CULTURAL PRIDE: Bakwena women

Multitudes thronged Molepolole Sports Complex to celebrate the 12th annual Bakwena cultural festival, Dithubaruba last weekend.

Held under the theme: ‘My Culture My Treasure’, the festival was also graced by ambassadors from Cuba, United States of America and Nigeria, former president Ian Khama, Phokeng royal Prince Motlotlegi and Assistant Minister of Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture (MYSC) Dikgang Makgalemele.

The event got off to a stomping start with horse riding, poets reciting praise poems to welcome guests.

Bakwena Paramount Chief Kgari III also sat proudly at the makeshift kgotla to accept dikgafela from leteisi clad women, and also to receive the first pint of the traditional beer.

There was entertainment by traditional local groups including all-time favorite Dipela Tsa ga Kobokwe.

Officially opening the cultural festival Makgalemele, urged Bakwena to embrace the event and turn Molepolole into a cultural brand.

He said the cultural values and norms during activities like Dithubaruba can go a long way in transforming the youth into responsible citizens to tackle challenges facing this country with determination.

“We are living in a global village with so many influences, so there is a need to teach the youth to be strong and only copy the positive elements of the invading cultures and nurture positive aspects of our own culture as we adapt to the changing environment to survive,” Makgalemele said.

Since its inception in 2007, Dithubaruba Cultural Festival has played a critical role in increasing ethical awareness about the rich culture and history of Kweneng region.

It has also created leisure time for local communities as well as enhancement of activities of cultural expression such as dance, music, drama and poetry.

Makgalemele urged Bakwena to compare and benchmark the event with other festivals and events globally to reach international standards.

“I have no doubt in my mind that Molepolole stands a great chance of becoming the first cultural brand in the entire country with Dithubaruba standing out as the brand in force,” Makgalemele said.

Bakwena from Phokeng, Bakwena ba-ga Moloto, Bakwena ba-ga Mogopa also had a chance to share solidarity messages with their Botswana counterparts.