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I Love Botswana ensemble takes ‘best of Africa’ to Broadway

‘I love Botswana ensemble’ is expected to once again own the international stage, having wowed the world last year. This time, the group is billed for a grand appearance at the glamorous Broadway

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I love Botswana ensemble’ is expected to once again own the international stage, having wowed the world last year. This time, the group is billed for a grand appearance at the glamorous Broadway.

From August 22nd to 23rd the group is expected to draw crowds with their electrifying performances at the heart of New York at the Times Square.

The ensemble is a collaborative assortment of about seven groups namely, Mophato Dance Theatre, Skit Beat, Nare tsa Pina, Bana ba Kwena, Khudu Thamaga, Ntirelang Berman, and Tsoga Africa.

Speaking at the launch recently, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conversation and Tourism, Tshekedi ‘TK’ Khama highlighted that ever since his Ministry- through Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO), refocused their energy into marketing Botswana through among others, the prestigious IT Berlin event they have had a turnaround of over P350 million.

“This is the best investment I know of. But today we are talking the next event, we are talking Broadway, we are talking something big. We need to stand up and be counted among the best,” he said.

Khama further said that ‘when we get to Broadway we are going to show them the best of Africa, we are going to blow them away. This is an opportunity that we have to show the world our culture and skill of the youth we have. We are going to show them what Botswana is and who Batswana are . I never imagined we would one day have a group to showcase in Broadway,” he said.

For his part, the man behind taking the group to Broadway, the President of the Battery Dance Festival- Emad Salem, said that they anticipate to put everything together in two months, something which he says is unheard of.

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“We are doing this in two months and it really is something that is unheard of. People usually take two years to bring such a production to life. We have a 360 advertising strategy to brand Botswana to millions of people in US, a billboard in the heart of Times Square.

Andrew Kola, the Art Director of the I love Botswana ensemble said: “It is every artist’s wish to stage in Broadway of course it is the biggest platform in the world.”

Kola further explained that their production called ‘Pula’ will represent all of Botswana’s tribes. “We all relate to the word Pula, it means a lot to Batswana and we use the phrase mostly in our celebrations and during gatherings. The production basically focuses on issues of the rainmaker who brings the rain.”

Culture

Egypt discovers Greco-Roman funeral building dating back centuries

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The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced the discovery of a massive Greco-Roman massive funeral building in Fayoum Province, south of the capital Cairo, dating back several centuries.

In a statement on Friday, the Ministry said the discovery was made in an Egyptian archaeological mission at the site of Garza Cemetery in Fayoum which started in 2016.

“Several portraits, a statute of Isis-Aphrodite, a combination of the Egyptian Goddess Isis and the Greek Aphrodite, a wooden coffin, human-shaped coffins and papyrus-made records that refer to the social, economic, and religious conditions of the inhabitants of that period, were found inside the building,” the Ministry said.

“The funeral building‘s floor is made of colorful and decorated limestone tiles leading to a narrow street, with remains of four columns found inside the funeral house,” the statement added.

According to history, Garza village which was known as Philadelphia in the Greek era, was established in the third century BC as a central area for a desert reclamation project by King Ptolemy II Philadelphus, also known posthumously as Ptolemy the Great, for securing food resources, according to the statement.

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Africa mourns as legendary Gambian musician, Oussou Njie Senior, dies

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The entertainment industry in Africa has been thrown into mourning following the death of Gambia’s legendary musician, composer and producer, Oussou Njie Senior, who passed away on Tuesday night.

Gambia’s authoritative media platform, The Point Newspaper reported on Friday that Njie who made music for over 50 years, died after a brief illness.

“He was the founder of Super Eagles, one of the most successful Gambian music groups of all time,” the paper wrote in a tribute to the late Njie.

“The group inspired a generation of musicians from the Senegambia region including Youssou Ndour.

“Oussou Njie Senior wrote many songs including hits like ‘Mandally’ ‘Gambia Sunu Rew’, ‘Viva Super Eagles’ and ‘Haleli Africa’.

“He was certainly a renowned music star and trailblazer during his hey days. Ismail Oussou Njie Senio, was one legend that many Gambians, especially upcoming artistes looked up to in their respective careers.

“An ex-member of the Super Eagles band, Oussou Njie Senior as he was fondly called, was upbeat about Gambian music. He thus called on them to work for the betterment of the country’s music industry,” the newspaper said.

A top Gambian entertainment writer, Oko Drammeh, in a tribute to the late Oussou Njie, described him as “a learned man and music teacher.”

“Ousou Njie was a God gift to Gambia and he was true to The Gambia. He released the most popular songs from the Gambia including “Bada Touray”, “Dawda Serge”, “Mandal Ly”, “Gambia Sunu Rew”, “Gambia Zambia”, “Fiesta Vous”, “Haleli Africa”, “Viva Super Eagles” and many, many more.

“We would never forget you, Oussou Njie; your good heart, your wisdom, your kindness, your fun and laughter, your kind gifts and charity, your love,” Drammeh wrote.

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