The thirteenth edition of the Son of the Soil (SOTS) cultural festival is pencilled to take place on March 2nd. The event that returns after a one-year hiatus is back at the Serokolwane Lawns under the theme: Kwa re go yang – Re Ipela. It is organised by Bana ba Mmala Trust (BBMT).
SOTS is held at the end of February/first weekend of March every year. Highlights to look forward at the popular event include a diverse line-up of some of the finest of Botswana’s top artists, dancers, poets, the ever-popular traditional choir competitions, games, and many more. Other highlights will include a workshop to be held on February 21st, and a jazz event that will take place on March 3rd.
Those who are avid fans of the festival know for a fact that the traditional choir festival is one of the highlights that keep attracting many to the festival. For years, the friendly rivalry between the North and South choirs is what has been keeping this event alive, and making it all the more fun. Participants from the North and South are always ready for a battle and will go all out in order to topple their rivals. This year will be no different.
Speaking this week at a media briefing in Gaborone, the Chairperson of BBMT, Pontsho Pusoetsile reveals that one of the aspects that make their event extraordinary is the fact that it is the only local cultural event where patrons play a participatory role, as compared to just being spectators. This, he says is what sets them apart from other events. He also says that for this year, they have partnered with Fresh Brands who will be helping them to take the event to the next level. “We will always be a participatory event. And our event is used as a template by other events,” he explains.
He also explains that as it was the case in the past, patrons should come dressed in their finest traditional attires, and that jeans are not allowed. For those who might find themselves wearing jeans, he advises that they have vendors who will be selling traditional attires. He also highlights that they encourage their patrons to consume their beverages from traditional cups (Phafana).
Pusoetsile also highlights that as it was the case with the event in 2017, patrons will have to buy their own lunch meals, while breakfast, co –prepared by the patrons, will be free. History of the Son of Soil event can be traced back to 2005 in Tlokweng where everything first started. It was conceived and organised by a group of youth known as Bana Ba Mmala, as a way to relive, learn and enjoy Botswana rich culture.
Entrance to the event is P250 (adults) and P100 for children.