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The Marang Community
Junior Secondary School Steelpan Ensemble (Botswana, Africa)

Web Posted - Sun Jun 27, 2004

by Hollis Clifton for
When Steel Talks

The Prime Minister of Barbados, The Right Hon Owen Arthur was pleasantly surprised when he got a steelpan and mokojumbies welcome on arrival at the Gaborone Sun Hotel last Monday.

Mr. Arthur was on a six day State Visit to the landlocked Botswana ahead of the ACP Conference carded for Maputo, Mozambique this week.
The official reception was attended by Botswana's Head of State, President Festus Mogae together with the Barbadian PM and was intended to meet nationals resident in Botswana.

Mr. Arthur found it interesting that the pan which was founded in the African Diaspora (Trinidad) had made its journey back to the motherland. He was even taken aback to learn that all the panists were born and bred Batswana and were tutored by Trinidadian Hollis Clifton.

The Marang Community Junior Secondary School Steelpan Ensemble is the only state school with a panside. There are three English Medium Schools (private) with Steelbands. The Botswana Defense Force also has a steelband.  Both Heads of State left Botswana on Tuesday for Mozambique.

Hollis Clifton
Africa Correspondent

2004  All rights reserved.


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