First Bokgeleke Arts & Culture Festival

On the 9th of October Botho University held the first ever Bokgeleke Arts & Culture Festival at the Gaborone campus.

The exciting day started with traditional games such as mmele, diketo, morabaraba, dibeke, skipping rope, and safe. Traditional food tasting also took place and the students from the institution's Hospitality Department students assisted with the food preparation.

After a few hours of this, the action moved into the auditorium for a talent show. The Guest of Honour was Gao Lemmenyane, Director of Maitisong, and during his keynote speech he urged students to try and find their God-given talent while they were pursuing their studies.

In this regard he related his personal story about how some 15 years ago, as a BSc student at the University of Botswana, he discovered the arts through the institution's travelling theatre group and came to realise that this was where his passion lies and not in the sciences.

Before the performances began there was a fashion show and all the models who took part were BU students wearing dresses that were designed by students at Gaborone Technical College (GTC).

The Director of Ceremonies was Gift Chabwe but the man at the forefront of the proceedings was Tebogo Matebesi, Founding Chairperson of the Festival Organising Committee. In addition to helping carry the weight of hosting duties, Matebesi brought the house down when he performed a rendition of the traditional Setswana song 'Sila Mosoko'.

Also on hand was Dr. Diane Bolden-Taylor, a visiting professor of music and vocal training from the University of Northern Colorado, USA, who spent a week training the BU choir for a performance at the event. While she was in the country, the American music academicalso conducted vocal training with some groups from the community.

Other memorable acts included the ballroom dancing club that delivered an exciting performance after only two weeks of being formed, the karate club which delivered demonstrations including a mock fight involving a BU staff member who holds a black belt in Karate, and a female singer who performed an enchanting medley of musicand poetry.

Judges on hand for the talent show included former Big Brother Africa house mate Mr. Kaone Ramontshonyana,popular local jazz singer Ms. Kearoma Rantao, and a local television actor who also happens to be a BU lecturer, Mr. Oscar Gobusamang.

The BU Drama Club was declared theBest Entertaining Actwhile the poetMs. Babedi Ponego emerged as the second Best Entertaining Act.

"The Festival was born out of the need to enrich students' lives by providing a platform that they can use to express themselves artistically and to grow through engagement in cultural activities," saysTebogo Matebesi, who originated the concept for the festival and saw its implementation through to completion.

He went on to express his joy that students turned up in large numbers for their own event; over 500 people attended and the plan is to stage the festival annually. "I would like to encourage everyone to be geared up for the next Bokgeleke Arts & Culture Festival as it is going to be bigger and better."