With the vibrant arts scene moving to other parts of the country, events such as Maun’s International Arts Festival are seemingly on the right track in diversifying the local creative industry. Having grown from a spoken word festival to now encompassing different forms of arts including theatre, dance, music, poetry, comedy, literature and the visual arts, the annual Maun International Arts Festival 2016 (MIAF) will be held from October 22 to 30.
This year marks the sixth year since the festival’s inception, and art enthusiasts are in for a unique and better experience during the eight-day event, said event facilitator Thato Molosi.
“This festival has something for everyone, and it is organised by Poetavango Spoken Word Poetry. We are bringing to Maun a full spectrum of the arts to especially celebrate Botswana’s 50 years of independence proving that the country has indeed made good progress towards attaining artistic excellence,” Molosi said.
Starting the event will be and an interschool poetry competition, followed by the grand opening of the festival. “There is a spontaneous creativity fun activity where poetry meets the visual arts. A small group of spoken word performers will recite ad lib while visual artists will depict the poems into pictorial forms. Over the years, this has been one of the highlights of the festival,” he expressed.
Last year saw the festival introducing the annual Poetavango Award for Short Fiction, which will take place on the evening of October 24 followed by a night of theatre performances and music workshops the next day.
“One of the people’s favourite is the comedy night. Last year the festival had introduced a hip hop battle and poetry slam. The Alpha of the Delta Hip Hop Battle was won by a Motswana rapper, Islam the Third, while the War of Words Poetry Slam was won by South African wordsmith Hector Kunene,” added Molosi.
“An open street jam session in the centre of town is also on the cards. This activity has seen many rising artists gracing the stage. The poetry night is on Friday while on Saturday morning participants will be taken on boat ride excursions along the Thamalakane and Boro rivers.
The festival will culminate with a closing ceremony at Maun Lodge on October 29,” Molosi said.
All participants of the festival will be taken to the Kgotla where they will greet community elders and the village leadership. Participants will also get to taste traditional cuisine and get an appreciation of the local folklore traditions through song, dance and attire.”
The festival is expecting participants from Bulgaria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, United States of America, Hungary, Namibia, Lesotho, Zambia, Uganda and Ghana.
For dates and venues of the festival and ticket prices, visit Poetavango’s Facebook page.