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Polka stage set for tomorrow

02 Mar 2023

After a two-year hiatus, the stage is finally set for the annual Kgalagadi Polka Dance Festival slated for Saturday.

The festival offers a wide variety of acts in lively courtship dances by vivacious couples rocking the rich tapestry of Polka music that invoke the deeply rooted traditions of the Kgalagadi culture.

“We are on course, the stage is set, and we have a lineup that will feature regional favourites from Khuis, Khawa, Struizendam, Gakhibane, as well as Namastaap groups from Tsabong and Lokgwabe, who have won national arts festival competitions,” said Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture Tsabong District coordinator, Rock Mphela.

He said for the first time the event would be held at a the grounds behind the district administration office. 

“We have prepared the ground, pitched the scaffolding and tents. 

Groups have been invited and are currently being collected from their various locations,” he said.

Apart from Polka, Tsoga Maroko choir and DJ Respah aka Moreri Thumpe, contemporary poet Wame Maruping and guest artist Ded Cor will perform.

He said the event would also feature upcoming artists among them Tsabong Original Pantsulas, who have volunteered to perform in preparation for other competitions.

Mphela said his team was working with a local community group Pinagare ya Sekaka to show them the ropes, adding that the idea was to allow them to host the event independently of government next year. 

In 2021 and 2022 the festival was not held due to COVID-19, which he said was a drawback in terms of providing mentorship.

“Polka festival is one of the important cultural events showcasing Kgalagadi culture, hence the need to ensure that Pinagare ya Sekaka is capacitated enough to handle the event on its own,” he said.

For his part, Pinagare ya Sekaka chairperson, Shadrak Van Niekerk expressed gladness to be learning from the ministry in preparation for next year’s event, which they would coordinate solo. 

“I can promise you that next year the Polka festival will be in our hands. 

We have invited some of our potential sponsors for the event next year to come and appreciate the festival so that when we take over they are on board,” he said.

He said in the last event, some of the companies showed interest in sponsoring Pinagare Ya Sekaka to host the event.

The guest speaker is expected to be director for Strategy and Research of the newly established National Arts Council Ludo Sefhako, who will meet with Pinagare ya Sekaka to share how they can take Polka festival to greater heights.

Due to budgetary constraints, this year the groups have been reduced from eight to five with focus on Kgalagadi only by only admitting winners from the National Arts Festival. ENDs

Source : BOPA

Author : Calviniah Kgautlhe

Location : TSABONG

Event : Polka festival

Date : 02 Mar 2023