Orange Letlhafula transports Batswana back in time

The 15th installment of the Orange Letlhafula, held this past weekend at the Botswana Craft, celebrated Batswana’s unique culture under the theme ‘Letlepu tsina ya Letlhafula, re ja re ikgora menwana.’ The food and cultural festival brought back the joyous celebrations that take place around villages in Botswana after a good harvest. Traditionally, during this time people do not only celebrate the wide range  of traditional food available, they also mark the day as a time for fun and enjoyment and Botswana Craft was no different as people from all walks of life joined in this year’s celebrations.

On arrival cultural enthusiasts were treated to Botswana’s authentic cuisine and the best of Tswana traditional music. For many, Letlhafula reconnected them with food that they had not eaten in a while for others, it was treating their palates to a whole different taste. As is norm, food was galore with over 30 traditional dishes mostly cooked in cast iron pots over open fire. Delicacies such as Mophane worms, cow hooves, bogobe jwa lerotse, thophi. and ox tongue were among some dishes which got tongues wagging. The festival has grown bigger each year with organisers introducing a new dish every edition. Various bogobe dishes and nama ya setlhare were among the latest additions to this year’s menu.

For entertainment, various acts were featured throughout the day including traditional dance groups, live music, games, theatre and poetry. Among the performances was an anti-poaching play, Phemelo, directed by actor Donald Molosi and an electrifying performance by Kalanga jazz maestro Ndingo Johwa and Punah Gabasiane-Molale who mesmerised the audience with her well-choreographed dance routines. Dr. Vom ended the day on a cheerful note with his dikhwaere music that took revelers back to the famous festive dikhwaere showcases.

Fashion was one of the aspects of the festivities. Attendants took the traditional attire theme seriously with various traditional costumes worn. German print, commonly known as leteise, dominated the fashion scene with various outfits ranging from basic traditional cuts to sophisticated contemporary couture fashion.