.” He further said that having a high number of votes would not automatically mean that an artist makes it. “One might have many votes but with low quality music and we consider that. We are looking at quality
Lesokwane said that when former chairperson Pagson Ntsie was outsed, the awards were still open. “Registration is still on at BOMU office in Kgolagano at Main mall. Those who had registered can check their documentation.”

Last year BOMU was wrecked by infightings following a ruling that Pagson Ntsie is not the legitimate chairperson of the music body. The ruling was passed in August by the Registrar of Societies. The ruling came following investigations regarding adherence to the BOMU Constitution and corruption claims. Accusations of financial mismanagement and poor leadership also cropped up.

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