Events Manager at Botswana Craft Kabelo Thapelo Nkhwa says this year’s Orange Letlhafula was affected by bad harvests and saw 30 out of the usual over 50 dishes served at the event.
This is despite her previous optimism that the contingencies they had put in place would offset effects of the draught. Speaking to Time Out at Orange Letlhafula festivities, Nkhwa said they usually have over 50 dishes of different types, but found it particularly hard to get things like beans, tswana butternut, traditional fruits and corn. “This ploughing season was the hardest for most farmers around the country because there were no rains and that meant that only a few Batswana were able to plough and even for those who ploughed the harvest was very little. If you go to BAMB, you will notice that a lot of our traditional foods are not there, it is just here and there and it is because of this that we struggled to find our traditional food,” she said.
Nkhwa revealed that despite the challenges they were able to find the main ingredients to dishes that people love,“From the past festivals we noticed that people love Bogobe Jwa Lerotse, mokoto, morogo wa dinawa, koko ya setswana, bogobe jwa legala, phane, letlhodi and we made sure that those were there along with others. This year we added kgaka (guinefowl) to the food dishes,” she revealed
Other than the food, music also took center stage at the festival: there were two stages set up for artists to perform and entertain the 700 plus enthusiasts who had thronged the Botswana Craft. Artists like Mafitlhakgosi, Western Tinto, Myezer, Jackson Radipitse, Tjilinje Che Ngwao Traditional Dance Group, Charma Girl and others were some of those who entertained.
“I was really looking forward to Charma girl’s performance but she disappointed me because she did very little dancing. I expected to see her dancing like she does on television; other musicians did well, but for the next one they should invite different artists because it seems like the same people come in year in year out,” expressed one revealer at the show.
Botswana Craft Manager, Oliver Groth, in defense of Charma Girl, said that live performances unlike pre recorded performances do not usually leave room for intense dancing , “Pre-recorded performances are the ones which allow for a lot of dancing but we always insist that our performances are live,” he said.
He however expressed satisfaction with the event, “The main attraction of this event is usually the food followed by the music and I think we did our best to ensure everyone eats and enjoys good music,” he said.