On the 30th September 2016, Botswana will join 37 other African nations that have had 50 years of independence (Lesotho will become the 39th African country a few days later).
Botswana’s golden jubilee is also known on social media as #BOT50
Key Events taking place as part of #Bot50
According to the Chairperson of BOT 50, Charity Kgotlafela, the organising committee was allocated P100 million to use for the celebrations. Organisers say the amount has to be shared between districts and Botswana missions abroad. Charity has also said that “We hope that these celebrations will be the best ever to come out of his country. The whole world will be watching us, henceforth this is our moment to redeem ourselves. “
I decided to look at various social media to actually find out what this P100 million is being used for and how it might be perceived by some of the world looking in. There are meant to be events happening in venues that include Gaborone, Francistown, Maun, Kasane, Ghanzi, Serowe, Molepolole and Kanye. After a few hours of research, finding a schedule events by this committee was impossible!
If I look at the governments FB page on Bot50, I am left completely uninspired and uninformed as to what events are happening in the country. Take a look yourself and let me know what you think?
Apart from this I have scoured the internet and this is what I could find, please note that not all the events listed below are organised under the BOT50 committee;
The Roving Torch
According to the Chairperson of BOT 50¹, Charity Kgotlafela has said that there will be a roving torch that will traverse the whole of the country. “The intention of this torch is to try to build up for the 2016 independence celebrations. The torch will be launched on September 30th 2015 and will come back to Gaborone in September 2016”.
Where is the roving torch now?
So far all I know is that it was last seen in Mokolodi² It is meant to be working it’s way to Gaborone in time for 30th September, lets hope the flame is still burning!
Football: Zebras vs Angola
This is taking place at the National Stadium in Gaborone on the 3oth September†
Dress up Golden Jubilee Fridays
The Botswana government have suggested that every Friday people wear Botswana colours (Blue, black and white) to work‡. So much for dress sown Fridays!
Gaborone International Airshow
Botswana Tourism will host this Saturday, September 24th an air show dubbed Gaborone International Airshow in line with Botswana’s Golden jubilee at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport*
The show will include the aerobatic displays; both individual and formation displays, high speed jets, stunts, including aeroplanes and motorbikes combined, as well as a roof top landing on a moving vehicle ending with a formation fly-by at dusk. This event does include a free kid’s fun park so should be decent for families. Ticket prices vary but start at P100 per person.
Celebrating 50 years of conservation
Join Mrs Thea Khama at Airport Junction this Saturday 24th September as they take a stand for the survival of elephant, rhino and lion in their natural habitat.Time: 06h30 – 09h30
50 to 50 City Festival
The Gaborone District will host a community celebration through an event to be held from the 23rd until 25th September. The festival will be hosted over a 50 hours period, being 50 hours towards 50 years of Independence.
The venue will be the Old Lobatse Road in Gaborone
There will be the following: Kiddies Fun Park, 50 Hours Street Festival, 50 Performing Artists , Food & Drink Stalls. It all kicks off on 23rd September at 8:00 am and ends on the 25th September at 10:00 am.
50 years Independence Patriotic Walk
The event is advertised as “A walk to remember a United Botswana, A unique nation, A peaceful, an icon of democracy as we have always been know, a nation of happiness, tolerance and compassion. A walk to honor our Heros, our forefathers, the establishers of this nations, Patriots who have stood strong”
All I could find is that it kicks off at 8am on 24th September, if anyone knows the location, please let me know.
Maun International Arts Festival
From 22nd to 30th October, the festival will feature a wide range of artistic expressions including Comedy, Poetry, Live Music, Dance, Hip Hop, Visual Arts, Theatre and Creative Writing.
Participants of the Festival will becoming from countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Namibia, Lesotho, Bulgaria, USA, Kenya and Hungary!
Tickets for the festival will range from P30 to P200,depending on the various activities. Some events will be free of charge. For more info click here
I would love to share the event that is taking place on 30th September at the National Stadium (which will be aired on Botswana TV). However I cannot find any information online for this! All I can see is that the football starts at 15.30pm.
Electronic music festival 2016
This time last year, some batswana (The people of Botswana) attended an electronic music festival (#BEMF) at the Gaborone cricket club. According to the organisers of Bot50, it will be held in five areas including Gaborone. “The festival will be beamed in five areas where also local artists will be performing to showcase Botswana’s talent”¹.
Is there an Electronic Music Festival happening this year?
Yes, but not in September. It is taking place on 5th November according to the event organisers³. There is controversy over this event as this is put together by a company in South Africa, why do we need to look outside Botswana to find talent, it’s very frustrating!
And finally there is an Anthem associated with Bot50 (I think)
I read that there is an anthem that was written for Bot50, the problem is I cannot find it anywhere online. What I did find was this, a song named “Pula” by a Botswana rapper STEEZ.
He says that this “song speaks of our Tswana pride, our people, our cultural diversity, our diamonds and our national heroes among others”. This song may not be everyone’s cup of rooibos but it’s fresh and represents the youth that are taking this country into the next 50 years of growth.
It has been a struggle to piece the list above, it would have been so much easier if the Bot50 organisers had a website that they could control the event content through and allow people to easily find out what is going on near them. I also struggled to find many events happening outside of Gaborone and Maun, I’m sure there is plenty going on but in terms of finding this online it wasn’t possible.
I hope you like this post and would love to hear from you, if you are in Botswana, let us know what you will be doing to celebrate Bot50.