Breaking News

Artists hail exchange programme

15 Mar 2023

Maun artists have appreciated the United States of America (USA) cultural exchange programme aimed at enriching creativity in music and poetry.

The program, they said was ideal as it helped them realise their potential and improve their artistic talents.

They aired their views in an  interview following a recent session whereby the US embassy brought a group of American artists, Rhyme Like a Girl, to interact and collaborate with Maun artists.

The group, led by the American veteran artist, Toni Blackman whose vision is to transform Hip Hop and use it to make the world a better place, had the opportunity to mentor local artists on ways and techniques that could help them improve their talents so that they remain relevant in the industry.

Blackman, who is the cultural ambassador with the US Department of State, has both the expertise and the talent to help actors, performance artists and rappers embody what it means to be a poet. One of the local artists, Kwasa Kwasa star, Baitshepi Mwanchisenge famously known as Chris Manto 7 in the music circles appreciated the programme, saying it helped to unearth artistic talent, nurture and develop it amongst youngsters and upcoming artists.

He wished the American Embassy could extend the programme to remote areas, citing that there was a lot of raw talent that needed to be exposed. He also acknowledged that the American group had the opportunity to interact with Eretsha Primary School pupils in the Okavango district to drill them on the basics of music and poetry.

“This is a good programme which can assist students to develop positive relationships with others, understand a broader range of perspectives and develop knowledge and skills needed for participation in our multicultural society,” he added.

Another artist, Anthony Molosi who is a poet appreciated the programme, saying it helped them to improve their talent as they had an opportunity to learn from their counterparts and exchange ideas on how best they could grow the art industry.

The US Embassy public affairs officer, Emilia Adams hailed Maun artists for coming in numbers, noting that their first cultural collaborative exchange programme was a success post COVID-19.

The diplomacy programme, she said, aimed to bring together artists from both America and Botswana under one roof to share cultural experiences, learn best practices on how they could improve their artistic skills to promote their music as well as poetry.

She appreciated that both the Rhyme Like a Girl group and local artists had the opportunity to showcase performances, share their cultures and highlighted important areas of collaboration.

The Rhyme Like a Girl group, she said also had an interaction with pupils at Eretsha Primary School in the Okavango district, where pupils were drilled on art creativity related issues.

Adams acknowledged that the pupils and teachers welcomed the programme, as they saw it as an empowerment initiative which helped to boost pupils’ confidence.

“We had an interesting engagement with pupils as they were assigned a series of artistic work which they presented very well.

They managed to come up with beautiful performances out of the words given to them to compose songs and poems,” she added.

However, Blackman thanked the embassy for bringing them to Botswana, appreciating that they learnt a lot from the cultural collaborative exchange programme as well as created good relationships.

Botswana, she said had a lot to offer considering its rich diverse cultures, adding that there was so much to learn about nature and language.

The cultural exchange programmes, she said were for connecting, enriching and empowering the global community, adding that they had already travelled to some countries on the same mission.

“I wish we can further our collaboration with Botswana artists because I liked the cultural exchange, and being able to work specifically with them. We learnt a lot from them even though we did not have enough time,” she added.  ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Esther Mmolai

Location : MAUN

Event : Interview

Date : 15 Mar 2023