Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Guwu Tjilenje annual festival inaugurated in Tutume Village

Multitudes of people swarmed Tutume Village in the Central District during the weekend to commemorate Guwu Tjilenje, a newly formed Ikalanga Annual Cultural Festival.

The Acting Minister of Justice, Defence and Security, Edwin Batshu, applauded the initiative, saying that Botswana could use culture and arts as a vehicle to boost its economy.

Batshu, who was the festival’s guest of honour, told the participants that the arts and culture sector plays a significant role in the country as artists and entrepreneurs can all be classified under small businesses.

“Arts can generate commerce for local businesses such as hotels, restaurants and retail stores,” he said.

Batshu told the participants that cultural events in and around Tutume Village could provide a stimulus to the village’s economy if efforts are made vigorously by packaging, branding and promoting arts and cultural activities and programmes in an economically viable manner.

The Minister reminded the villagers that by them establishing a cultural village, it would be a driving force for cultural tourism in the area, thus bringing much needed employment and financial rewards.

“The strengthening of the Arts and Culture in Botswana will no doubt greatly add to the diversification of our economy,” he said.

He went on to add that the Arts and Culture avenue should be taken seriously in Botswana as it can also enhance Botswana’s competitiveness in Global Arts and Culture industry and could also harmonize the relationship of people in the country.

Batshu went on to add that amid the current challenges that the country is trotting through, such as the HIV/Aids pandemic and social inequalities, arts and culture can help restore values and harmonize the relationship between different communities.

“In some cases none embracing of our cultural differences is a problem leading to categorization and grading, which ends in stigmatization,” the minister said.

He revealed that it is a pity that as a result some people end up being in denial to their roots and places of origin opting to claim to come from bigger or better villages in the area.

Batshu also advised the participants that there is nothing wrong with embracing foreign cultures, but it should always be done with consciousness.

The cultural festival attracted many people, especially the Bakalanga people, mostly from villages in the vicinity of Tutume such as Senete, Nkange and Marobela. The day was marked by song, dance and poems of the Bakalanga tribe.

Similar to the Domboshaba Festival, the Guu Tjilenje cultural festival was formed in 2010 by the Bakalanga, found in the Central District, to try and resuscitate their culture and arts as a way of preserving their heritage for the existing and coming generations.

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