Locally and internationally, there’s always a few annual cultural and tourism events that not only attract multitudes of national and international patrons but also go a long way in creating employment opportunities and stimulating business. Events such as the Francistown Marathon held in Francistown, Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) affairs such as the Khawa Dune Challenge and Cultural Festival which takes place in Khawa every year are just a few testimonies to the above synopsis.
Upon the realization and need to have a similar event in the Malolwane, Ramonaka, Mmathubudukwane, Sikwane and Mabalane region- popularly known as Dinokeng; a group of youths through the Adopt-A-Teen Youth Club conceptualized RUN-Dinokeng Epic Experience, which is a two-day cultural and sports tourism aimed at advancing the social cohesion, tourism and economic developments in the Kgatleng East region through sports, arts and culture.
Quizzed why they formed the annual RUN-Dinokeng, the event’s Publicity Officer, Pono Molefe said their region has been dormant for a very long time despite the fact that it has immense potential to become a formidable tourist attraction. Molefe highlighted Madikwe river as amongst the go-to places in the region thanks to its serenity and also being home to some of the big five animal species such as hippos.
Furthermore, she noted that they pride themselves in the region’s high ranking experts among them the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thapelo Tsheole; a notable and influential figure who continues to lift the region’s profile.
“We wanted to fill a gap and also saw the need to have an annual and tourist attraction event at within the Dinokeng region; Mabalane, Sikwane, Malolwane, Ramonaka villages. A lot of youth in our region have brilliant ideas that can be discussed with other experts through exchange programs. The aim is to sell as much of our region as possible. If people come and grace our events eventually they will get to tour and learn about our region.”
She said the inaugural event is made up of the Dinokeng Health & Wellness Expo and the Dinokeng Cultural Experience which will be held on Friday 14th July at Madikwe Junior Secondary School and the Mmathubudukwane Kgotla respectively. The two event will be followed by the main event-the RUN-Dinokeng Marathon which will be held on Saturday 15th July 2017 from Mmathubudukwane Kgotla and Sikwane Kgotla to the Mabalane Football ground
The Dinokeng Health & Wellness Expo and will showcase health and wellness related products and services as well as provide quality health education and prevention programs for residents of Malolwane, Ramonaka, Mmathubudukwane, Sikwane and Mabalane villages.
Activities will include Health & Wellness exhibitions, health talks and fitness activities and demonstrations whilst residents will be spoiled for choice with traditional food exhibitions, fashion and crafts exhibitions, traditional food tasting sessions, traditional music and dance performances, traditional games and traditional poetry during the Dinokeng Cultural Experience.
Registration for the RUN-Dinokeng Marathon is on-going and registration for the 6km race which starts in Mmathubudukwane and ends at Mabalane is P50.00 per runner whilst the 2km race which starts in Sikwane and ends at Mabalane is P25.00 per runner.
A percentage of the proceeds made from the RUN-Dinokeng Marathon each year will be directed towards Prizes and towards the refurbishment of existing sports and recreational facilities in Malolwane, Ramonaka, Mmathubudukwane, Sikwane and Mabalane villages. Meanwhile the inaugural official opening is expected on July 14 where Phomolo Bo Kakonto will be the guest speaker.
“Katonto is a language and literature fanatics who has fallen in love with Setswana as a language. He is also a culture enthusiast having published a book that present and promote indigenous knowledge, titled ‘A KULTURE PROUD FUTURE’”.
The RUN-Dinokeng Epic Experience is supported by a list of local organisations such as Café Pie Time, O3 Beverages, Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB), Neelo Fitness & Wellness Club, Wrightways Dental Service, and ECHO newspaper, Kaismo, Citizen Design, Sunflower Desserts and MOS ATELIER.