Khwai to open cultural village
TALKING CULTURE: Diphetogo Lekgoa

Khwai village is poised to open a cultural centre, turning the village into a hotspot of activities right in the heart of the wilderness.

Structures have already been erected in preparation for the centre’s big opening set for 23 February.

The centre, which is named ‘Tane ko Teemahane Women’s Foundation’ – loosely translated ‘Stand up and be productive’ – is the brainchild of Anita Diphetogo Lekgoa.

According to Lekgoa, the grand opening will be awash with cultural activities, including a Basarwa dance under the stars, a Basarwa hunt, handcraft exhibition and other activities.

“The aim is to showcase our culture as Basarwa. Through song and dance we will tell the story of our culture. We will also embark on a hunt activity to showcase how our people tracked animals in the olden days,” she said, adding that the initiative is aimed at empowering women and girls of Khwai so that they can gain from tourism activities in their location and abroad.

“There are dance groups that are already in existence, so they will be very busy. We are going to engage the safari companies in the area so that they book the dances and activities. They will bring tourists here and they in turn will pay for the evening dances and they will have opportunities to walk, sit and chat with the locals right here at this place,” added Lekgoa.

Khwai to open cultural village
CRAFTS: Mothala’s work

Excitement ahead of the big opening is steadily growing amongst locals, who are hard at work, weaving baskets and other reed crafts to exhibit at the centre.

As for Ditshimologo Mothala, the opening of the centre will make her life much easier.

“I will no longer have to wait by the roadside hoping that tourists will stop and buy my crafts, the centre will provide a free stall for me,” she told Voice Entertainment happily.

Khwai is adjacent to Moremi Game Reserve and its population, estimated to number around 400 people, is predominantly made up of the BaBukakhwe or river bushmen, who live in harmony with wildlife.

“We no longer hunt and therefore we have turned to tourism for survival. We depend mostly on Khwai Development Trust for welfare,” revealed 77-year-old, Thoromo Mothala, a visually impaired singer.

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