Botswana ensemble set to wow Broadway

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Bakang Mhaladi
Gaborone
 - Botswana's traditional music ensemble, I Love Botswana, is headed for the biggest theatre stage in the world, Broadway in New York, where they will perform at the Battery Dance Festival next month.
The group, which tells the Botswana story through song and dance, will perform a production titled 'Pula' at the 'Great White Way' between August 22 and 23.
'Pula', which means rain in the local Setswana language, is a national project under Botswana's Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism.
Andrew Kola, who directs 'Pula' said the production chronicles the practical and mystical relationship that Botswana locals have with the rain.
"It traces how rain brings human, plants and animals under one Botswana sky through traditional song and dance," he said.
The group launched the #BotswanaonBroadway campaign last week, with a dazzling performing in the capital city's three Dikgosi monuments.
#IloveBotswana ensemble patron, Thea Khama and Battery Dance Festival Vice President, Emad Salem were present at the launch.
Salem said they expect an audience of 3,000 people for the I Love Botswana ensemble Broadway show.
"Pula will transport the American audiences back to Botswana's beauty, mysticism and culture, creating a life-changing experience for them," he said.
The group would be returning to America for the second year running, after their debut performance at the Battery Dance Festival last year.
Salem said the group's performance had helped sell Botswana abroad, through arts.
"Last year, when we hosted the ensemble at the Battery Dance Festival, few people had knowledge about Botswana. But after the performance, every single one had a positive outlook and perception of the country, with a number, indicating they wanted to visit,"
Salem said.
The Broadway trip is expected to further enhance I Love Botswana's growing reputation.
Botswana's Tourism Minister, Tshekedi Khama said after the group's first performance in Germany last year, visitations to Botswana went up by 18%. 
"When we go to Broadway, we are going to show them the best of Botswana. We will allow these young artists to go and demonstrate something that will blow people away and they will realise that Botswana has more than diamonds and wildlife to offer.

 

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