This past weekend, Boetelo Resort along the Gaborone Notwane road was packed with patrons thronged in their best traditional attire to celebrate Setswana culture. The three day event, started on Friday night where patrons were treated to a Healing dance by the Ju/’hoansi; trance dancers or healers from Qoshe, Qangwa, Dobe and XaiXai. The dance is believed to be spiritual in its nature and it is believed to be able to cure illnesses, injuries, diseases, warding off natural calamities such as wild fire, drought and bringing providence such as good rains, abundance of wild food and game in the community.
Despite the unfriendly weather, people had come in large numbers to come and enjoy the day’s activities. “Surprisingly, for a rainy event, the turn up was huge. We were so worried in the morning when it started raining but we were shocked to see people coming in and just participating in the day’s activities like it was a normal sunny day. We had to make adjustments though and move some activities under the tents, so that people don’t get wet,” added one of the organizers Pontsho Puso of Bana Ba Mmala.
“The thing with the weather is that we can’t control it, so it was very humbling to see people having fun and just ignoring the rain and dancing and enjoying the music played by the different musicians that were on stage,” he added. Different games such as Mmele, Morabaraba, Seragantshwane, Koi and others were some of those being played and as usual, there were music competitions featuring acts from both the Southern and Northern region as well as a fashion contest.
“I really liked this year’s venue; I think it is what made Son of the Soil even better. Last year we complained about no shade because the event was in an open space and this year there were lots of trees and shade even though it was raining. The space made the event a lot more intimate. There was just a cool vibe this time around, the young and old just enjoyed themselves in one space, the other learning off the other. Son of the Soil is now a bigger event, I just wish the organizers could make it twice a year as opposed to once a year,” said Tomaeletso Bakang.
Another reveler Mmametsi Mokoena commented that, “I am South African; born and raised in Rustenburg but now I am based in Johannesburg for work. My mother is from Botswana in Mochudi so part of my heritage is this side which is why this event is always such a joy as it’s a chance for me and my siblings to learn more about Setswana culture. My brother brought some of his friends from Lesotho so we just enjoyed dressing up in our traditional attire and hanging out with Batswana. I will definitely be back again next year.”
The event went on until the night and patrons gathered around a big fire and listened to folktales and idioms. Dance from old township music from yesteryears was played to entertain attendees. “We would just like to thank the owners of Boetelo Resort for the venue and hope that in future, we can use it again. The other good is that, we did not have incidents where people were mugged or anything of the sort so I can say it went well,” expressed Puso.