Botswana: President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has encouraged Batswana to preserve and celebrate its traditions to secure livelihoods and improve the well-being of communities. He said there was a need to protect natural and cultural heritage whilst growing the economy and creating job opportunities.
Speaking yesterday during the premier of Nkashi – The Race of the Okavango Documentary, President Masisi said that when preserving and celebrating traditions, the film industry should collaborate with people who know the country and the environment best. He added that by so doing, it ensures that communities benefit from and retain the knowledge that has been developed and passed on for generations.
President Masisi said that the preservation of our natural environment will ensure sustainable development of the nation, adding that the conservation of our beautiful natural landscape has been the government’s key focus and has resulted in significant achievements over time, such as the ongoing protection of some of Botswana’s most precious creations of nature.
President Masisi further stated that the documentary will give a glimpse into the incredible wonder, resilience and ingenuity of its people. He said through this documentary; the world will appreciate our unique culture and how we co-exist with our environment. He commended the Wild Bird Trust, the National Geographic Society, and De Beers through Okavango Eternal, as well as all those behind and in front of the camera for making the documentary possible.
For her part, the National Geographic Explorer Koketso Mookodi said their focus is to help communities retain and preserve their heritage and be able to make an income. She said they had established a conservation education program in which they sensitize educators of Ngamilad on the natural and cultural heritage of the Okavango Delta.
Nkashi was made in Botswana, in Setswana, by the National Geographic Society in collaboration with Batswana film makers and artists. The film explores the lives of three mokoro polers competing in the annual Nkashi Classic. It is an event that brings the local community together to celebrate their cultural traditions while revealing the importance of protecting the waters of the Okavango Delta.