All Roads Led To Nkashi Classic 2023!

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Botswana Wild Bird Trust in collaboration with all its sponsors hosted a successful third edition of the Nkashi Classic in Maun that attracted a large crowd, compared to the previous editions.

In collaboration with Eternal Partners, sponsored by the Botswana Tourism Organisation, Chobe Holding and The Ngami Times among others, the event proved to be a crowd puller as Sedie Hotel –the venue was the go to place on Saturday.

The mood was electrified from the beginning to end, with endless safe entertainment for all, and the initially windy weather did not dampen the mood of those who thronged the event.

Various fun filled activities besides the thrill of the different category races, were held including musical performances by veteran folklore singer and guitarist Stiga Sola, Ko Seronga hit-maker Koolkat Motyikyo, Mosakaso queen Charma gal who also did not disappoint but got revelers’ eyes fixed to the stage enjoying.

Among the dignitaries to grace the event were Minister of Environment and Tourism, Philda Nnani Kereng, Batawana Paramount Chief Tawana Moremi II and BTO’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Keitumetse Setlang.

The Ambassador of the US to Botswana, who was in the region for a tour last week also passed by.

In an interview, Managing Director for the Botswana Wild Bird Trust Koketso Mookodi was delighted that this year’s event had the biggest crowd ever since its inception noting that the classic continues to grow bigger and bigger each year. She also took note of number of categories they had which catered for various age groups.

Mookodi was also impressed with the way revelers celebrated responsibly “It brings me a lot of pride to see the crowd that has come today, the community of Maun has come to celebrate their culture peacefully and responsibly.” she told The Weekender.

She said they look forward to the next year’s event and partnering with significant partners and stakeholders who can take this event to the next stage.

BTO’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Keitumetse Setlang said since mokoro does not use fuel to move in the water, it leaves no carbon footprints, which makes important tool for conservation.

Setlang assured that they will continue to support the event as it is a different type of activity and they would love to see it grow, especially that mokoro has become an important part of the tourism product offering in the Okavango Delta.

This year’s Okavango’s fastest poler was crowned – and it is 25-year-old Lasty Kedisa from Boro settlement who walked away with a grand prize of P40 000.

Kedisa who got position 2 in 2018 said that he has been determined to be the champion since then. He has since encouraged other polers who did not win not to be discouraged but to keep working hard.

Nkashi Classic is named after the stick used to peddle the canoe (mokoro) and is an annual mokoro race aimed at creating awareness about the importance of the Okavango River system and celebrate the traditional heritage of the indigenous people living in the Okavango Delta.

The inaugural race took place in 2018 (Maun) while the second edition was held in 2022(Seronga) following a three-year hiatus owing to the covid-19 pandemic and this past weekend it returned again to Maun.

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