Milidzo ye Bakalanga Choir is set to make history this coming September. The Choir, comprising of close to sixty singers is set to showcase the best of Ikalanga compositions. This will be the first time when a show of this magnitude, that pays homage to an indigenous language, is showcased.

The masterminds behind these compositions happen to be J.N.T Dupute and J. Moswela, all written in Ikalanga. To add a bit of variety to the event, Ndingo Johwa and Lizibo, who are strong advocates for the Ikalanga, and have a show coming in December, will also join the line-up.

The show is pencilled for September 23rd at Maitisong Theatre. According to a press release, pioneers of this project happen to be the late Gobe Matenge, Samuel Mpuchane and Alfred Dube, who are said to have conceived the reality of this kind of unity in diversity, borne through the medium of song, to reach people at places of leisure, places of learning and other meeting places.

The methods the pioneers opted to use in order to achieve this were firstly to commission and purchase composition of these songs from Messrs Dupute and Moswela, and secondly to assemble a choir of renowned musicians to interpret, sample and savour the songs, says the press release.

“The songs are adjudged appropriate to be sung at music competitions throughout Botswana. The pioneers wish to go on record to say that they will not reap any financial gain from this project and in fact they are tracing the composers, Messrs Dupute and Moswela in order to register and devolve copy rights to them,” explains the press release.

The projects, says Project Manager, Mike Modise, will create temporary jobs for sixty young singers from around the country as well as showcase their singing capabilities. “This is in line with what the President of this country once said, that we need to expose our arts, and culture to international markets, to ensure that they are key players in the diversification of the economy,” he said.

The concert will move to Francistown next year. Modise also said that it is their hope that this project will inspire other tribes to do the same with their own languages. He also says that they hope that the songs will be adopted and sung in schools.