The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture celebrated and honoured the finest performing artists of the 2010 President’s Day Competitions held at the Gaborone International Conference Center over the President’s holiday.
The Ministry has hosted this event for three years running, since 2008.
This year’s competitions were organized under the theme, “Towards Artistic Excellence by 2016” as the government showed its commitment “to the development of and promotion of the arts and culture sectors and in recognition of their potential to improve the livelihoods of individual artists”.
The occasion was an effort to ensure that the programme reaches every corner of Botswana, through regional competitions.
A large number of artists participated in the performing arts, comprising traditional instruments, choral music and contemporary music.
Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Shaw “My Ministry is committed to continue with the organization of this event because it affords Batswana the opportunity to enjoy, appreciate and understand their culture and identify themselves with it,” said Kgathi. “These competitions have proved to be the most powerful and effective ways to mobilize, empower and identify a huge reverse of youth talent.”
He revealed that plans are at an advance stage to introduce the traditional music instrument category in the third cycle of the constituency arts competitions due to commence in August 2010.
“The programme will be open to all ages, except school going groups,” added Kgathi.
Both the government and the private sector have been supporting the arts industry and there have been other additional resources in the local arts. The culture offices also have spread across the country to coordinate cultural and performing arts in the country.
Kgathi further said that traditions and culture engender a sense of respect for the sanctity of each individual life.
“Culture is an embodiment of the sum totality of humanity, diverse practices and traditions premised on the vastness of human experience, knowledge, acceptance and tolerance among communities,” he added.
The category of Performing Arts of the 2010 President’s Day Competition awards winners went to Inalegolo Cultural Group for best traditional song and dance followed by the Dintwe Cultural Group.
Best Choral group went to KTM choir, followed by Mahalapye, Camel and Ngwao Boswa choral Choir.
Other first prize winners were Kaelo Diphufu, for best comedy, Kabomo Mongweotsile, for best segaba.
Best poetry went to Omphile Lefutswe, best drama to Moremogolo Group, while Chris Manto 7 got the best contemporary live artist.