This past weekend I traveled to Rasesa, a stone throw away from Gaborone for the annual Son of the Soil festival.
Cultural festivals are proving to be another form of tourism as they attract big crowds generating income for enterprising local people. And these are some of the best ways to learn about Setswana culture, food and beverages, games and folk stories.
Held under the theme “Kapari ya setso” which means Setswana traditional attire, the festival did not disappoint as people turned out dressed in creatively designed attires. Even though women always seem to come out tops in dressing up this time men also proved that they have a high stake in traditional oufits.
Those with taste buds for traditional cuisine were also left wishing everyday was a Son of the Soil festival as they licked their fingers after each and every meal
On the breakfast menu was chicken necks with fat cakes cooked the very traditional way. Lunch consisted of all different Setswana dishes such as phane, seswaa, morogo wa dinawa, bogobe jwa lerotse and logala to mention just a few
Games played were also strictly Setswana such as morabaraba, chama, koi and safe reminding many of the days gone by when they were growing up in the villages, days where these games were the pastime of choice instead of cellphone and internet games which are now dominating.
As the organizers knew that a day would not be enjoyable for some without alcohol they made sure those in that category were well taken care of. And since it was all about tradition, traditional beer was served in abundance quenching the thirst of those who had come in with dry throats.
The highlight of the cultural spectacle was the choir competition, North choir versus the South Choir. I joined the South choir and danced to songs being sung to dis North Choir which was somehow announced as the winner though that was later overruled. The beautiful part of it is that we all later joined into one choir and sang beautiful melodies.
Bon fire which was made at night was the spot for folk tales and people enjoyed yet another traditional cuisine of cow heads while listening to stories from yesteryears.
I am still to travel around Botswana and witness a cultural festival that would be bigger and better than Son of the Soil.