Gaborone - Botswana’s choral group, KTM Choir, qualified to compete at the ongoing World Choir Games (WCG) for the first time.
The 2019 World Choir Games took place at the Partille Arena, in Gothenburg, Sweden from 5 to10 August.
KTM choir and another choir from Ghana were the only two from Africa that competed alongside other choirs from France, Germany, United States of America, United Kingdom, Belgium, Demark and Spain among others.
The two choirs competed against more than 400 choirs from around the world for top honours.
Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Nonofo Molefhi, encouraged KTM Choir to work hard and save money so that they could host the regional international choral festival.
He said the nation was happy for the choir to represent the country and urged them to develop new strategies to develop the artistic culture of choral music.
“If people who started KTM had kept their talent to themselves, the choir could not be in existence today. One needs self-discipline, tolerance, resilience and purpose to build an artist background such as the one for KTM Choir,” he said.
The choir's chairperson, Lorato Morapedi, said they were happy to have been invited to attend the festival, saying organisers looked at the quality of the choir.
She said KTM had demonstrated quality which showed its eagerness to focus on youth empowerment. Morapedi revealed that the quality of the choir had increased in terms of how it packaged itself.
“We have been called not only to represent Botswana, but the continent of Africa and this is a great achievement,” she added.
Morapedi said the choir, which was formed with the objective of affording the youths the chance to express and preserve cultural choral music, had been in existence for 25 years.
“Over the years, the choir has manifested itself as a choral academy and through interest and expertise, choral music was growing in the country, a demonstration of KTM’s achievements.
“The choir boasts of several artists and through the nurturing they got from KTM, they have been able to become professionals,” she said.
European Union ambassador to Botswana and SADC, Jan Sadek, commended KTM Choir for contributing to the development of the country through music and performance.
“Your participation at the competition signified that music could also be exported to diversify other avenues of export. Botswana has been perceived as a peaceful and stable country with positive development such as the ones brought by diamonds and tourism,” he said.
Sadek said KTM would export and promote Botswana culture and make the country even more well-known.
“Botswana has an excellent brand internationally already, based on the country’s peaceful and successful development,” he said.