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Masisi launches inaugural Hika la Ngwanyana festival

21 Apr 2024

Once replete with developments earmarked for implementation at its location, Moshupa dam will offer a scenic environment fit for purpose for both recreation and tourism.

Launching Moshupa’s inaugural Hika la Ngwanyana Cultural Festival at the dam on Saturday, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi mentioned several potential projects for the area. These include, an animal park, guest houses, a pottery studio, outdoor picnic cooking areas, and walking trails. 

He said the implementation of the stated projects was anticipated to uplift the socio-economic status of Moshupa and its associated localities as they would create employment during construction of facilities and later enhance opportunities for provision of goods and services once fully operational.

“You will witness throughout today’s programme that we are demonstrating that Bakgatla ba-ga-Mmanaana cultural and heritage tourism, sport tourism and other economic sectors are well primed to drive diversification of the local economy and create jobs and provide recreation,” he said.

Dr Masisi said cultural festivals marked a shift of focus into an economic product that Batswana had left untapped for far too long, noting that Hika la Ngwanyana in particular marked a transformational shift that went beyond a mere shift of mindset.

He said the festival brought to the fore the fact that when blended together, social attributes of bothakga, botswerere, bonatla, bofefo and Botho could engender in communities a high performance culture that could bring Botswana at par with the best that the world had to offer.

The President said it was time communities awoke to the knowledge that when utilised properly, culture could become an ever flowing and an unstoppable revenue stream through the packaging of cultural activities and symbols as well as cultural products like music, song, dance and games into various forms of leisure and recreation.Dr Masisi further commended Ipelego Trust who hosted the Hika la Ngwanyana festival for promoting the spirit of unity in diversity by inviting cultural groups from other tribes to display their own song and dance.

He said the presence of cultural groups from the North West and Chobe regions was testament of the commitment of organisers of Hika la Ngwanyana festival to promote and uphold the spirit of oneness among Botswana’s tribes.

“Our national vision speaks to preservation, promotion and celebration of our diverse cultural heritage and practices as we strive towards achieving a unique and a more perfect republic that is inclusive, dynamic and embodies an irreplaceable set of values; a republic that offers equal opportunities for its people,” he said.

Further, he appealed to Batswana to fully embrace the national principle of Ipelegeng and devise means of being self-reliant and resilient in the pursuit of community goals, bearing in mind the ideals of the National Transformation Strategy (NTS) which sought to diversify the country’ sources of revenue and growth in order to achieve a high-income economy.

Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture Mr Tumiso Rakgare said cultural festivals such as Hika la Ngwanyana not only ensured the preservation of local cultures but also helped shape the future of the country.

He also concurred with President Masisi said that the events also provided a golden opportunity for communities to commoditise their culture and use it for wealth generation and economic transformation in their localities.

Area Member of Parliament Mr Karabo Gare hailed the President for actualising a dream he mooted back in 2014 for the people of Moshupa to use important sites such as the Moshupa dam for wealth generation and job creation endeavours.

Mr Gare said Dr Masisi supported the formation of Ipelego Trust and stood by its side as it carried out preparations to host its inaugural cultural festival, a task it performed successfully. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Keonee Majoto

Location : Moshupa

Event : Cultural festival

Date : 21 Apr 2024