Maun International art festival has been spoken about quite a lot through the years; from local media, to the participants sharing their experiences, to sponsors, everybody giving their unique voice to this beautiful feast of the arts . So I thought that I should contribute my voice as a member of the audience and as the ordinary customer.
There really is something amazing about week-long festivals; it is the excited artists invading the quite town with their artsy boho looks and energy, it is the excitement that builds up over the course of the week where you get to experience your favorite artists over an extended period of time, it is the connection you get to make with the tribe and the daze of feeling like a groupie following the artists around from one performance to the other. I tell you nothing beats the festival atmosphere or vibe as my little sister likes to call it and she says you do not even have to be interested in art you can come just for the vibe.
It is all about the vibe: Poetry Night at Maun Lodge, Everybody get down
So come I did for the art and for the vibe, on an overnight bus no less because clearly nothing was going to keep me from the festival and I am glad that I came, my journey was not wasted. The event made me feel hopeful about Botswana and the arts, these artists have so much talent and as long as arts and culture have friends in great sponsors such as; the Ministry of youth sports and culture, the American Embassy, Sefalana etc. we are definitely on the right track but the thing about being on the right track is we have to keep moving or we might get run over just sitting there.
The festival which is in its fifth year had a great line up of performers, events and even cool venues the only issue that was worth noting from a customer’s point of view is that it would have been great to have a package deal for travelers wishing to come to Maun solely for the festival, the package could have included accommodation, travel around Maun and a bit of sightseeing. I would have also welcomed different priced passes or packaged deals to the different events which could have avoided the issue of paying for separate events which became quite pricey at some point especially since I wished to see most of the performances.
This is a great festival that needs participation from Batswana, it is sad that with events that happen at home we are always reluctant to attend due to a lot of reasons one which is worth a mention being that they isn’t enough communication so we are never sure if the activity is targeted towards us. So for 2016 I would really love to see a huge social media communication campaign (social media is free so no costs to the organizers) around the festival to get everybody hyped up and make people feel included in the event, hashtag and all because in my opinion it is about time we made Arts and Culture in Botswana popular culture.
Having said that I say big up to the organizers (these guys really did a great job), to the participants and to the sponsors and of course art lovers such as myself who came to show support let us go boldly into the next one.
Enough yapping, now a little clip from a performance by Mambo the poet at the Poetry night at Maun Lodge…This is from the popular Setswana folk tale of Chiwele if you grew up in Botswana you will definitely remember the story of the stubborn little girl.