'ZANA' alive and kicking
IT'S OUR TIME TO EAT: A happy patron

Cresta Bosele Letlhafula showcases the best of Phikwe

Since the closure of the BCL mine on 20 October 2016, the uncertainty that lingers over the smoky copper mining town of Selebi Phikwe has become fodder for politicians, scholars and prophets of doom alike.

The once thriving mining town’s obituary was written the same morning government announced the closure of the mine; a ghost town, they referred to it.

However, this past Saturday night, the town came back to life.

The 8th Cresta Bosele Letlhafula brought together sons and daughters of Selebi Phikwe for a celebration of culture though music, food and dance.

The sight of Botsalo Ntuane dancing blissfully to sounds of Afro jazz in a town he spent most of his teen years brought back happy memories to when ‘Zana’ was the envy of all.

The presence of Selebi Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) CEO Dr Mokubung Mokubung, a jovial Selebi Phikwe Station Commander, Victor Nlebesi and Mma Kedikilwe (former Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe’s spouse) all came to bear witness to the cultural spectacle.

Held under the theme ‘Diversification of Economy through Culture’ the event lived up to its billing as patrons indulged themselves in the well prepared food and expertly choreographed performances.

While well-travelled traditional group Culture Spears extended performance and Gong Master’s unparalleled free style stole the show, it was the little known Phikwe groups that won the hearts of the audience.

The reigning Presidential Arts Awards winners Kalatsakgale once again showed why they won the competition twice in a row, and have been dominant in the last five years.

The Phikwe group were not going to allow Culture Spears or Gong Master to steal their thunder in their own backyard, and they rightfully received a standing ovation.

Perhaps the most impressive was Terminees, a youth homegrown dance group that seemed to dabble in just about everything.

Their polka piece was out of this world. An imaginative piece of art, far removed from the usual monotonous drill that polka is known for. The group also performed a lively jive, much to the delight of the vocal crowd.

They danced for the soul of the town, their stomping feet became a heartbeat that confirmed indeed the mining town is alive and kicking.

Officially opening the event, area Member of Parliament and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Nonofo Molefhi said events like Cresta Bosele Letlhafula are critical given the economic conditions prevalent in the town.

“It provides an opportunity for the promotion of local diversification as a means of maintaining and sustaining our local economy,” he noted.

For his part, Cresta Bosele General Manager, Julius Keepilwe said they will continue with their efforts to promote and celebrate Botswana’s cultural heritage.

He explained that as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) they reach out to the Phikwe community and assist the less privileged.

Bosele donated P5, 000 to a disabled youth to help cover the child’s medical bills. They also donated groceries in line with CSR policies.

With the impressive turnout and the optimism that punctuated every conversation at the event, one can only hope next year’s edition will be even bigger – and hopefully Ntuane will show his silky dance moves again!