The annual Western Kgalagadi Cultural Association (WKCA) festival will be held before the end of the year in Kang.
Showcasing the lifestyle and the different dance styles of the San, the festival features 13 groups from areas such as Khawa, Kokotsha, Phuduhudu, Zutshwa, Inalegolo, Maake, Monong, Bere, New Xade, West Hanahai, Kacgae and New Xanagas. The first night (Friday) is normally dedicated to the intricate art of the healing dances.
Healers and their members will perform the different steps involved in the healing rituals. In some instances, the healers are not just acting but are doing the real thing. The second day-Saturday-is mostly dominated by different dances such as hunting and gathering and other rituals marking the rite of passage. Apart from giving patrons firsthand experience about the life of the San culture, the festival is highly competitive and groups are always trying to outsmart one another. Top groups such as Inalegolo, Monong and Zutshwa have a bone to chew with one another.
However having been riddled by minor hiccups, organisers this year need to work around the clock in ensuring to tap into the market of tourists that pass through the Trans Kalahari (and mostly those who use accommodation facilities in Kang and surrounding areas) in order to grow the audience and hopefully increase the revenue that they generate from the festival. And lastly they must invite a popular artiste with a large following to light up the last night.
As a showstopper, their advisors should also take time to invite the first citizen of the country as well as employees of embassies and different organisations to turn this event into something that is for everyone (particularly those who are willing to spend money). WKCA was formed after a Traditional Dance Workshop that was held in 2009.
One of the workshop’s resolutions was to form an umbrella organisation for traditional dance groups so that Western Kgalagadi Cultural Corridor (WKCC) project can invest in the human capital required for the cultural tourism. The concept of the festival is borrowed from the Kuru Cultural Dance Festival.