Cultural troupe Mafitlhakgosi from Old Naledi in Gaborone will be taking its craft to China next week with a scheduled performance in Beijing.?The trip, organized by De Beers, will see the group travelling on October 27 and returning on November 3.
Coordinator and founder of the group, Joseph Ikopeng, said they are honored to be chosen to go and show how talented Batswana are in China. ?“This opportunity came at the right time for the group as we believe the group is now ready to showcase what we are made of to other countries,” he said. “We are a very talented bunch and the Chinese are going to be the first to witness this magic that we bring on stage.” ?Since its formation, the troupe has proved to be a force to reckon with, impressing at all their shows. Having graced so many big corporate events lately, the group is establishing its presence among the best traditional groups. ?Mafitlhakgosi’s strength lies in the high-energy enthusiasm and charm of their mostly child-dancers and the diversity of their dances.
The dances range from Setapa, Phathisi and Hosana. Another interesting addition the group displays is their ability to imitate some of the biggest local performers on stage such as Vee, ATI and Dramaboi. ?Ikopeng said that although the main reason he formed the group was to help keep the Naledi community from vices like drugs, alcohol abuse and stealing, the traditional group has now proven to be one of the best ensembles in Botswana.
“Now that our break has come we are going to shine like the stars we are. This is our only chance to attract more countries to invite us to their shows,” he said.?The group will perform on October 30 at a festival called Dalumi Shanghai at Ritz Carlton hotel.
“We are going to come back with a lot of knowledge and ways on how to improve our group as we are going to see Chinese groups performing. All these experiences will be implemented in our performances when we return. Our fans can look out for that,” he said.?Sadly the group will not be taking all its members along. The people that are going, Ikgopeng said, are going to make fireworks in China.
“We were born entertainers,” he said.