Three years later, Thapelo Pabalinga is certainly inching closer to achieving his dream of transforming the annual Gaborone International Music & Culture week (GIMC) into one of the fastest growing festivals in the continent.
The third edition of one of the most talked about events at home and abroad, returns over the coming week with a fresh line-up catering for everyone. Fusing comedy, poetry, music festival and chorale, over a week, the 2016 edition has a mixed bag of treats for fun lovers.
International artist and jazz maestro, America’s Jonathan Butler officially opens the festivities on August 27th at the Stanbic Bank Piazza. It is the first time that local jazz lovers will get to see the renowned musician right here in Botswana. Other acts that will perform on the same night include Botswana’s Sereetsi & the Natives of Robete fame (presently on tour in South Africa), Re Batswana Ensemble (comprising Ndingo Johwa, Lister Boleseng, Banjo Mosele, Nnunu Ramogotsi and Lekofi Sejeso). For those who wish to sharpen their craft, an artist workshop will take place on August 29th at the BNYC hall. Butler is expected to share his life experiences as well as what it takes to make it in the music industry. Other industry stakeholders will also be present at the workshop.
On Tuesday (August 30th) theatre lovers will be treated to some of the best theatre productions. Proudly produced by talented Batswana, these productions include the internationally aclaimed Black, Blue & White and Morwa Rising Son proudly produced by Botswana’s talented Donald Molosi and Tefo Paya respectively. Also on the night, will be A Woman of Firsts, a play that is produced by Moduduetso Lecoge and celebrates the many achievements of Dr Gaositwe K.T. Chiepe. The event takes place at Mantlwaneng, Westwood on August 30th. Lovers of the spoken word will be treated to a thrilling night on (August 31st) when the likes of Lebo Mashile (South Africa), Juby Peacock, Morwa Motsamai, Delerecal, Poetess Phopho Anthony as well as Maya Rose take to the stage at Botswana Craft.
And on September 1st, chorale lovers can witness the crème de la crème of chorale music including KTM Choir, Gaborone Philharmonic Voices, St Conrads Catholic Choir as well as Andante battling it out at the Maitisong Hall. Comedy lovers will finally get to see Uganda’s Salvador born Patrick Idigri, in his first performance in Botswana. Other acts to look forward to on the night include Trevor Gumbi (South Africa), Doc Vikela (Zimbabwe), Lihle Lindzy (South Africa), Mawee, Juju Viine, as well as Phenyo, The Master. The event takes place at GICC. Lastly, the event comes to a spectacular end on Saturday (September 3rd) with a mother of all bashes. The line-up will see the likes of DJ Fresh, Black Coffee and locally the likes of Ban T, Ricky Rick, Donald, Vee, Faded Gang, Drama Boi, Skizo, NT Base, Mapetla, THABO, Chrispin the Drummer, and DJ Amstel bringing the house down.
Speaking at a press conference recently, Pabalinga said that the event has garnered interest within the SADC region. He said that they are expecting a delegation from Kwazulu Natal (KZN) Arts Department as well as Namibia Tourism Organisation. The delegation from KZN will be here to benchmark as they’re also interested in hosting a similar event. They will attend the Dithubaruba cultural event on September 3rd. “The 2016 event is a bigger event. And the platform benefits everyone,” he said.
Communications Manager for Stanbic Bank, Ruth Modisane was excited that her organisation was part of an event as spectacular as GIMC. “The event gives African artists an opportunity to perform here as well as local artists to share the platform with them,” she said. She also expressed her organisations’ wish to see Jazz music growing Botswana. Part of the proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to Tlhokomela Trust that deals with endangered species.