Ultimate Battle Rivalskool Africa Dance Crowns Two Champions

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Alliance Française of Gaborone, in partnership with Rivalskool, hosted the electrifying “Ultimate Battle Rivalskool Africa” hip-hop competition, this weekend in Gaborone, crowning Prince Tshikare and Mpho Phaladi as their two champions.

“We were thrilled this weekend and I saw a lot of exciting acts brought by Batswana with their amazing dance skills,” said Mathilde Petit, cultural event organizer at Alliance Française of Gaborone.

Aimed at nurturing and growing the dance culture in Botswana, the competition is an important step in supporting both amateur and seasoned dancers, providing them with a platform to display their talents.

This year’s competition featured two intense categories: 1 vs 1 Bboying, set to hip-hop and breakbeats, and 1 vs 1 Freestyle, Freestyle to hip-hop and Afro music, with the freestyle category garnering the majority of the contestants and the highlight of the whole tournament.

The stakes were high which led to Prince Tshikare popularly known as “Ultra-Klutch” in the freestyle category and Mpho Phaladi popularly known as ‘Bboy Kakarott’ in the breakdancing category emerging out victorious.

Tshikare expressed, “I feel like I did my best in the competitions, but I still see room for improvement. I’m currently working hard to perfect my craft. With international competition on the horizon, I need to be thoroughly prepared.”

Phaladi added, “I showcased some of my skills in the competition, but now I am fully focused on training for the finals. I’m learning a lot through collaborative efforts with other dancers, absorbing as much as I can before the finals. I believe I have a lot more growth and potential as a dancer.”

The current winners will be moving on to the Southern African Finals in Johannesburg, where they will compete for a grand prize of €1000 (P14,700) and a prestigious gold trophy. Trophies will also be awarded to the second and third place finishers.

“I believe the contestants brought their best performances and gave the judges and audience an unforgettable show,” added Petit.

The Ultimate Battle Rivalskool Africa is an international showcase that draws top talent from Southern Africa and beyond. With participants from four continents—Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America—it’s a weekend packed with world-class dance battles. Since its inception in 2008, this event has been a cornerstone in the dance community, celebrating the fusion of freestyle dance and intricate step games, and highlighting a myriad of styles and talents from around the globe.

Founded in Gaborone in 1980, Alliance Française has been a vital cultural institution for over 35 years, promoting French language and culture while embracing the diverse languages and cultures of French-speaking countries. Each year, it attracts hundreds of students from various nationalities to its French classes, contributing significantly to cultural diversity and linguistic education in Botswana.

Petit encouraged more dancers to participate in the competitions, expressing hope that this event will become an annual highlight in Botswana’s cultural calendar.

All in all it was an adrenaline-pumping weekend filled with thrilling dance moves and fierce competition. The Ultimate Battle Rivalskool Africa—brought some of the best dancers that rose to the occasion and left the audience with a sense of legends in the making.

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