The annual Cultural Festival Son of the Soil is synonymous with celebrating of Tswana culture through song, dance, food and dress in secluded areas which are usually a stone’s throw away from the city. This year, the cultural event will be celebrating 10 years in existence and in a recent interview with Time Out, one of the organizers Pontsho PCP Puso of Bana ba Mmala revealed that they plan to pull all the stops at this year’s Son of the Soil.
“Our mission has always been to grow the event and this year, we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary so we intend to go all out as this is a huge milestone for us. We plan to go beyond just fun and games. We want to educate people about Tswana culture because some people have very little knowledge about other tribes that we have in this country so by the end of the event, we want patrons to leave having taken part in every activity and most importantly be knowledgeable about “ngwao ya Setswana”,” he said.
The event’s date has been set for the 28th February to 1st of March at Boitelo Lodge close to Notwane along the Gaborone- Lobatse road. The theme “Kwa re go tswang” (where we are from) is intertwined with the 10th anniversary milestone and how Tswana culture has developed over the years. “With this theme we try and explore the origins of Batswana and at the same time celebrate the growth of the event. Bana Ba Mmala, the organizing group, has come a long way and together with our loyal sponsors we have put in a lot of effort, time and money into seeing this event go on for so long and becoming stronger year after year. For those who may not know, this event was started by a group of friends who used to come together every beginning of the year with their families to reminisce on bygone days of their childhood and enjoy traditional foods and over the years, more people came in to join us and today, Son of the Soil is even bigger than us,” said Puso.
Despite the annual success of the event, Puso reveals that, this success has come with challenges. He said that, because the number of attendants grows each year, they have realized that the level of participation in the day’s activities has declined, something which is not good as the event’s core mission is for all people to get a chance to experience culture by actively taking part in the activities. However, he noted that this year they have come up with strategies that will encourage people to take part and as it is norm, traditional games, music will be on the line up. “We have surprises that I can not reveal about this year’s event, but what people should know is that, your P250.00 ticket will afford you to attend the Friday night event, the main event being held on Saturday and Sunday.”