The Assistant Minister of Local Government, Botlogile Tshireletso has showered accolades on President Ian Khama for helping preserve Botswana’s culture.
Speaking during the commemoration of the Francistown District Culture last week Friday, she said that the President’s efforts in preserving culture have been visible. She gave an example of the commission that was set up by the President comprising dikgosi and pastors to probe moral decay and revive culture in this country. ┬á
“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to our president, for showing support to culture. The president has managed to unite the nation through cultural innovations such as competitions, dance and traditional songs such as polka, tsutsube and hosanna, just to mention a few. We are lucky to have a president who is also a kgosi” said Tshireletso.
She also commended the youth for taking the president’s advice by capitalising on culture to earn a living. She said this is evidenced by among others, a high number of traditional music groups that are mushrooming across the country. Tshireletso further said for one to maintain a good record of conduct, it is crucial for them to uphold the values of botho (good behaviour) dress style and language.
“The other important factors that are key in preservation of culture are food, the way we conduct our marriages, our behaviour during the mourning process and how we handle the bereaved families,” she added.
Tshireletso expressed concern over the country’s norms and beliefs which are slowly fading due to modern developments. She said aspects such as cohabitation, reckless spending habits, escalating crime, moral decay and high numbers of divorce cases are a sign that culture is slowly depreciating.
She further said that the rich and developed nations such as Scotland in Europe have managed to preserve their cultures despite modernisation. She gave example of the Scottish dress that is still worn in that country.┬á
Tshireletso also added that in some instances culture has played a significant role in aiding developed countries to ascend to their different status.
“Although we are commemorating this day in an urban centre, we all have traditional backgrounds and origins. I therefore plead with you to acknowledge the fact that we grew up under different cultural backgrounds, hence we should guard against diminishing other cultures,” she said.
The objective of the commemoration of this day was to exchange knowledge about different cultures as well as to encourage people to appreciate their cultural differences. It was also celebrated as part of the vision 2016 pillars of “a united and proud nation and an educated and informed nation”.