One of Botswana’s traditional groups, Ngwaoletshwao, this week took off to Canberra, Australia where it is participating in a multi cultural festival from Friday 13th to the 15th of February. The group is also scheduled to participate in another cultural festival at Queanbayan multicultural festival on the 22nd of February, whilst on the 28th, they will be participating at Goulburn multicultural festival.
In an interview, the group’s Director, Odirile Rammoni, said their invitation to the European country followed their participation in the multicultural festival the country hosted last year.
“Ngwaoletshwao visited Australia previously in September and performed at Quenbeyan 150th anniversary. The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre is sponsoring the current trip with air tickets. Other sponsors include the Botswana Tourism Organisation, Bahurutshe Cultural village, Choppies, Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe, Minister Tshekedi Khama, Gaorekwe Gaorekwe and Charity Keobokilwe,” said Rammoni.
He said they believe that traditional music is the next diamond of Botswana in that it strengthens tourism industry as it is a form of cultural tourism.
“We are going to perform various forms of music – Hosanna; the type common in the North East of Botswana; Selete ÔÇô common in the South-eastern part of the country; Tsutsube, Mokomoto as well as Setapa. We are also going to be interpreting the language and the moves the songs convey,” he said, adding that the music is really playing a role in selling the country.
People out there he said get fascinated by their leather garments and develop interest to visit Botswana. Once here they visit curio shops where they buy the leather outfits and other ceremonial objects that the musicians use in their music. This he said promotes both Tourism and Arts and Culture departments.
Rammoni decries the fact that as musicians their benefits in the marketing of the country are minimal because they showcase their talent and act as display objects of the attires they wear but benefit nothing. He suggested that they should at least get some appearance fees or ‘something’ as appreciation of their contribution.
To other youth, especially those in Gabane village where his group is from, he said they should not just criticise them saying they are always travelling. He said, “We are always open to all who might feel like joining us or getting any assistance from us. No doubt, Gabane youth are a multi-talented community. As a group we have membership which comprises even people from outside of Gabane.”