The annual horse racing and cultural festival dubbed Motokwe Independence Derby slated for September 30, is back. And judging by its growth and popularity, the event will this time around be commercialised and transformed into a national event.
The Motokwe Independence Day started in the early 1970s as a recreational event characterised by horse racing and cultural exchange celebrations. It has helped tribes from Motokwe and surrounding areas to demonstrate exchange and maintain their traditions.
Using the predominant culture of the Takatokwane/Kgalagadi region, which is populated by farmers as the main attraction, a sustainable development of the area is vital to prevent the negative impacts of tourism. Event organiser Jacob Kelebeng told Style that for the past few years the event had been growing at an alarming rate.
He said villages nearer to Motokwe such as Tsetseng, Kang, Morwamosu and Mabutsane have been attending the event. “This year we expect a lot from this event as there is an increase in villages attending the show”, he said. The villages of Motokwe, Tsetseng, Morwamosu, Kang, Mabutsane, Werda, Khekhenye, Tshwaane, Dutlwe, Takatokwane, Maboane, Khudumolapye, Ditshegwane and Letlhakeng are expected to participate.
The number of people expected to attend the show has increased from 800 to 1500. In a bid to commercialise the event, it has been renamed the Motokwe Independence Derby horse racing and cultural festival. It is an annual cultural tourism event that aims to continue fostering spiritual and cultural respect among and between people, while creating economic opportunities to benefit disadvantaged populations.
The event schedule will be divided into four sessions; morning, afternoon, evening and night, which shall be staged on the same day. The morning session will cover official opening and short distance race, afternoon will cover display of stalls, traditional food tasting, and donations, evening will cover long distance race and prize giving, while the night session entails the cultural festival and after party.