Galo Shopping Complex in Francistown bustled with scores of people over the weekend as both the young and the old thronged the mall for the first ever Culture and Diversity Expo.
Different nationalities and races showcased their cultural exhibits to try and communicate to the public about their cultures and further share cultural experiences and networking.
Speaking to the Telegraph, the Marketing Manager of Galo Shopping Complex, Mark Themba, said that by organising such an event, they want to send a message to the public that they are not just a shopping complex for profit making, but they also want to contribute in community building by promoting the integration of different races and cultures.
“We, as Galo Shopping Complex, have realized that there seems to be segregation between different races and nationalities in Botswana. Therefore, this is our initiative of trying to bring people together,” he said.
He added that Chinese, Blacks and Indians do not easily integrate, which is a barrier that needs to be broken.
Themba said that they also want to spread a strong message to the society about the importance of cultural exploration, integration and networking.
He revealed that the Culture and Diversity Expo was done in collaboration with the Department of Youth, Arts and Culture and Botswana Tourism.
“We take pride in the fact that we are the initiator of such an Expo and we are going to hold such events on an annual basis,” he said.
Themba said that they have also been engaged in a number of Social Responsibility programmes, such as their partnership with the Francistown Rotary Club in raising charity funds for the organization.
He added that towards the end of this month, they will be doing a Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.
One of the exhibitors during the event who hails from Kenya, Muthoni Gateru, spoke to the Telegraph saying that the cultural diversity expo is a very important initiative as it gives different people a platform to get to learn about each other’s cultures.
“This expo has given me the opportunity to share with Batswana and other cultures about the culture of Kenyans,” she said as she produced traditional attires from her country.
Although the cultural expo did not attract many foreign nationalities to showcase their culture and products, Themba said they hope to pull in the interest of many nationals next year.
Different exhibitors showcased cultural ornaments, traditional attires and artwork.