Botswana’s Golden Jubilee: The celebration

Batswana all over commemorated the country’s 50 years of independence in style and jubilation, in the lead up to September 30th, and on the big day.

While the whole country was literally painted in blue, black and white, with celebrations all over, Gaborone, as would be expected hosted the mother of all BOT50 celebrations.

The event was also graced by various heads of states and representatives of governments who came to witness this remarkable occasion.

The revelries started off on Thursday morning with the awards ceremony which saw many individuals being honoured for their outstanding service to the country.

As would have been expected, the Independence eve saw the National stadium packed with thousands of spectators who came to witness the finest display of artistry that Botswana has to offer. Activities for the night ranged from dance and theatre to musical performances by some of Botswana’s greatest musicians and the BDF Band.

Despite the nation’s disappointment over Charma Girl’s no show, Dr Vom took it upon himself to wow the crowd as well as President Khama and Minister Thapelo Olopeng who were captured dancing to his song Tsaya Thobane. Other performers of the night included kwasa legends Franco, Jeff Matheatau and Alfredo Mos.

Botswana’s theatrical levels went up 10 times as the performers took viewers all over the country on a journey of how Botswana got to where it is today, and re-enacted The Late Sir Seretse Khama’s speech to the Dikgosi.

The evening ended with amazing display of fireworks as some Batswana set off to their cars which were parked outside the stadium to sleep in order to avoid being at the back of the queue when the gates opened for the main event.

On the main day, President Khama took to the stage to say a short prayer and commend the country on its achievements post-independence, stating that “Given our nation's subsequent progress many may not be aware of just how daunting the economic, political and social challenges our people faced back then were like. At that time, we were listed as one of the world's ten least developed countries. We were lacking in basic infrastructure, as well astangible wealth. Illiteracy was widespread, while less than seventy people in the territory then possessed any form of post-secondary school qualification.”

The diverse forms of culture and dance that usually take place on this day were celebrated by everyone at the stadium as well as everyone else watching from the different locations.

The Golden Jubilee celebrations proved just how spectacular Botswana is and highlighted the many talents that Batswana has to offer. As the ceremony ended, people took off to their respective homes were many communities were gathered in set meeting places for independence lunch courtesy of BOT50. The celebrations continued as the Zebras won their independence friendly against Angola’s national team.