Monday, September 20, 2021

Countdown to Botswana’s biggest arts and culture festival begins

The countdown to Botswana’s biggest music and cultural festival has begun. Music and arts lovers are waiting in anticipation as the date for the Gaborone International Music and Culture week (GIMC) draws near. The GIMC will put Gaborone on par with other cities like Cape Town, Harare and Mbabane who regularly host internationally renowned music, arts and culture festivals of their own.

The weeklong GIMC, which will run from 25 ÔÇô 31 August, will feature various events like poetry night, choral music, culture night, jazz festival and an international music show. The event organiser, Thapelo Pabalinga said he came up with the idea after realising that Botswana does not have an event that showcases and celebrates the diverse people and talents that exist in our country.

“Gaborone is made up of people from different backgrounds, with different tastes and interests. We wanted to put together an event that will cater for all these people by bringing various small events under one massive festival. That’s why the GIMC week will feature a diversity of events that will leave revellers spoilt for choice. I guarantee you that everyone will find something in our line up that speaks to him or her,” he said.

Various local and international artists are due to perform at the inaugural GIMC, which will then become an annual event. Pabalinga said the aim is to make GIMC an international arts and culture festival that will attract tourists from all over the world. To kick start the week long festivities, popular poet TJ Dema will share the stage with Mandisa Mabuthoe, Poet Circle and Motsepe on 27 August at Botswana Craft. TJ Dema needs no introduction in the world of poetry. Her journey as a poet dates back to the 90s and today she is an internationally renowned award winning artist who has performed in countries like Germany, Zimbabwe, India, USA, Scotland and France. She participated in Lancaster University’s Crossing Borders program and later mentored the all-female team of national champions for the British Council’s seven country Power in the Voice initiative.

For her work within Botswana’s literary community she was named an Arise Magazine African Changemaker (2013) and a St Louis Top 40 under 40 catalyst (2014). So, fans of ‘the word’ will definitely enjoy TJ Dema’s performance. The poetry night will be followed by a night of melodious song and dance on 28 August at Mantlwaneng Theatre (Westwood School) where local chorale giants like the award winning Gaborone Youth Singers, Andante, KTM Choir and Sedibeng will perform. Sedibeng are well known for their diverse and exciting performances which range from chorale to classical. They are the first local choir to make musicals a part of their performances.

With the diversity in sound and performance of the choirs, music lovers are definitely in for a thrill. Tickets for the two shows are available from Webtickets at Riverwalk, at P200 for chorale night and P100 for poetry night. For corporate tickets, enquiries can be made at Leapfrog on 3923381.

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