Botswana’s first Setswana Poetry Awards are recognition of the need to develop and maintain African languages. This is according to renowned author and lecturer Professor Sekepe Matjila from the University of South Africa.
Professor Matjila is among 25 Setswana poets, writers, researchers and journalists who received awards and recognition at the first ever Setswana Poetry Awards which were held at the Limkowkwing University in Gaborone, Botswana.
The awards, which were hosted in line with Botswana’s 50th anniversary, are aimed at celebrating and uplifting Setswana poetry.
Also the platform is used to unify Setswana speaking communities in the Southern African region.
Sounds of rhythmic chants and ululations filled the air as the best of the best in traditional Setswana poetry serenaded crowds at the first ever Setswana poetry Awards.
Beyond entertaining, the festivities showcased rich indigenous culture with great history and identity.
While Setswana is lingua franca of Botswana, the majority of Setswana speakers are found in South Africa, while some are also found in Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Professor Matjila is among the 25 who were recognised for their continued contribution to the art. He says this event recognises the need to develop and maintain African languages.
“This is a very important date on our calendar, especially recognising people who write in their own languages.”This is actually recognition of development and maintenance of African languages, especially in the field of poetry.”
Those who came to bask in the festivities say they were thrilled to hear such rich language coming from diverse people.
The awards were graced by among others, Former Vice President of Botswana Ponatshego Kedikilwe and the Queen Mother of the Royal Bafokeng Nation – Semane Molotlegi , among others.
Organizer of the event and renowned poet Moroka Moreri said the event is a great achievement.
“This event I think is a milestone, it’s a cornerstone. It’s actually the transformation of our Setswana culture.”
Source – SABC
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