From Zola to India 


  • Mafitlhakgosi is leaving a mark on Surajkund Int’l Crafts Mela Festival
  • Famous traditional music troupe may jet off to New York in March


Old Naledi-based traditional music group, Mafitlhakgosi, is currently hoisting Botswana’s flag high in New Delhi, India where it is performing at the acclaimed Surajkund International Crafts Mela Festival.

The group from Zola, as Old Naledi is affectionately known, left two weeks ago for the showcase of regional and international crafts and traditions taking place from 1st to 18th February.

The famous traditional dance troupe is wowing patrons from more than 20 countries across South Asia, Africa and Europe with its epic skills. “Mafitlhakgosi is leaving a mark because each time they leave the stage, people ask who we are as we always outshine the other groups,” the founder, Joseph Ikopeng, said in an interview.

The Mela 

“The group is expected to return home on the 20th of February and is currently travelling around India to showcase our cultural offering which is well received by the masses.”

Popularly known as “The Mela,” the festival is organised by the Surajkund Mela Authority & Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs that extended the invitation to Mafitlhakgosi.

Occupying a place of pride on the international tourist calendar, the festival attracts more than a million visitors showcasing the richness and diversity of the handicrafts, handlooms and cultural fabric of India.

The world’s biggest crafts fair

Mafitlhakgosi is a part of the large number of renowned international cultural groups that are currently presenting day performances at the open-air theatres, located in the Mela, which is regarded as the largest crafts fair in the world.

Said Ikopeng: “The group has 15 Mafitlhakgosi members on the trip and three creatives who are showcasing our Botswana crafts.

“I decided to remain home so I ensure that the other members participate in local performances that we have been booked for. I receive videos and messages from India that indicate that our members are representing us well there.”

New York


Ikopeng disclosed that after the Indian trip, they may jet off to New York, USA on another cultural exchange programme in March. “We are still sorting out the logistics of the trip,” he said. “Those who are available from our more than 50 members will get to go on this trip.”