Cultural fun in the shadow of the hill

Christinah Motlhabane

Rubbishing recent reports that the event had been postponed, organisers have confirmed that the annual Nyangabwe Hill Cultural Festival will go ahead as planned.

Indeed, this year’s edition, scheduled for 30 October – 1 November, is set to be the most exciting in the festival’s six-year history.

The three-day event will take place at what is now known as the Nyangabwe Hill Arts Hub, situated in the shadow of the iconic hill.

Giving Voice Entertainment a break down of the itinerary this week, event organiser, Ngwisiwa Ntogwa revealed that the official opening will be held on 30 October during the day, with President Mokgweetsi Masisi lined-up as a possible guest speaker.

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The night session will include a host of DJs strutting their stuff on the decks.

“We are planning to bring DJ Gouveia or Sly and some local DJs as we want to empower them.

“The 31st of October will be Culture Day. We are bringing Khuduthamaga Cultural Troupe from Gaborone and Matsosangwane Arts Troupe in Kasane. We chose those two because they have been leading the presidential competitions. Tjilenje Tje Ngwao will be performing too and other locals from the north,” said Ntogwa.

The Tjilenje Tje Ngwao founder promised a plethora of activities on the day, including games such as: morabaraba, mmele, koi, tug-of-war as well as hill climbing.

“They will be many traditional activities like dance (hosanna, tsutsube, setapa, phathisi and diwari) and touring of Francistown in a donkey cart,” Ntogwa continued, adding there will be jumping castles for children and traditional cuisine for everyone.

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“We will be offering food like: delele, seswaa,thopi, tjimoni, phani, makgomane dobi and lebelele as well as snacks such as: groundnuts, mhxanga, moretologa, nkumbi. There will also be traditional brews together with wines and whiskeys.”

The cultural theme will continue after the sun sets, with artists performing around the fire.

“We are still negotiating with Bana Bana ba Ntogwa, Ba Ntolo and Culture Spears to serenade the night session,” he added.

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The music will continue into the new month with the popular Jazz leg bringing the festival to a close.

“It runs from One o’clock in the afternoon until midnight. Banjo Mosele will surely be performing; we long made an agreement together with Kamvuthu and Ntogwa Thobela. We will add some local performers,” said Ntogwa.

With the Covid-19 stipulations in their current format, organisers are limited to an attendance of 75 people.

If there are no changes, then tickets will be sold at P200 each, with VIP setting patrons back P750 and a table for ten costing P12, 000.

“When there is be no limit then our table of 10 will cost P5, 000, VIP P350 and standard P200. We will also have stalls for those wishing to exhibit; a small stall is P500, medium P750 while corporate is P1500,” he said, adding that the event will adhere strictly to Covid-19 protocols.

“We are working with Living Water Pharmacy, who have agreed to give us thermometers and sanitizers, whilst Chidzanani Pharmacy will be taking temperatures at the entrance point.”

Organisers of the festival, which will be live streamed on social media, include: Tjilenje Tje Ngwao, Botswana Tourism Organization, Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education and Botswana Accountancy College.

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