DUKWI REFUGEES TO PERFORM AT DOMBOSHABA
Three traditional dance groups from Dukwi Refugee Camp will add spice to the Domboshaba Cultural Festival as the popular annual celebration celebrates its 14th edition this holiday weekend.
The initiative to invite the groups from Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia is part of a move by the United Nations High Commission for Refugee’s (UNHCR) to give the artists the chance to share and demonstrate their talent to Batswana.
They were chosen after auditions held at the camp last week under the watchful eye of renowned music promoter Soares Katumbela of Street Horn Promotions.
UNHCR country representative in Botswana, Lynn Ngugi said the festival would provide the performers the opportunity to mingle and share with Batswana. “The whole idea is to provide entertainment and also give the refugees a chance to demonstrate their talent through participating at this cultural event,” she said.
Ngugi added that if things go according to plan UNHCR would be sending artists from the camp every year to perform at the festival.
Meanwhile Katumbela said he was very excited at the prospect of getting involved with the popular annual event since it was one of the country’s biggest festivals and could be developed into a major venue for music.
“Bringing a variety of artists would obviously attract more people to the festival,” said Katumbela, who will be attending the Kalanga cultural spectacular for the first time.
PROFILE OF THE GUEST SPEAKER
His Excellency Mr. Hiroyasu Kobayashi
Domboshaba Cultural Trust and Bakalanga are delighted in welcoming His Excellency Mr Hiroyasu Kobayashi, the Japanese Ambassador of Japan to Botswana as the guest speaker at the thirteenth edition of Domboshaba Festival of Culture and History. His Excellency Hiroyasu Kobayashi was born on 27 April 1955. He read economics at the Hitotsubashi University, Japan graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1979. In 1983 he graduated with a Masters in Arts in new eastern studies at the University of Michigan, USA.
His Excellency Hiroyasu Kobayashi’s professional career started that in April 1979 when he joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In May 1995, he was appointed First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nation, a position held until July 1997 when he was appointed Counsellor, at the Embassy of Japan in Pakistan. In April 1999 he became the Director of the Second Middle East Division, Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau.
Two years later His Excellency Hiroyasu Kobayashi became the Director of the First Middle East Division, Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau. In January 2003 he was transferred to Egypt to be Minister at the Embassy of Japan and headed the Japanese Foreign Ministry office in Samawah to support the Self-Defence Forces of Japan for Humanitarian Assistance Activities in Iraq from July 2004.
In May 2006 His Excellency Mr Hiroyasu Kobayashi took over as Consul – General of Japan at Dubai. In July 2009 His Excellency Mr Hiroyasu Kobayashi was appointed Chief of Nagano Prefectural Police Headquarters, a position he held until October 2011 when he was appointed Ambassador to Botswana and Special Representative to the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Bakalanga are honoured to be hosting someone with as distinguished a career of service as His Excellency Mr Hiroyasu Kobayashi.
MALEYI HEADLINES DOMBOSHABA FESTIVAL
Renowned Ikalanga gospel singer Isaac Maleyi is billed to perform at Domboshaba on Saturday evening as the headline artist for the music festival.
Mosojane born Maleyi said he was thrilled to be part of the Ikalanga festival and would use the show as a platform to launch his 11th album dubbed Moses a ka bona denjana lithuta moto. The ten-track album has songs in Ikalanaga, Ndebele and Setswana.
“I am very happy to finally get a chance to perform at this event which is meant to revive my language. Normally I am always engaged during these festive holidays, but when I got the invitation I accepted it with open hands,” he said.
He added that since he was getting a lot of support from his fellow tribesmen, performing at this Domboshaba festival would be a blessing because his fans would have the chance to see him live on stage.
Maleyi will replace Ndingo Johwa who has headlined the festival for the last six years. Johwa and his band accepted an invitation to perform at an Independence Celebration at the Botswana Embassy in Harare on Friday as well as at the Great Zimbabwe Festival on 30 September.
Amongst other artists performing at the festival are the Maitengwe Super Sounds, Magilo na Leader, Kungelele group, Tobela Jazz band, Moseki and Traditional Dancers, and Sharon who is the winner of the My Star competition.
KEYNOTE BY CHAIRPERSON
By GENERAL MOETEDI
Domboshaba Cultural Trust (DCT) is happy to bring to you the 13th edition of Domboshaba Festival of Culture and History. We heartily welcome our patrons from within Botswana and from across our borders.
Domboshaba Festival was initiated in 2000 by Mukani Action Campaign (MAC), as a society of writers based in Francistown who publish Ikalanga literacy works. MAC was later joined by Society for the Promotion of Ikalanga Language (SPIL).
These civic organisations worked tirelessly to build the Domboshaba brand and decided to form Domboshaba Cultural Trust (DCT), in 2007 to among other things organise and manage the festival while they concentrate on their specific mandates.
DCT’s vision is a society that is just, equitable, multi-lingual and multi-cultural where Bakalanga and their culture take their rightful place. The festival furthers that vision as it showcases the culture of Bakalanga and their rich heritage. The festival is held in the vicinity of Domboshaba Ruins, a monumental example of a Kalanga town built in 1450. It allows all an opportunity to reflect on the heritage of one of the oldest cultures in Botswana, which in the form we recognise it today dates back to at least 1 000 years ago. To Bakalanga this rich cultural heritage challenges us to improve on the footprints on our ancestors.
This year’s festival theme is “Mother Tongue Instruction and Inclusive Education’” re-affirming the centrality of language to the state of Kalanga culture today.
DCT is grateful to the unwavering support afforded them over the years by Botswana Tourism Organisation, Department of Arts and Culture, The Voice and all Bakalanga individuals, groups and well-wishers who continue to invest their time and resources in the organization of what has become a pace-setting cultural festival. I encourage Bakalanga all interested in development their Kalanga culture to apply for membership of DCT. Application forms will be available at the festival.