National Geographic

VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers

Menu

San Style: Dancing in Botswana

You never know what you’ll encounter in your travels.  During my time reporting on Cheetah Conservation Botswana’s work, I headed to the town of Ghanzi to get supplies and run a few errands with CCB’s camp manager.

Young women start the rhythm with hand clapping and harmonies before going onstage in Ghanzi, Botswana
Young women start the rhythm with hand clapping and harmonies before going onstage in Ghanzi, Botswana

Right when we arrived, the Botswana National Youth Council was staging a huge outreach festival in the town center.  Grabbing my camera, I jogged across the street and asked to take a few photos and video as a group of young San (Basarwa) dancers prepared to go onstage.  A bit shaky on the video as it was difficult to get a good position, I was keenly aware of the lucky timing.  This performance was not for tourists, journalists, or anyone else but the people of Botswana.  The enthusiastic cheering for their peers was full of cultural pride.

A group of young men from the San dance troupe take a moment to pose before performing.
A group of young men from the San dance troupe take a moment to pose before performing.

Having studied many forms of dance from Brazil, Guinea, and Haiti, I was enthralled with the movement, singing and complexities of the rhythms that reminded me of so many other dances of the African Diaspora.  Its these serendipitous moments that I look forward to on my journey to Kenya as I continue to follow the story of the cheetah and people of Africa.

All photos, text & video: Marcy Mendelson © 2013 / Cheetah-Watch.com

Read more from Botswana via these links on National Geographic News Watch:

Reaching Out to Communities in Botswana

The Cheetah Mother’s 72 Hours Part I

The Cheetah Mother’s 72 Hours Part II

The Cheetah Mother’s 72 Hours Part III

When Predators & Farmers Collide

A lighthearted moment with the group of young men from the San dance troupe.
A lighthearted moment with the group of young men from the San dance troupe.

Comments

  1. Marcy
    Oakland, California
    February 3, 2:04 pm

    Hi Daniel,
    I’m glad you enjoyed the video! The San people have such a rich, beautiful culture.
    All the best,
    Marcy

  2. DANIEL
    RWANDA (EASTERN PROVINCE , KAYONZA DISTRICT)
    February 3, 9:14 am

    I like your culture , your modern dance in particular God bless you