The 2015 Maitisong Festival is finally here. Maitisong, Botswana’s longest running arts festival is scheduled to take place over a five day period commencing today (April 22nd) and wrapping up on Sunday 26th.
Featuring a kaleidoscope of events that include poetry, jazz, comedy, theatre, and a music show, the festival promises something for everyone.
As part of the festival’s celebration and promotion of creative writing and poetry, the Spoken Word Week at Maitisong Festival in collaboration with the United States Embassy Gaborone, South African High Commission and Sgotti Cocktail Bar & Lounge, is bringing workshops on slam poetry, creative writing and other forms of the spoken word run by TJ Dema, Dasha Kelly (USA) and Afurakan (South Africa). “The spoken word movement in Gaborone has progressed over the years with collectives such as the Urban Arts Association, Poet’s Passport, UB Writers workshop, Exodus Live Poetry and several other, showcasing local and regional talents in their varied events,” explains Mandisa Mabuthoe (poet).
She says this year The Spoken Word Events have included more international artists, some of whom will run workshops in and around Gaborone including some of the rural communities and townships such as Ramotswa and Old Naledi. “The rich line up for the Spoken Word Live event at Mantlwaneng Theatre, is made up of six of the spoken word’s most enchanting performers, three local, TJ Dema (poet); Aether (guitarist, singer, rapper, poet); Bundulama (singer, poet); and internationally, South Africa’s Afurakan T Mohare, Lesotho’s Matt Masiu Nkofo and returning after a successful 2014 Maitisong Festival, Dasha Kelly from the USA.” This year it includes a wide range of performance, literary and visual art at various venues around Gaborone.
Also part of the festival , Botswana’s Broadway export Donald Molosi, alongside Donn Swaby (Chad in Passions) will premier his acclaimed theatre production Today It’s Me which is based on the life story of the Ugandan musician Philly Bongole Lutaaya. The musical play tells the moving story of courage and determination that saved the lives of many people.
Zeus will also be taking to the Maitisong stage which has also contributed to his career as an international award-winning artist.
The residents of Old Naledi will also get to enjoy in their own backyard the flagship Old Naledi Outdoor Music Show which will take place at the Old Naledi Soccer Field. Bhudaza and The Metrophones will wrap up the festival at the open space state-of-the-art Molapo Piazza. The two will be supported by the CAFCA and Tshwane Orchestras from South Africa, and Botswana’s Tsholofelo Foundation Orchestra on April 26. Maitisong Festival is an annual event that started in 1987.