“People without history are a lost nation,” the first President of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama, once said.
Indeed a person without history is wandering in the dark just like a captain steering a ship without a compass.
Culture, moving hand in hand with history, instills pride and self identification on any individual. Just like any other country, Botswana has beautiful diverse cultures and different tribes and that is why Matante Philip Moseki, who hails from Tutume Village, felt the need to form Guwu Tjilenje, a cultural group geared at cultivating and bringing Ikalanga custom and pride back to life.
“I formed this cultural association to try and revive Ikalanga culture because it is dying and it is very sad to note that the government does not want to introduce minority languages in schools,” he told the Telegraph.
Moseki, who is the brother to the famous prominent lawyer and BCP politician, Morgan Moseki, revealed that he formed his organization in 2010 after he felt the need to awaken the Bakalanga in the Central District to try and revisit and take pride of their culture.
He added that his organization is mainly focused on resuscitating Ikalanga culture, especially among the youth who are the future of the country. Touching on the Guwu Tjilenje arts festival to be held on the 19th of March this year at the Tutume Kgotla, Moseki revealed that the day will comprise of Ikalanga songs and many other cultural activities. He added that the Acting Minister of Defense and Security, Edwin Batshu, will be the guest speaker during the day.
“Different people from various villages in the Tutume Sub-District will convene during this day and we will all celebrate our culture and recite our history and customs,” Moseki said.
He also took issue with the fact that, unlike the Bakalanga of the North East District, those in Central District have always been overshadowed by the fact that the district is dominated mostly by the Bangwato tribe, which leaves them marginalized.
He added that their cultural group is working hand in hand with the organizers of the famous Domboshaba festival on how they can make their own organization grow even bigger.
“My great mission is to resuscitate the dying Ikalanga culture and one aspect, which is disappointing, is that our children spend most of their time in school learning Setswana culture and forgetting their own Ikalanga culture,” he said.
Moseki stated that his organization receives its support from the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Culture and different donors and organizations.