KASANE, BOTSWANA – The gateway to Chobe National Park in north eastern corner of Botswana, near the borders with Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, lies a town called Kasane, which since 2018 has been bopping to a new sound thanks to an event aptly tagged Chobe Picnic Sundays. Curated by two masterminds namely Masego Phatsima and Rodney Shaudi, the duo put their brains together to give birth to a whole new vibe in the region dubbed Chobe Picnic Sundays, held every last Sunday of each month.
Inspired by their common interests, which include travelling and exploring new places, the duo identified a gap in the entertainment industry in the region. Kasane being vexed by the human wildlife conflict there is limited access to the river front, so the two thought of a secure environment for the local community to interact on a relaxed Sunday afternoon over food, chilled background music coupled with a refreshing breeze from the perennial Chobe River.
Phatsima told #BotswanaUnplugged recently that their picnic which started in October 2018 has been widely received and its held every last Sunday of each month in Kasane, characterized by good music, good food, inspired fashion and pop-up craft stalls.
“The response has been great as we have not only attracted locals to this event. Some of our regular patrons travel from as far as Francistown, Maun and Gaborone to experience our joint, which also contribute towards our tourism. We knew we had a unique concept which has not been tried in Kasane before and we were very confident that once people get to experience what we offered they will get used to the idea that every last Sunday of the month there is something worth attending and it worked perfectly according to expectations.”
Kasane being prone to roaming wild animals, and as such public gatherings especially in open areas should be communicated to all the relevant authorities, and the organizers have been in good working relations with the department of wildlife, police and other stakeholders
“We have been hosting the event in an enclosed area and we work hand in hand with the authorities to ensure no harm is done to animals and our revelers. However, the Seboba Recreational Park is our new home after we moved from the garden we used which was located in between two lodges. This caused a conflict as the owners felt we were disturbing their guests,” said Shaudi.
Although they are still a new joint, the organizers say they are working around the clock to improve their brainchild going into the future.
Apart from making sure that they attract international tourists to grace their event, the organizers say they are keeping it a norm to ensure that each and every show offers a different Unique Selling Point (USP) from the last edition.
“We want to keep people guessing on what to expect on all our upcoming editions. We are however mindful of the budgetary constraints as we have not yet attracted meaningful sponsorship and the event still remains self-sponsored. The event continues to realize growth on every edition and the numbers are growing,” Shaudi concluded.
The event currently employ six security personnel, five DJs, one photographer, three promotional staff, MC, truck transporter, sound system provider and all stalls are outsourced locally.