Raphalane court revives culture (Botswana Daily News)

| September 6, 2015

The ever changing lifestyles have caused different cultures across Botswana to adapt to new practices and values. As such, some of the important artefacts have over the years been forgotten and are unknown to the new generation.

It is not easy to see the beauty of tradition and the way the past generation lived.However, all is not lost as upon entering Raphalane Customary Court in Jwaneng, the splendour of tradition catches one’s eye. The customary court hosts two huts and cultural artefacts in the likes of selei, serala, traditional chairs, wooden built kgotla and many others.

The court president, Nkaelang Lekgoa, explained that the huts and the artefacts found in the customary court were built with the main objective of reviving and educating youth about culture.

We have noticed that our culture is slowly dying among the youth, so with this we hope to create enough interest among the youth to know their culture,” he said.

He said that in an effort to revive and educate the youth on culture, they host annual cultural festivities. He also explained that they have since written to schools around town to bring students oncultural expeditions.

”Traditional artefacts and lessons are available for the public during the week, but we can also avail ourselves during the weekend, he said.

He also said that they have over time been able to host youth pitsos in the kgotla with the main aim of showing and sharing with the youth the importance of a kgotla as a platform to address issues affecting the community. Nkaelang explained that the huts found in the customary court also have traditional furniture such askobotlo, revealling the creative and innovativeness of the olden generation.

He said that the houses also have a traditional wardrobe called mhogole, which was used to hang animal skins, which were used as blankets and mats.

The customary court president said that there is a lot that can be learnt about the building of the traditional house, the decorations and the kind of grass and wood used in that process. He also said the artefacts such as selei and serala can also be of great inspiration to the youth on making a living.

One of the students who have visited the customary court, Gorata Moswete said that it was a good experience for her to see the huts and other artefacts because she had only seen them in pictures at school.

”Selei fascinated me so much and i wish i could ride it someday when the oxen are available because I learnt at school that selei is ox-pulled she said.

Another youth, Odirile Maswabi said that seeing artefacts, food and dances is always splendid in one’s life because culture has a way of giving one a source of peace and identity in a world that is changing drastically.

I love huts because I am always fascinated at how old and yet modern they are. They are cool during summer and they have the ability to withstand the rain, yet they are made of soil,” he said.

Odirile also said that there was a lot that fascinates about culture in general and therefore encouraged other youth to make time and learn about cultures. The court president said that the vision is to have a bigger space to enable them to build at least four huts and collect more artefacts.

He explained that having a bigger space would mean that such events as culture day, independence and other cultural activities can be hosted in one place.

The space can also be a tourist destination, which may also diversify the economy of the town” he said. He encouraged the youth to visit Raphalane Customary Court and learn about culture as everything there was done entirely for them.

Category: Arts Culture Entertainment

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