Rotary Night Brings Together Best of Winter

| June 17, 2015

The fifth annual Rotary Club of Francistown winter night market held over the weekend (June 13-14) brought together the best of winter food, designs, crafts, performances, arts and music.

This year, the night market had brought together talented craftsmen and fashion designers. Food lovers were not disappointed either as the winter market was bustling with flavours featuring many food vendors offering cuisines from around the world.

A more relaxed but eclectic affair, the rotary winter night market brought some of Francistown’s most talented and intriguing artists and entertainers.

Since its inception in 2011, the event has become more than just a night market, it offers a unique platform for emerging business people, artists and cooks to showcase their talent at the city’s favourite event.

The Rotary winter night market has become a permanent feature on the Francistown calendar.

At first, the idea was to come up with an event that would positively contribute to the social life of the community in the winter period while at the same time allowing the club to raise funds to sponsor other charitable projects.

From its inception, the response of the community has been overwhelming and the event grew rapidly year after year to reach fifty stalls and over 800 visitors last year.

With over sixty stalls and numerous sponsors, this year’s event exceeded expectations and drew record crowds who flocked the Francistown club.

With a g focus on locally made products, exhibiitors ranged from visual artists to crafts, pottery, health products, locally made drinks, fresh produce and curios.

Also, car dealerships, security companies and solar companies showcased their products to the public. The cherry on top this year for revelers, which was a first, was that the Rotary winter night market offered a separate food court with multi-cultural food and drinks.

Local artists and SMMEs were also afforded the opportunity to market and sell their products. The main organiser of the Rotary night market, Saadia Rossenkhan who was elated with the turnout of Francistown residents explained in an interview that the event had grown in leaps and bounds since its inception.

She also mentioned that the event was made possible by the partnerships they had with many exhibitors. She also highlighted that the club needed to do some fundraising with a difference in order to plough back to the community.

Furthermore, she said stalls for exhibitors went for P250 except for artists.

“It is difficult for artists in Francistown to sell their products, hence we provided them with a platform free of charge,” she noted.

The Francistown Rotary club, she asserted, would in turn make money through stalls and entrance fees. The Francistown club on the other hand, she explained, provided the venue and made money out of selling drinks.

Consequently, she also mentioned that the winter night market also afforded an opportunity for the Homeless and Poor People’s Federation to showcase their talents and income generating projects for free.

“This is an opportunity for them to aertise their products since a lot of people don’t know about them,” she said.

The event, she added, had a lot of spinoffs and also said that they hold the event in winter when entertainment in the city is almost non-existent.

The proceeds from the funds raised during the winter night market, Rossenkhan explained, are channeled to the community.

Last year, she highlighted, they purchased wheelchairs they also work with other organisations to identify those who are in need.

She encouraged small businesses which are finding it difficult to access markets to contact the Rotary club and take aantage of the winter night market.

One of the exhibitors from Kalahari Quilts, Ms Lebogang Mompati who was a first time exhibitor, heaped praise on the night market and said that it was a perfect opportunity for networking and marketing their products.

For Nelly Ndlovu who designs bags and plant pots and also works at a farm, the market was good as she managed to sell some of her products. She also said that she managed to market her products to tourists from overseas.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Sports

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