‘Tapyowa NG32 Experience’ Grows Bigger!

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‘Tapyowa NG32 Experience,’ an annual event organised by Okavango Kopano Mokoro Community Trust (OKMCT) which comprises fascinating mokoro races and an extravaganza of a cultural showcase this past weekend delivered to expectations attracting a large number of spectators.

The event which strives to offer tourists an experience of the prestigious Okavango Delta by using mokoro returned in its second edition at Xaxaba village right in the heart of the delta.

Besides attracting an increased number of people and the event itself generally being well organised, this time around Tapyowa also had new partners in the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sports, and Culture. As custodians of cultural preservation and sports development, the ministry found it fit to collaborate with OKMCT and injected P115,000 to support Tapyowa.

The races comprised of the 100m, 200 m 400, and 800 m for both male and female categories as well as the 200m race for veterans.

For the ladies’ category, Kenayang Ditshupegebo of Ditshiping scoped first position in 100m, and the 400m champion went to Magdeline Nxhereko of Xaxaba while Olopeng Cheu from Boro won the 800m race.

In the men’s category, Omphetetse Retiyo (Boro) came first in the 100m race, and Ketsweletse Kehemetswe of Xuoxao won the 200 while Gorata Moagi (Daunara) and Gaoidiwe Moagi (Daunara) scooped first position in the 400m and 800m races respectively.

Isaiah Poloko (Xaxaba) won the veterans’ 200m race, followed by Gideon Pitlagano (Xuoxao) while Botsalo Mbuse (Boro) came third. In the end, all the over 30 participants went home with something in cash prizes and medals.

In an interview, OKMCT general manager Seikaneng Moepedi said they are happy to have achieved what they intended, which was for people to experience the delta, especially for those who were attending the event for the first time.

Moepedi added the event forms part of their strategy to expand their tourism products offering while also boosting the economic livelihoods of the five villages they operate in being- Boro, Xharaxao, Xuoxao, Daunara, and Xaxaba located in NG32 (a controlled hunting area). This he highlighted was through engaging locals from these villages for services such as catering among others.

As a way to also boost the trust’s coffers, they have this time around introduced tented accommodations and stalls which were secured at certain fees. “We have seen what the event can do for us, there has been a great improvement as compared to last year’s edition, people came in large numbers and the set-up showed our commitment,” he said.

Besides glitches of power delay and low water levels, Moepedi was delighted that the event has grown big and assured that the third edition set for June 27th, 2025 will be even much bigger.

North West district commissioner, Thabang Waloka hailed OKMCT for exploring opportunities to diversify the country’s tourism products from its competitors noting that the use of mokoro to promote sports and cultural tourism has the potential to attract more tourists. He also appreciated the event for being crucial in increasing cash flow and subsequently improving the livelihoods of communities in NG32.

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