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One of the major highlights of the Khawa Dune Challenge and Cultural Festival this past week, was the Polka and the cultural festival held on Friday night, and as usual Polka dominated the night’s performances. The festival proved to be an all-time favourite in the area, attracting multitudes of both the young and the old.
Unlike the Polka and cultural festival, the contemporary music festival that was held Saturday on proved to be mostly a youth affair, headlined by A.T.I and Maxy among others.
Polka music has for the past ten years been known to be synonymous with the Khawa Dune Challenge and Cultural Festival, and rightfully so, the Kgalagadi District. Over the years, with the opportunities presented by the President Holidays Competitions and Khawa Cultural festival, groups from different villages in the district have organised themselves to perform and compete in these events.
The Friday festival was held in the central business district of Khawa village and the turnout was massive, with the designated sitting capacity of the area overfilled, all for the love of Polka. The attendance was by both residents of Khawa and surrounding villages, Kgalagadi as a whole and those who thronged the annual event.
The atmosphere was highly charged from the beginning – with Khawa Primary School Polka group setting the tone of what was to be a night to remember. The youngsters did not disappoint, and seemed to have been a clear message that the music was being passed to the younger generation to ensure its continuity.
The performance by the kids, opened the stage to more groups that serenaded the spectators- among them the Riem Vaas Mak Polka group from Struizendam, Ales As Mondlek Polka Group from Khuis, Huni Kan Namastap from Tsabong, Geniet Met Ons Polka Group from Gakhibana and Bly Geseen Polka Group from Khawa.
And besides Polka other genres were also showcased among them Huni Kam Namastaap from Tsabong, Originality Namastap, Tsutsube Karabuu from Ghanzi, poetry by Mothusi Mothemele and Katara by Tebontle Mokwena from Kuke.
To officially bring the curtain of the Khawa Dune Challenge and Cultural Festival, a Bornfire Camping Experience and the contemporary music festival were held on Saturday night. The music festival featured A.T.I, Dj Sly, Mez Ez Gee, Maxy and Chef Gustos among others.
Meanwhile Kgalagadi South Member of Parliament Sam Brooks has called on the organisers to ensure that both the cultural and contemporary festivals give local artists opportunities to showcase and also be paid for their performances.
He decried that in most cases artists from Gaborone are brought in to perform in such events and paid large sums of money while their locally based counterparts are side-lined or paid far less. Brooks noted that this does not help in the exposure, and nurturing talent in remote areas who also strife for growth and recognition.