Ndebeles in Bots celebrate culture

NDEBELE-SPEAKING residents in Botswana converged at Gaborone Civic Centre on Sunday afternoon to celebrate their culture.

Luyanduhlobo Makwati
Own correspondent

The organiser of the event, Decent Ngwenya, said this year’s event ran under the theme, “Celebrating Our Culture and Ubuntu Bethu”.

More than 300 people attended this year’s event — held annually at the end of October.

Renowned Ndebele author Stephen Mhlabi was one of the guest speakers at the event while South African band Masikhandi entertained the crowd.

Ngwenya told Southern Eye Lifestyle that it was difficult for Ndebele speaking people
resident in Botswana to come home and take part in some of the festivals that Ndebele people celebrate.

So they decided to come up with a culture day in Botswana.

“We know that there are celebrations of this nature that our brothers hold at home, but due to different challenges ranging from work to our social lives, it has remained difficult for us to come and take part in any of the celebrations that our brothers perform at home. So as Ndebele people resident in Botswana, we decided to come up with this day. We are happy that this year’s event was a success and the turnout was good,” he said.

Ngwenya added that their Ndebele Culture Day encompasses everyone from Matabeleland including marginalised groups in Zimbabwe.

He said to them Ndebele speakers comprised Kalanga, Sotho, Venda and Tonga-speaking people “because most of these tribes have been largely incorporated into the Ndebele culture from time immemorial hence they share a lot in common as far as culture is concerned”.

Ngwenya disclosed that Batswana people appreciated Ndebele celebration of their culture while in a foreign land.

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