Welcome message from Maitisong Director Gao Lemmenyane:
Maitisong Festival 2017 is scheduled for April 1st – 11th at various venues around Gaborone. As usual, with a varied and exciting line-up of events, the Festival will celebrate brilliant local and international shows to provide an unforgettable experience for all. There will be both free and paid shows to ensure that everyone gets a piece of the action.
In its 30th year running, the Maitisong Festival is undoubtedly the biggest arts festival in Botswana. International and local artists will bring theatre, music, dance, poetry and comedy to fee-paying audiences in several venues around Gaborone, as well as non-stop music to thousands of revellers in under-privileged areas free of charge. We look forward to celebrating three decades of arts promotion, raising the professional bar in the arts, launching careers and connecting Botswana artists with their international counterparts.
The 2017 theme ‘Enrich’ extends the previous year’s themes of ‘Elevate’, which reflected the need to professionalise the arts by pushing the envelope and setting the bar even higher, and ‘Engage’, which compelled all those involved in the Festival to maintain the standard that was set in 2015, and form collaborations to entertain and critically challenge arts consumers while shifting negative perceptions.
This year’s theme is a call for artists to familiarise themselves with the business side of the arts industry. As Botswana’s arts industry grows, Maitisong implores the arts community to create wealth for themselves by providing work of value to consumers.
One of the most memorable shows was Beautiful things, a stage production performed by Presley Chweneyagae, the lead actor of the Oscar award-winning, South African film Tsotsi. It outlined the story of a woman whose traumatic past prevented her from moving on with life. Her lover compels her to confront her demons by using small things that take her back to the events that led to her tragedy. An unforgettable line from the story was, ‘‘Eat the ice cream.’’
Three dance productions were showcased. An international troupe from Namibia, OYO Dance Troupe, performed with Mophato Dance Theatre and Sky Blue Dance Hub.
Actress Moduduetso Lecoge celebrated her grandmother, Dr. Gaositwe Chiepe in A Woman of Many Firsts and The Company@Maitisong staged the internationally acclaimed Born Around Here, which went on to tour Artscape in Cape Town.
The US Embassy Gaborone brought Miles Hodges from New York City, who conducted workshops for artists and teachers, and performed alongside local artists. Drama for Life, from the University of the Witwatersrand, produced a rich and diverse program of theatre and workshops. It was indeed an incredible festival!
Artists from far and near join this ten-day, roller-coaster shindig. We assure you the best in international and local talent. Billed to perform at this year’s festival are performers from Botswana and South Africa.
The Festival Opening Night will be graced by international band Kgalagadi Soul. Botswana’s beloved four-string guitar master Sereetsi and the Natives, of the famous tunes Robete and Tha Kokome, makes up one third of this band. He performs alongside Aus Tebza (ZA) and Mumba Yachie (ZM) on the Tuesday, 4th April at 7:30pm in Maitisong. Admission is P200, which includes refreshments.
Hailing from Limpopo province in South Africa, Generations actor Moses D. Rasekele is bringing a double bill to the Maitisong Festival. The two theatre performances, Nasty Burn and 2-Late, promise to be nothing but the best.
In comedy, Soweto Comedy Festival battles it out with Botswana’s funniest. Chris Mapane and Tumi Stopnonsons are back again to face off with Botswana’s rising, comedy star Bambino, the legendary MOD, Rib Cracker, and the new, funny kid on the block Johnny. They will crack ribs on Friday, 7th April at 7:30pm and admission is only P150.
Mandy Promotions brings back A Day before Execution while The Company@Maitisong extends Barclays Madi Majwana to those who missed the recent launch and tour.
At Stanbic Bank Piazza, expect Socca Moruakgomo’s acclaimed musical Moratiwa and the internationally renowned, one man show from Cape Town titled, Pay for the Curry on Tuesday, 11th April.
Avani Hotel & Casino will host the third annual Fashion without Borders on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th April. In addition to screenings, readings and workshops, lovers of spoken word will be treated to a Poetry Slam and an Word Nerds Acoustic Event at Dros, featuring the best of local poetry.
The flagship Old Naledi Outdoor Music Show promises to be bigger and better. Supported by the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture annually, this concert will come at a later stage and will extend beyond Gaborone this time around. This is but a sneak preview of the many activities that the Festival will offer.
SPONSORS AND PARTNERS
We endeavour to bring new sponsors on board every year. We are excited by the level of support that we continue to receive from our regular supporters. Our sincerest gratitude goes to our 2016 sponsors, Gabz FM, US Embassy, Sgotti, Ministry of Youth, Sport & Culture, Thapong Visual Arts Centre, Gaborone City Council, Botho University, the British High Commission and the British Council.
Sponsors and partners of the 2017 Maitisong Festival include the radio partner Gabz FM, and venue partners Stanbic Bank Piazza and Dros at Molapo Crossing, Thapong Visual Art Centre.
As usual, the shows will take place at multiple venues across Gaborone. Maru-a-Pula School and Maitisong remain the home of the Festival and will host the opening and closing nights. Old Naledi is another exciting venue, where we host a concert for Old Naledi residents and everyone who is looking for great entertainment. We want to shift perceptions about Old Naledi and encourage everyone to join the Festival to experience the warmth of the Old Naledi residents.
The uniqueness of all Festival venues provides flexibility, easy access and convenience.
We offer packages to suit everyone’s pocket. Students (with valid student cards), pensioners, young professionals, and mature art lovers have a chance to save with special venue packages. Additionally, any block bookings will receive discounted rates.
For more information contact (+267) 397 1809 / (+267) 72 266 221 (general enquiries) or (+267) 391 2953 ext 259 / (+267) 71 355 929 (media enquiries). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com (general enquiries) or firstname.lastname@example.org (media enquiries)
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