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Son of the Soil 2016 back into the future

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The annual Son of the Soil (SOTS) event billed for end of this month will not only introspect in the country’s 50 years of cultural independence, but also project the next half century.

Publicity and Media Relations Officer for the event organisers, Bana ba Mmala Trust, Pontsho Pusoetsile told Vibe that they look at this as a 50-50 celebrations and introspection.

“We will also be juxtaposing culture at the 2016 event looking at Botswana food from the past 50 years and projecting Botswana food in the next 50 years, the same with song and dance.”The SOTS 2016 event will be hosted under the theme ‘Kwa re go yang – Ke Motswana’ to underpin the importance of culture as a pillar of national development.

“We strongly believe that development must be anchored on a strong national identity. The sub-theme for the 2016 event (“Ke Motswana”) is meant for each Motswana to look at the past 50 years before 2016 and also project forward the next 50 years and take pride in the achievements.”

The main event will be staged on the 30th of this month at Serokolwane Lawns. Pusoetsile explained that activities would start this Friday with a workshop in the build up to the main event.

The workshop dubbed Pitsong Workshop will focus on sharing of various Setswana themes and topics. “It usually covers food culture, homestead culture, tribalculture, musical culture and what can now be considered national level culture. All these topics are usually covered from a historical and futuristic point of view. With the key message being how a Motswana of the future will be easily identifiable among Global Citizens.”

Entry into the Pitsong Workshop is usually free and on invitation only. Target groups are those that organise cultural events and also leading cultural thinkers including cultural opinion makers. On Friday 29th January 2016 there will be a Metswaisong Evening Chillas and on Sunday 31st January a Setswana Sunday Jazz powered by Kgalagadi Jazz Beats.

Metswaisong Evening Chillas encompasses storytelling, traditional dance, traditional song, dithamalakane and light hearted Setswana humour.

At the main event Pusoetsile said there will be traditional cuisine, traditional games, song, dance and evening Setswana themed festival. “We will also have stalls selling various traditional themed items at the event,” he said.

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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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