Kg’oesakeni, a local production written and directed by Shabba Kgotlaetsho and performed by Lepatata Arts Ensemble, seeks to change performing arts in the country.
The artistic director for the production is none other than Koketso Ndeke who previously worked with the ensemble in another production. A corporate premiere of the production is pencilled to take place in October, with a public screening expected to follow thereafter.
For those that have previously had the opportunity to see the ensemble in action, this is one production that they do not wish to miss lest they regret that decision. Guaranteeing viewers and those who are passionate about the arts value for their time and money, Kg’oesakeni is being showcased at a time when many have been questioning the path that the arts in the country have taken and whether there is a decline or growth.
And this production might just be what the country needs right now in order to resuscitate the arts, and take them to another level. Kg’oesakeni is a musical dance theatre production that explores themes around the current life situations of the Kua people.
The story, according to a press release, puts into perspective the native Kua traditions such as music, socio economic practices and spirituality and how these were impacted by the relocations. The story is a product of years of field research involving tens of personal interviews and months of sleeping in the CKGR and New Xade. The author attended many of the court sessions while still a practising photojournalist and was the only local journalist present when the people returned to CKGR after the court victory that confirmed their liberty to reside in the CKGR.The release explains that the production narrative follows the life of a young Kua maiden born in the CKGR but grows in the Botswana metropolis. Growing into world religious masonry, which she quits due to ancestral issues, she enjoys modern day corporate success. “Under a strange trail, she loses all the worldly glory and circumstances force her to return to the CKGR for her salvation,” says the release. The story, the statement points out, is told in purely Kua song and dance systems as a tribute to the communities. Kg’oesakeni is the name of the new home, New Xade, where the majority of the communities that were relocated are currently residents.
“According to Kuela Kiema writing in his book, Tears for my Land (2010), New Xade was named Kg’oesakeni, meaning in search of better life, in April of 1997 by a delegation of four men, including Kiema. He does not explain why they chose the name but alternative sources state that this name could have been inspired by the basis and purpose of the relocation as stated by the national government then. According to the national government, the relocation was intended to give the peoples of the then CKGR a new lease of life against how they had been living,” states the release.
About Lepatata Arts Ensemble
Lepatata Arts Ensemble is performance arts ensemble that exists to prioritise pure traditional Botswana song and dance in mainstream performance platforms.Driven by core belief that Botswana’s competitive edge globally can only be its unique artforms, Lepatata intends to showcase Botswana traditional dance and song globally in a performance language the world understands. Among Lepatata’s corporate intents is to provide alternative and sustainable professional platforms to Botswana artists, especially those of traditional folk systems. Lepatata Arts Ensemble intends to by year 2019 have at least 20 full-time employed artists who will equally be accredited and qualified by BQA as Botswana traditional song and dance experts and professionals.Lepatata exists in three disciplines being the folk dance and song, the choir and theatre sections. Lepatata Arts Ensemble uses native dancers as anchors in all its productions as shown during its inaugural theatrical, Hosanna Wosana where Lepatata sourced Hosana dancers from Bukalanga. For the current production, Lepatata has sourced additional eight dancers from New Xanagas and four from D’kar to retain the artistic integrity of the song and dance forms. This is also Lepatata’s corporate inclusive consideration.