Bakwena Tribe urged to preserve culture

The Bakwena tribe from South Africa, Botswana and Namibia celebrated the 12th annual Dithubaruba Cultural Festival at Molepolole Sport Complex, outside Gaborone on Saturday.

The cultural festival which was held under the theme “ngwao yame, boipelagatso bame” which is loosely translated ”my culture, my treasure” was graced by among others former President of Botswana Sir Seretse Ian Khama as well as Prince Molotlegi, of the Royal Bafokeng Nation in Phokeng.

Speaking at the event, the assistant minister for Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development Dikgang Makgalemele, said their tribe must preserve their culture as well as be proud of who they are. He said “African culture is being overtaken by the Western culture and that is not only degrading but is also turning our community into decay.” He said that although many challenges were faced in organising the event, the Bakwena tribe should pride in having brought the event successfully. He said “this should not just be an annual event, but an event that can be compared to others of the same calibre in other countries.”

We have lived in an era where our culture is slowly eroding because of democratic rights. We should teach the youth how things should be and have been done as far as culture and tradition are concerned. As the youngest chief in the Bakwena tribe, Kgosi Tebogo said the most challenging things about his role of being a young traditional leader is having to give orders to elder people. “Because I am so young, some of them may feel degraded by having to take directives from me, but this has not dettered me from performing my duties as the Kgosi of Bakwena Ba Mogopa because they also know that it is what I have to do” he said.

Stalls displaying and selling traditional food, clothes and artefacts were the other of the day. Although the numbers had slightly gone down due to the change of venue Kgosi Mamogale said he hoped that the numbers would start increasing once a permanent structure for the event is laid down.
” We are grateful to learn that P25 000 000 has been put aside for the development of an infrastructure where the annual event will take place once completed,” he concluded.

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