Maru-a-Pula secondary school is well on its way to launching the second edition of a week-long series of events aimed at raising students’ awareness of Setswana culture during ‘Setswana Week’.
The event started on Friday, 11 September and a cultural concert launched the Setswana inspired event on the very same day.
┬áThe annual event was first established in 2008 by the Department of Setswana and the Batswana members of Maru-a-Pula staff.
The initiative is said to be playing a significant role in the construction of student identity.
This year’s theme is ‘Culture: my roots, my dignity, my pride’, loosely translated to Setswana as Ngwao ya me, setso sa me, medi ya me, ke boleng jwa me. Ke ipelafatsa ka yone.
Last year’s theme was ‘Culture is my business’ or Setso ke boikarabelo jwa me.
In the words of the deputy principal, Lucy Clarke, in addition to raising student awareness, the event’s organising committee now aims at enriching the cultural life of Gaborone which they consider as a window to the outside world since it is the nation’s capital.
┬á“The aim of this week of festivities and events centres on culture. Collective heritage is not only to raise awareness of and ensure the transfer of Setswana culture to the youth but also to expose our expatriate students to local culture and invite all students, participants, and spectators to reflect on the role their heritage and culture has to play in their identity construction and sense of self,” says Lucy.
┬áLast year’s event was reportedly successful as it enjoyed massive media coverage. This year, different local traditional groups are lined up to join the celebrations, groups such as Mogwana, Dikakapa and Kgotla.
The action packed schedule also has students from eight different senior secondary schools debating about the importance of culture. A play of a traditional Setswana wedding will be staged by students to show the proceedings from patlo to tseo.
The guest of honour to grace the event will be chief of the Bakgatla, Kgosi Kgafela.
He was chosen because he is viewed as a strong supporter of the role of culture and collective heritage in building an identity for the youth.
There will also be an international fashion show where students and teachers will showcase fashion and clothing from their native countries.