On June 16 – which is the day of the African child, the Children Association of Performing Arts Botswana (CHIPABO) promoted performing arts at Moremogolo Primary School in Francistown. The students were given a platform to perform drama and poetry. The day was held under the theme “The Child is Precious”.
CHIPABO which is a Non-Governmental organisation was established in 2012 and it is currently funded by the Companies Intellectual Authority (CIPA). The organisation has 30 centers country wide. The main objective of CHIPABO is to develop performing arts at grass roots level.
Speaking to The Telegraph, the Arts Educator at CHIPABO Oratile Joseph said that the objective of the event which was well attended was to motivate and stimulate interest in students to pursue performing arts and poetry.
“This event gave the students a platform to showcase their acting talent through drama and poetry. One of the most beautiful plays they performed is called “ Four Gowns that The Girl Child should wear”. These four gowns are the school uniform, the graduation gown, the wedding gown and the maternity gown. I am the one who directed this play to sensitize the girl child that there is no short cut in life. The message of this play is that girls should not rush into love relationships at a young age and should understand that life has got stages,” she said.
Joseph strongly emphasized that arts can unite people as well as send strong messages about real life issues. She also said that performing arts can keep children away from ill habits such as drug abuse, alcoholism and even crime. She urged parents to support their children and to help them realize their talents. She also said it is very important for children to be afforded their rights.
“During this event we also advised children to know their rights as well as respect their parents. On the other hand we also urged parents not to violate their children’s rights. We further advised the students to seek counselling when they have problems rather than keeping the problems to themselves,” she said.
Joseph further said that they held this event in conjunction with the Commemoration of The Day of an African Child (June 16) to try and remind the nation of the sad events that happened in the then apartheid South Africa when black children were killed by the apartheid regime. She also said that they used this day to reflect on achievements that have been made hitherto in ensuring that children are afforded their rights and are protected.
“Children are the future of any country. They need to be loved, they need to be empowered and they have rights. One can make a living through peforming arts and this is one of the messages we are trying to send to students. In the United States of America for an example, some people are rich and successful due to performing arts,” she said in conclusion.