Monday, February 26, 2024

Son of the Soil fest brings real tradition back

Basic physics taught us the concept of Hooke’s Limit of Elasticity which suggests that over time, if used enough times almost anything reaches its limit and ultimately stops working. 

The same concept can be applied to everyday trends; that is how “Orange becomes the new black” and older styles are referred to as “So yesterday”.

Local annual traditional Son of the Soil festival has over the years managed to defy this law by continuing not only to grow but to improve as well, like fine wine getting better with time.  

Over the past weekend at Serokolwane farms, which emulated some kind of marsh due to the generous amounts of rainfall from the past few, weeks Batswana dressed up and showed up.

The #(Hashtag) for this year’s event was #ReKgabile which made the occasion like a glove as there was a lot of improvisation on the costume end, the latest fashion trends tailored to fit with the event. 

The cutest, however, had to be family attires where the mummy, daddy and children all made outfits from the same material. 

The regular German Print material was as usual the most commonly used by both men and women but instead of the regular blue, brown and red, there were other more interesting colours like the turquoise, mauve and tangerine. From the men’s end the most popular attire was the coverall pants and the timeless leopard print wife-beaters (vests).  

This whole day and night (if you like) event was fun-filled and action packed for every single member of the family. While the elders sat around and enjoyed the festivities of the dancing and singing, the young ones indulged in the traditional games including koi  ‘Batho Safe’ and ‘Chaka Chaka’ . 

The attendants were divided up into different wards and as the day drew to an end participants were fared and awarded prizes for each of the games.

The main course menu comprised of bogobe jwa lerotse, koko ya Setswana, dikgobe, morogo, phane and serobe, purely Setswana cuisine cooked to perfection with no trimmings and spices which usually distort the original taste. 

The residual rains from Hurricane Dineo threatened to make a dramatic comeback during Dr Vom’s Tsaya Thobane performance but no one awarded the wind and the drizzle the desired attention as they sang and danced in the rain to the iconic tune. It got so bad to a point where some attendants jokingly stated that the event was no longer Son of the Soil but rather Son of the Mud.

When the sun went down it was time for some adult business, the kids were taken home tired from the events of the day and the grown-ups hiked their skirts and put on their dancing shoes. It was strictly traditional Afrocentric sounds with no urban bubblegum music.

Through all of this, gallons of traditionally brewed beer were flowing as Batswana enjoyed the sorghum-based brew – an interesting concoction of sorghum and water brewed to perfection with precision to a beverage known for its aide in digestion and a less than perfect odour.


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