The 2016 Maitisong Festival, a week-long celebration of the arts, came to a successful end last Saturday.
The 29th edition of the prestigious arts festival, the biggest in Botswana, included a variety of performances, ranging from theatre to poetry to song and dance.
The undoubted highlight of the week was on Wednesday evening when students from a number of schools around Gaborone performed their own adaptations of some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays.
The showcase, entitled, ‘Shakespeare Lives in Botswana’ or ‘Shakespeare o a Tshela’ was performed in front of a sold-out Maitisong Hall on a magical night that the old bard would have relished.
The captivated audience was also treated to high-quality performances from Batswana poets, Barolong Seboni, Moroka Moreri and Mandisa Mabuthoe, as well as rapper Zeus.
The Showcase was part of the British council’s global ‘Shakespeare Lives’ project, celebrating the great poet’s works on the 400th anniversary of his death.
The project’s director, Alastair Hagger, said he was overjoyed at Wednesday’s capacity attendance as well as the interest in the festival as a whole.
“The ‘Shakespeare o a Tshela’ project has reached thousands of people in Botswana and planted the seeds of an enduring love for Shakespeare in the young people of this country. We are immensely proud of all the artists, students and teachers who participated and hugely grateful to all of our generous sponsors and partners, without which the project would not have been possible,” said a delighted Hagger.
Other notable productions from the week included Baratani, a play celebrating Lentswe La Baratani and Phuti, a play about the origins of the Bangwato totem.