Alastair Hagger, Project Director, Shakespeare o a Tshela / Head of Communications, Maru-a-Pula & Maitisong “Learning is but an adjunct to ourself And where we are our learning likewise is” – Love’s Labours Lost
After ten months of challenging work, we find ourselves just a week away from the Shakespeare Lives in Botswana Showcase Event, during which over 100 Batswana poets, actors and performers will bring Shakespeare’s work to life on the Maitisong stage.
This project now belongs to the performers. As Project Director I have been lucky enough to see their work developing during workshops held by our six theatre practitioners from the UK and South Africa. These workshops are the cauldron of ideas from which magic can and does regularly happen. I have seen music, and humour, and some moments of stunning innovation; in every workshop I saw nothing but total commitment by these young people to learn from the practitioner and use that new knowledge as a springboard for personal interpretation.
It’s also been an unforgettable experience for the practitioners themselves. Lali Dangazele, of ShakeXperience, said: “The ‘Shakespeare o a Tshela’ initiative has truly made me realise the universality of Shakespeare’s work. The students we worked with were inspiring – they committed to the work and applied themselves in a way that left me believing that we have a lot to look forward to in this generation.”
UK-based theatre director Gregory Thompson said it was “a privilege and a delight to work with such wonderful people.” “The students were a little nervous to start with, as they were used to reading Shakespeare from their text books in class,” said Ben Spiller, founder of the 1623 Theatre Company. “However, once they realised that they had permission to play and explore ideas from the plays through games, they really entered the spirit of performance and brought the characters vividly to life.”
The Showcase Event, on Wednesday April 13th, 6pm, at Maitisong, will feature performances by students from Maru-a-Pula School, Naledi Senior Secondary School, St Joseph’s College, Kagiso Senior Secondary School, Moeding College, Ledumang Senior Secondary School, the University of Botswana, AFDA, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture, and The Company@Maitisong. Government school students will be performing scenes from ‘Twelfth Night’; the other performers will be presenting selected moments from Shakespeare’s work in dynamic and innovative interpretations.
We are also delighted to announce that poets Barolong Seboni, Moroka Moreri and Mandisa Mabuthoe, and musician Zeus, will be presenting newly commissioned work written especially for the event. It’s going to be an unforgettable night – Maitisong will be filled with the beautiful human spirit of learning and sharing that Shakespeare so vividly explores in his plays and poetry. Be part of it!
Tickets for the April 13th Showcase event, just P20, are available from www.webtickets.co.bw and the Maitisong office (397 1809). To find out more about Shakespeare o a Tshela, go to www.maitisong.org/shakespeare or call Alastair Hagger on 391 2953 ext. 206.
Making outstanding art through waste material
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.”
BOMU awards go on…
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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