NGOWP presents Nkashi: Race for theOkavango


National Geographic Society (NGS) this week premiered its Setswana documentary film, Nkashi: Race for the Okavango, as polers from all over villages along the Okavango Delta prepare for the annual Nkashi race, to be held in Maun in August.

The premier was held in Maun on March 7th and in Gaborone on March 9th.

The project is a collaboration between National Geographic and De Beers Mining Company through their Okavango Eternal partnership.

“The film, made in Setswana in collaboration with Batswana filmmakers, showcases the wonder and importance of the Okavango Delta and Botswana to the world and will be officially introduced by His Excellency, Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, at the Gaborone event,” NGS announced in a press statement.

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The television world premiere of the film was also set to feature on Botswana Television’s BTV 1 channel on the 9th in the evening.

According to NGS, the documentary tells a story of three mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) polers in the Okavango Delta as they prepare for the annual Nkashi classic.

The polers, according to the narration, contend with grief, the local impacts of climate change and the urgency of preserving the tradition of the mokoro and Nkashi for the next generation.

Photo journalist and National Geographic Explorer, Thalefang Charles produced the film and is quoted saying, “The Okavango Delta is globally known as home to captivating wildlife. But films made in the Okavango Delta have rarely told the stories of its extraordinary people, who have been protecting our water, wildlife, and traditions since the beginning of time.”

Charles further noted that, “It’s incredibly powerful that Nkashi: Race for the Okavango celebrates mokoro polers and their stories, in their own language. I’m delighted that with the platforms of BTV and community screenings, Batswana, especially the people from Okavango, will finally see a film that was made in their own communities.”

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Nkashi classic is an annual mokoro race of polers which at the end crowns the fastest poler in the Delta.

The race involves avoiding obs friends for a fun day as we crown the fastest poler in the Delta. Bring your picnics, chairs, picnic blankets, hats and cash as there will be crafts and food for sale.”

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