Batswana going back to roots

These days Batswana are no longer ashamed to be seen sampling bogobe jwa mabele, morogo wa dinawa, dikgobe and other traditional delicacies.

Due to this demand, some restaurants and hotels are now serving traditional cuisine on their menus.

It is even common now to have functions where traditional meals are served especially as the country is celebrating its 40th Independence anniversary.

During a luncheon that was held at the National Museum to mark the opening of a 40th anniversary of independence exhibition, the catering company served a variety of Setswana dishes. Organisations like the Botswana Marketing Craft organise annual cultural events where traditional meals and sometimes even traditional beer is served.

The Botswana Marketing Craft is also the organiser of the annual Letlhabula day, where traditional food is served and patrons are exposed to traditional games like mohele – a Tswana version of chess.

Motse Lodge in Kanye has also previously organised the thanks giving ceremony, dikgafela where people are also exposed to Setswana tradition, while Ko Kae restaurant in Kanye is renowned for serving traditional menus at affordable prices. The owner of Ko Kae, Piny Jerrepp said they have been pioneers in selling traditional food. Jerrepp said Setswana culture is the theme of their restaurant, adding that almost everything is designed along traditional lines. She said even the architecture is traditional. She stressed that they have always promoted Setswana culture. Jerrepp said there is a high demand for traditional dishes and added that her customers want to taste a variety of food and not only seswaa and bogobe, which are common. She said most customers who prefer traditional cuisine are Batswana but she added that even foreigners sample their menus.

At times, she said, it becomes difficult to source certain items like phane. She said some products are seasonal and regional. Jerrepp said Setswana foods are healthy, adding that they have high vitamin content. She noted that traditional meals are of high nutritional value, but it is also important how the dishes are prepared. ‘ Mmegi.

October 2006
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