- 19 years later, the festival continues to maintain its reputation for full immersion in the culture(s) of Batswana
Cultural aficionados are already gearing up for the cultural event of the year, Son of the Soil, that is slated for 24 February 2024 at Tashy’s Royal Gardens in Boatle.
Now in its 19th year, the highly anticipated cultural festival will be held under the theme, “Kwa Re Go Yang, Re A Ya,” and promises to maintain its reputation of being a full immersive cultural experience.
The festival’s mouthpiece, DJ Boogie Sid Nzala, told Time Out in an interview: “The cultural fest is a unique experience that attracts people from different walks of life to come and experience our Botswana culture.”
The olden days
“Patrons have the chance to participate in our cultural games, eat our cuisine, sing and dance to our music and dress up in our cultural attire.”
Over the years, fashion has taken centre stage at the cultural festival and Batswana have warmed up to the event as an occasion to reminisce about the olden days of Setswana culture and to showcase how modern fashion trends can be merged with traditional Setswana outfits to achieve a greater sartorial effect.
Son of the Soil will officially start with “Metswaiso Chillers” on Friday 23 February from 7pm to 11pm at Tashy’s Royal Gardens.
Metswaiso is a free folklore and history storytelling session where patrons get to sit around a fire and enjoy stories narrated by veteran storytellers, Rre Kolo and Rre Direlang, among others.
Said DJ Boogie Sid: “This is an age old tradition where elders told stories around the fire and will take place prior to the main event on Saturday 24th February.
“The main cultural festival aims to give the younger generation a proper cultural experience because they are our leaders of tomorrow and need to carry the tradition forward.”
This year’s Son of the Soil features a star-studded lineup of artists, among them Johnny Mokhali, Mma Ausi, ATI, Dr Vom, Maxy Khoisan, Ndingo Johwa, Sereetsi and The Natives, Matsieng, Ngwao Letshwao, Rangers Marena Choir, Mabutswapele, and Nono Siile among others.
The lineup is a healthy mix of Setswana traditional music, dikhwaere, maboko and urban culture music to attract the younger generation.
DJ Boogie Sid said different Botswana cultures are represented in the lineup and that all the artists on the lineup speak to the fabric that makes Son of the Soil.
“The selected artists also speak to the strong cultural theme of Botswana,” he asserted. “This year we introduce polka because we want everyone to be represented in the cultural festival.”
Early bird tickets are priced at P200, normal tickets go for P250 while P40 will get children under 15 years into the cultural groove. Tickets are available at Webtickets Outlets.
The organisers have introduced a limited VIP package priced at P950 that includes a fully decorated marquee, lunch with a braai, private parking, private ablutions, own private bar, perfect view of the stage, a tasting of bojalwa ba Setswana out of a Son of the Soil phafana.