Is your outfit ready for ‘Son of the Soil?’

It is a ‘go all out’ cultural event where you may clash your prints but consider their hues and prints. A fashion artist says everything points to hair being the centre of the fashion this year. Staff Writer GOSEGO MOTSUMI reports

Fashion always takes centre stage at the highly-anticipated Son of the Soil (SOTS), an annual cultural event that celebrates African heritage. This year’s edition, which will be over the last two days of February at Staywell Gardens in Rasesa, is themed “Kwa re go yang re belegwe.”

Over the years, Batswana have warmed up to the cultural festival not only to reminisce about the olden days of Setswana culture but to showcase how modern fashion trends can be merged with traditional Setswana outfits and still maintain their cultural nuances as well. It should be interesting to see how creative patrons will be at this year’s cultural festival after bird feathers and attires made of leather made a debut last year.

Fashion artist and trendsetter Tsholofelo Dikobe advises that because SOTS is an event representative of culture, everyone who turns up has to show some panache for cultural style. “The amazing thing is there is a rise in individualism where everyone gets to create or interpret it on their own terms,” she says. “For the theme, colour always is an effortless style starter. Start with colour because our culture as Africans is influenced heavily by colours and motifs.”

Dikobe says for this year’s ideas, it would be interesting to see men making an effort of incorporating outfits of different Setswana cultures. For the bold, a San-aesthetic could make for a unique attire or a German print (leteisi) pant paired with a leteisi vest or a Setswana dashiki finished off with a Setswana hat and other accessories. Among esteemed Batswana designer who are ideal for such themes are Lebang Setso and Afro Muse for leather accessories and while African Lace designs hand-made African print accessories.

Says Dikobe: “It is a ‘go all out’ cultural event, so you may clash your prints but consider their hues and prints. I recommend that men invest in accessories as they add piazza to an outfit. Hats, goat skin or leather sandals, beads, beaded arm or neck necklaces, hand-made bags and Tswana wooden walking sticks are some of the accessories to try to incorporate into your outfit.”

Women are spoilt for choice when choosing a head turning outfit but Dikobe reckons that hair will be the centre of the fashion this year. She recommends unique hair that will celebrate yesteryear’s African styles. “Head wraps or a uniquely wrapped tukwi are also a great alternative to hairstyles,” she says. “But for a modern take, take your biggest sun hat and cover it with a unique African print fabric for that winning statement. The bigger, the better. Big sleeves, palazzos and leather skirts are a big mood in fashion this season. Whatever you do, clash the prints, wear it loud and proud for this season of Son of the Soil.”

Son of the Soil is an all-inclusive event suitable for the whole family that encourages all attending to participate in the day’s activities to be a part of an exciting cultural re-awakening. Dikobe advises that children should also be included in the festivities by incorporating funky traditional hairstyles to leather, leteisi or bold coloured outfits and sandals for their looks. Dressing them up would also be a great culture archive for them to see clothing that makes up their culture.

The cultural event will also bring a fusion of activities and entertainment from morning to late evening. Artists scheduled to perform this year are MMP Family, Charma Gal, Dr Vom, Blackrose, Amachesa, DJ Lefatshe and DJ N.S.I. Tickets are selling at P250 for adults, P200 for students with valid IDs and P100 for children under 12 years.