The rich culture of Botswana was elegantly celebrated over the weekend at Cresta Rileys Hotel during the 9th edition of the annual Ngamiland Food Festival.
The festival returned bigger and better following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 that shelved many similar events. The event was established in 2013 as a way of showcasing and celebrating Ngamiland culture through traditional cuisine, dance, games and attire.
As for the traditional Setswana cuisine, the best of mapakiwa, chicken feet, chicken necks and liver were served for the breakfast while bogobe jwa lerotse, bogobe jwa ting, tswii, mokoto, serobe, seswaa and morogo wa Setswana were made it to the lunch table. Gemere and Chibuku brew were served as beverages for the day.
Local entertainers, the legendary Stiga Sola, Dr Vom, Mapantsula Crew and Mashambakodhi traditional group spiced up the event with their electrifying performances.
Cresta Sales Manager North, Wame Masike has revealed that they procured traditional food items from the local communities as a way of supporting them, adding those who prepared the meals were locals. She said they gave local artists priotity when sourcing entertainment services.
Masike said the event brought together people with ethnic backgrounds to celebrate the beauty of Setswana Culture and also to appreciate their different cultural experiences. The large turnout was indicative that people have been longing to celebrate culture following the pandemic.
For his part, Maun Administration Authority (MAA) Vice Sub Council Chairman Petros Tjetjoo applauded Cresta Hotel for organising and bringing the community together for a meaningful event to celebrate culture following devastating psychological effects of Covid-19.
He said the decision by the organisers to source food items and other services locally as this feeds well into the Council’s call for local empowerment. He also commended Cresta Rileys for taking a decision to donate an amount of P10 from each ticket that was sold to local charitable organizations.
Tjetjoo urged the participants to keep on embracing the culture through songs, attire, language and other cultural practices for international recognition.
“Let us showcase more of our culture on the world map because it is important for tourists to understand our way of life besides wildlife,” he encouraged.
Tjetjoo said they look forward to continue growing the festival for it to attract more sponsors to benefit local communities. The event was also sponsored by Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) that provided traditional beverage (Chibuku) and Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) assisting with Beef.