Popular Botswana ‘harvest’ festival discontinued

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Bakang Mhaladi

Gaborone - For nearly two decades, Gaborone residents did not feel left out after the farming season’s bountiful harvests.

There was always a way of enjoying the farm-fresh harvests through a cultural festival, Orange Letlhafula meant to bring people together for traditional cuisine and music.

The Orange Letlhafula has been held for 19 years, but will not take place this year, after the title sponsor, Orange Botswana, pulled out.

The thanksgiving celebrations traditionally take place in May, but now the organisers, Botswana Craft, are looking for new partners for next year’s event.

“Orange Letlhafula will, unfortunately, not be held this year. Having enjoyed a strong relationship with Orange Botswana, the sponsors have not renewed their agreement for the Letlhafula festival,” Botswana Craft’s Oliver Groth said in a statement.

He said Botswana Craft has started looking for a partner for future events.

Groth said the event has always been popular and recorded sold-out crowds since inception in 2000.

“The festival was intended as a form of thanksgiving for the harvest and celebrated annually in May. As Botswana Craft, we appreciate the popularity of the event and the support from the community,” Groth said.

Orange Botswana said it was now time to move on to other opportunities, after sponsoring the cultural event for the last 10years.

“We have been renewing the sponsorship contract every three years and it has been a good 10 years, but it is time to move on,” Orange Botswana’s Mosarwa Malema told local media.

Other than being a thanksgiving for the harvest, the festival celebrated the country’s culture and heritage. This drew international tourist, who joined locals for the festivities.

Different traditional dishes representing the diverse nature of Botswana’s population were served during the Letlhafula festival.

Attendees kept entertained through traditional games, while Botswana’s unofficial national dress ‘leteisi’ or the German print, was the dress of choice for many.

 

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