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RAINBOW STEELBAND SHINES THROUGH WINTER SOLSTICE
Steelpan Music In Botswana

 


Botswana - Pan in Africa? Yes! Winter in Africa? What? Snow is, indeed a reality if you are familiar with the atmospheric conditions in Southern Africa.

In semi-arid Botswana where temperatures seldom go below zero degrees,  panists of Rainbow High School Steelpan Ensemble continue to show their musical mettle – often with their mokojumbies in tandem.

The Winter School Term was as hectic as any other season for the students who continue to show that books and pan can certainly dwell in pantastic harmony.

Annual engagements continue to be honoured with even time to stick in some new gigs.
Performances this term included a May 22 guest appearance at the Red Bull sponsored South African touring road show entitled Street Wise.

On JUNE 16 it was “pan on de road” through the streets of Gaborone as revelers paraded in commemoration of the Soweto Uprising in which hoards of youths were killed in what was meant to be a peaceful march for their rights.

Then on June 24 the Rainbowites teamed up with 34 other performing groups in Botswana – and numerous more around the world – to simultaneously celebrate FETE DE LA MUSIQUE. The musical phenomenon originated in France in 1982 with the Ministry of Culture. The popular fete continues to be free and open to both amateur and professional musicians.

On June 26 as part of their outreach programme the panists took time out to share their talents with resident children of the Cheshire Foundation in Mogoditshane on the outskirts of the capital.

July 14 realized a joint Musical Assembly between Rainbow Primary and Rainbow High Schools in which the traditional marimbas merged with the steelpans to create a hybrid sound. Oh what a feeling.

The term concluded with the band making its debut appearance at the popular Annual Orange Kabelano Charity Cup at the National Stadium. The four team football spectacular which also included entertainment attracted thousands of fans. Artistes included Afro pop artistes in the likes of Malika from South Africa and the ever popular and vibrant Kwaito singer, Vee from Botswana as well as the Eskimoes – the dancing sensations.


The group is managed by yours truly

Hollis Clifton
Africa Correspondent
 


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