The Maitisong Festival was
bigger and better bringing ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, legendary Jazz giant from Cape
Town. He packed out Maitisong. The Festival Concert featured young Batswana soloists
singing with orchestra in a Choral Festival that was very successful. It revealed deep
talent and ability for classical choral singing.
In July one hundred young musicians came from Belgium with the
FLANDERS PHILHARMONIC YOUTH ORCHESTRA and were put up by willing and generous families in
Gaborone. The B.D.F. held its annual bands concert in Maitisong for the second year
running. Alliance Francaise, the British Council and the India Association of Botswana are
the only cultural agencies still bringing quality shows to Maitisong. The British
Council's much heralded dance group, R.J.C., came to Maitisong but were confounded by a
power failure that affected the whole area. Alliance Francaise brought the jazz group
MEDDY GERVILLE which was a great evening. The Maru a Pula School Interact Club organised
an extremely ambitious TALK SHOW about AIDS and the Youth, sponsored by UNICEF, that was
most successful. The 99 Music Camp at Ramatea is still to come.
Maru a Pula School decided not to put on their major production in
the Festival and instead staged TROJANS in June. The school Student Advisory
Council used Maitisong on a regular basis for their entertainments: the wildly popular V-SHOWS,
the elegant PROM, FRESHERS BALL and the discos.
The Maitisong Mobile, originally used as three separate mobiles, for
the Opening show of the 10th Anniversary 1997 Festival, was made into a single
mobile by ANN GOLLIFER and hangs in the Walkway. It is a really beautiful piece of art
Maitisong was extremely lucky to keep the good friendship of HiVOS,
the Dutch funding agency, CRESTA LODGE, MMEGI and the K.M.S. TRUST, a long time supporter
of Maitisong. The Government, through the DEPARTMENT of CULTURE, was a major supporter of
the Maitisong Festival, but, for the first time, reduced its support of the Botswana Music
1999 also marked the passing of DINER SEWELA, Maitisong's first
technical assistant. He is the second of Maitisong's former assistants to fall victim to
the gathering tragedy of the AIDS scourge.
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