Kuru Development Trust’s Kuru Dance Festival, a two-day event celebrating the rich culture, beautiful traditional dances and music of the San will be celebrating 20 years this month. The organisers are calling for more support from Batswana.
This celebration of the San culture is to be held from August 24 – 25, 2018 at Dqae Qare San Lodge, near Gantsi. Over the years, the festival has catered to locals as well a wider international audience. Kuru Development Trust Coordinator, Mangana Mangana told Mmegi’s Arts & Culture that this year they want to attract more people.
“Culture is our identity, more tribes have to come here so that we can share our culture with them. All we need is to see the participation grow, this event is not meant for profit. We want to be recognised as a tribe and we would like more partners to take part,” he said.
Mangana said the event is not just about the San people but is also aimed at being a platform for cultural exchange.
“To know someone is to know their culture, so Kuru Dance Festival is the perfect place for such.”
Despite being sponsored by Barclays Bank of Botswana and the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Mangana said there is more to be done to grow the event. For instance, he said they still struggle to arrange transport for artists who will perform at the festival.
“In the end, people may think that we manipulate artists for profit. We should be grateful for their commitment to this because this is neither a competition nor entertainment. It’s a celebration of culture,” he said.
Last year’s festival featured 15 San dance groups from Botswana, as well as two San groups and one Zulu group from South Africa but Mangana said people should expect even more this year. Mangana said the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development has been on their side despite the lack of support from various stakeholders.
He said the financial challenges they have faced over the last 20 years only gave them the courage to soldier on.
Kuru Dance Festival programme 2018
Friday 7pm – 11pm (or later)
Traditional healing dances.
Saturday 10am – 11pm
Opening ceremony and more dancing.
Sunday – Departure
Price: P100 for Friday, P150 for Saturday, P200 for both days.
Tickets for children under 12-years-old are half price.
Children under six attend for free.
*Tickets will be available at the gate
Please note; the fee covers you for entrance ONLY. Food and drink will be available for purchase. No alcohol allowed. There’s a separate fee for camping. To enquire about accommodation, please call Dqae Qare at +267 7252 7321.
A glimpse at what’s in store
YouTube Video courtesy of Human Relations Area Files, i,ages courtesy of Kuru Dance Festival Facebook page