Maitisong Festival

Many have gone on to find their spot in the elusive arts industry limelight and as the Maitisong Festival approaches, it is with glee that Voice Woman notes the female acts/performances that will take to the stage this time around.

Amongst the exceptional talent that will be on display both from home and far; there’s a remarkable number of performances that will have incomparable storylines and female actors alongside their male counterparts telling tales of love, passion, devotion, conflict and devotion.

An impressive array of performances with some of Botswana’s finest will take centre stage throughout the week- long showings. Amongst these are; Basadi Ba Ga Shakespeare, Lentswe La Baratani, A woman in Heels, Elements, Born Around Here and A Woman of Many Firsts.

The plays weave great storylines through captivating performances inspired by real subjects. From exploring the subject of love in Lentswe la Baratani, to chronicles of the heart wrenching love story of a Motswana who falls in love with a refugee and the ensuing issues they face, to the subject of sex trade as portrayed in “A Girl in Heels”, to the insightful and inspiring “A woman of many firsts” which depicts a living legend in Gaositswe Chiepe breaking barriers, to a moving story of a woman’s struggle to articulate her identity having lived all over the world and being of mixed race heritage in “Elements” and a dance ensemble by the multi talented, Tumisang Baatshwana entitled Sky Blue., Maitisong has it all.

Zanele Tumelo
Folktale Theatre Productions: Zanele Tumelo stuns in the play ‘Elements’

In Lentswe La Baratani a couple played by Goitse Kgwaswane and Mpho Rabotsima, falls in love and faces resistance from their families, pushing them to rebel and elope on top of a hill.

This old age tale told many times before promises to unearth important issues around relationships, family and believes shaped by society. “The play gives the unique opportunity to realize that the concept of love has always been there in the Setswana culture, possibly in its own context but nonetheless, very present. The play drives the notion that Love can go to war and win.” shares the play’s producer Mpho Rabotsima. Lentswe la Baratani is made of a cast of 18 from Mama Theatre.

In its 29th year running, the Maitisong Festival is undoubtedly the biggest arts festival in Botswana.

The festival has birthed and hosted performers in various genres including theatre, music and dance.

The growth has seen the addition of slam poetry and comedy in the 2016 line up; a development that would please loyal followers of the festival. “Although the festival has been running for quite some time, we are delighted to be able to have such unique offering that will draw in diverse groups of people which include those that have marked the festival in their calendars for years and never missing the performances and on the other hand attract a new breed of arts enthusiasts.” Quipped Maitisong Festival Director, Gao Lemmenyane.

He went on to share that the festival will once again celebrate decades of arts promotion, raising the professional bar in the arts, making careers and connecting Botswana artists with international counterparts.

Dr Gaositwe Chiepe
A WOMAN OF MANY FIRSTS: Moduduetso Lecoge and her grandmother, Dr Gaositwe Chiepe

An important aspect of the festival has always been to expose all of Botswana’s citizenry to the astonishing world of arts hence the offer of fee – paying shows and non paying (free shows) hosted at several venues around the capital city.

There is also a colossal drive to engage with the underprivileged, offering life skills and exchanges aimed at developing and building character.

Under the theme ENGAGE, the 2016 Festival will include both indoor and outdoor venues such as the host, Maitisong (Maruapula School), Thapong and Old Naledi.

Supported by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture annually, this concert will be a part of BOTS50, the celebration of 50th anniversary of Botswana’s independence.

Maitisong Theater
Play at Maitisong Theater

The global UK Government GREAT Campaign and British Council ‘Shakespeare Lives’ project will also feature heavily in the Festival programme.

With various packages on offer to suit everyone’s pocket and a line up to tantalise any taste bud, Maitisong Festival is a must attend. It promises all the makings of great productions.

Free shows are scheduled for different times on the outdoor stages at Maitisong, Botho University Hall, Old Naledi and Thapong.

Facebook page for more info: Maitisong Theatre 

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