The annual cultural festival Son of the Soil (SOTS), which is in its 11th year running, is back early this year. Usually held towards the end of the first quarter of the year, the event has been set to take place on the 31st of January at the Boetelo Sun Valley Resort along the Notwane river banks south of Gaborone.
“Kwa re go yang- Bana ba kgaupe ba laelana go sale gale, ” has been choosen to be this year’s theme. Giving clarity on the inspiration behind this year’s theme, one of the organizers from Bana Ba Mmala, Pontsho Pusoetsile revealed, “The overarching theme for the next 10 events is “kwa re go yang” which is meant to show that culture will be one of the pillars for national development, as we strongly believe that development must be anchored on a strong national identity. The sub-theme for the 2015 event is meant to be a clarion call for the nation to introspect culturally as we prepare for the next 50 years of the nation post 2016. It is meant for Batswana to sit back and say ‘have we retained the good elements of our culture in the last 50 years, and what are we going to take along from a cultural perspective as we move into the next 50 years of our national journey.’
This year’s event will be spread out through three days with the main event taking place on Saturday 31st. On Friday 30th, the day’s activities will include a cultural workshop while in the evening will include poetry recitals, folktales, song and dance.
“The workshop will be targeted at other organizers of similar events from across the country to come and learn from cultural and traditional leaders on how culture can best be preserved. As Bana ba Mmala we are very proud of the leadership role that ‘Son of the Soil’ cultural event has been building in the cultural preservation space, and we want to continue to grow this area nationally. The Friday workshop should be another building block on top of the research that we have been conducting annually on cultural themes and we will publishing in a booklet format,” added Pusoetsile.
The main Saturday event is reserved for feasting on traditional food in the morning and festivities will carry on until the evening while on Sunday there will be a live jazz session to wind up the activities. Performances are yet to be confirmed for the three events, however ticket prices are P250.00 for the main event on Saturday, P50.00 for the Friday event and P100.00 for the Sunday Jazz event.