19 May 2019

Botswana: No Kuru Festival This Year

Ghanzi — The absence of Kuru dance festival will without doubt devastate devotees or those who were planning to attend this year's edition as well as lodge or hotel owners in Ghanzi area who were expecting good fortunes from the event.

Kuru Development Board of trustees chairperson, Arone Johannes and Kuru development trust coordinator, Mangana Mangana confirmed in an interview that the annual cultural event that was an August feature at Dqae Qare farm, would not be held this year.

However, they promised a revamped or repackaged episode in a different setting next year, reasons being that they desired to retrace their foot prints to D'kar.

Johannes said the intention was to relocate the festival from Dqae Qare farm to D'kar and had requested the Dutch Reformed Church Council to allow them to use a portion of land in the village.

Also, he said they consulted their sponsors and donors, as well as former vice president, Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, the patron of Kuru Development Trust.

Since the event had grown over the years, organisers saw it prudent, to relocate from Dqae Qare farm, a cultural tourism site because there was potential to spoil its tourism prospects.

The move, he said would allow the farm to be fully exploited as a tourism site.

Another reason he said was to bring the event to a suitable place given that alcohol was prohibited at Dqae Qare hence few people attended.

Moving the festival to D'kar, Johannes said did not meant alcohol would be consumed willy-nilly because it would only be allowed at designated areas to avoid conflict with the church council.

He said the decision to relocate was long overdue because the community had long demanded its relocation and was hopeful the move would usher in more benefits particularly to the business community.

For his part, Mangana said their intention was to re-package the product to appeal to contemporary audience.

"We had to introspect and map the way-forward to improve our product. We had to just pause for a year but it will depend on funding and the progress of infrastractural development," he stated.

He said moving from Dqae Qare farm was a good decision because the festival deprived the tourism site its full potential, especially that August was a tourism peak period.

He said the community was aware of the development but the board was yet to formally inform them.

Source : BOPA

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