Whenever I have to go to the stadium, I always end up convincing myself that the best seat in the room is my couch where I have the option to replay any moment.
It was a blessing in disguise when I manned up and decided to grace the opening ceremony for the 2nd Africa Youth games.
To say the show was spectacular would be a grave understatement and an injustice to the organizing committee.
The skeptical me eye balled the time stated on the ticket and thought that in true Setswana style, we would be at least two or three hours late. I was proved wrong when the gates were closed at 5 O’clock and the event proceeded in an immaculately choreographed manner. It was like clockwork.
All the stands were full. The spectators were clearly having a lot of fun ÔÇô singing, dancing and doing the famous Mexican wave as they waited patiently for the proceedings to begin.
The crowd went wild when the Air Botswana air craft hovered over the stadium and the national air carrier were acknowledged as one of the main sponsors.
The processions began and it was extremely colorful as all 53 African flags were held up high as the competitors proceeded to their respective stands.
The speeches were made and President Seretse Khama Ian Khama wowed the audience as he fluently spoke French and Portuguese in honour of the French and Portuguese speaking countries.
When the stadium lights went out and the audience was left in the dark, a little voice in my head was like, “Oh no, not now, load shedding when we have guests from all over the continent.”
Little did I know that it was all part of the ac. They were preparing the audience to be mesmerized.
A couple dressed in traditional Setswana attire walked onto the stage in stilts for dramatic effect to tell a story about Botswana through song and dance. Local songbird Maxy belted out a traditional dance number while the stage was filled with dancers wearing different traditional attires from different parts of the country celebrating how they manage to co-exist in unity. Maxy sang her heart out, her distinct vocals bringing tears to many.
The story continued with more narrations and a montage of pictures showing the ways of life of Batswana and their humble beginnings. The visual effects were amazing as the lights and blended with the dancers. It was all very dramatic.
A show would not be complete without local singer Vee belting one of his funky tracks, and true to form, he closed the show with one of his hits, ‘Eita’ which befittingly means hello and was in a way welcoming the young athletes and their entourages. The fireworks display was just as remarkable.
If I hadn’t been at the stadium I would not have believed that the African Youth Games opening ceremony was held at our very own national stadium.