Unlike in the past years where the annual Son of the Soil (SOTS) cultural event attacted a healthy mix of patrons of all age groups, this past weekend’s instalment hosted a mature crowd at Serokolwane Lawns. Despite these notable changes, the event lived up to expectations after a year’s hiatus, treating patrons to locally grown traditional food, music and cultural activities throughout the day.
“There is a rival event taking place the same time as Son of the Soil, I guess this is why we are not seeing our youth at this year’s event. Usually they would come out dressed to nines to showcase their trendy designs but I am personally happy with the turnout, the older crowd seems to be having a lot of fun and the organisation of the event is commendable,” opined one patron Lesedi Podile.
The overarching theme for SOTS in the period 2015 to 2024 events is ‘Kwa re go yang’ which is meant to show that culture will be one of the pillars for national development as the organisers strongly believe that development must be anchored on a strong national identity. This year’s theme, ‘Kwa Re go yang, re ipela’ was meant to celebrate the centrality of celebrations in Botswana’s culture. As part of the celebrations, the organising teams, Bana Ba Mmala Trust (BBMT) set up a kgotla system where patrons sat in their respective wards and ultimately had singing competitions (dikhwaere) between the Ga-Sebilo, Ga- Loapi, Ntsweng, Ga – Tshwana and Ga – Tshweu.
“BBMT is a Trust established by a group of Batswana to promote and preserve culture and as the Trust we believe that it’s a true reflection of a celebration of the uniqueness of our Botswana spirituality, the vitality and resilience of our spirit, culture and values. This year’s theme is Kwa re go yang – Re Ipela,” said Kabelo Semele, Bana Ba Mmala Media Liaison.
Son of the Soil is an all-inclusive event suitable for the whole family and as a result, brought a fusion of activities including Setswana games and entertainment by Dr Vom of Tsaya Thobane fame, Sereetsi and the Natives, Nono Siile and Han C.