The portion of this area straddles the admired Tropic of Capricon.
I opted for the word ‘perched’ because this is where fascinating and tourist attractions such as Rock Art Experience can be found, amongst other popular destinations which upon arrival during the media tour launch, was declared as one of ‘hidden gems’ by my colleagues.
We invaded the area as part of Blouberg Cultural and Traditional Music to take place on December 28 2013.
As we toured the area albeit for a limited two-day period we discovered amazing attractions which the outside world would die for particularly from the tourism perspective. Other attractions include Maleboho and Blouberg Nature Game Reserves.
Conversely, to market the area the Executive Mayor Serite Emmanuel Sekgoloane and his lieutenants launched the traditional music fest as an effort to preserve and protect the culture and heritage of mostly the Bahananwa, Batlokwa, and a small portion of Vha-Venda, Afrikaans and English speaking in the rural farms.
The area has a rich history of physical resistance to the early 19th Century Boer colonial incursion. The introduction of the Bantustan and trust systems met with unabated community disapproval.
Addressing media at the launch, the Mayor said this will help in protecting our identity.
“Having had series of talks with other stakeholders the decision was taken to launch our very own traditional and heritage fest to conscientious our people and youth’s of their identity,” says Sekgoloane.
“Our’s is to protect and preserve what belongs to us and the only way to do that is through traditional music. We’d like to be different from other promoters and instead honour our own unsung heroes from our villages who should play a significant role in shaping the thinking of our communities, “ he says confidently.
“Such gatherings aid in the economic emancipation for our area and creates jobs; be it direct or indirect,” says the Mayor, who is vying for the ANC provincial chairman position with Lehlohonolo Masoga, the MEC for Roads and Transport.
Tourism and music go hand in glove, and as the Municipality that’s what we aim to achieve, he summed it up.
Also in attendance was musical genius Dr Sello Galane, famous for this title track “Pula”.
In his words he made a strong calling for heritage music to be protected because it identifies with everyone irrespective of background or class.
“We should impart this information with our children and youth’s for them to understand where they originate from,” says Galane, as he gave a rendition.
Although there was no mentioning of other artists, one thing remains that the likes of Dr Galane, Selaelo Selota and other locals will form part of the 2013 Blouberg Cultural and Heritage Music fest on December 28 to take place at the Showground.
Probed how much has been invested, the promoters Motlalekhumo said enough to cater for local acts.
Concerns on the timing of the fest was also debated.
For more info on complete line-up of artists, cover charge and venue details log on to www.blouberg.gov.za
Meanwhile, the Tourism Development Manager at the Municipality Jonas Plouamma says they’ve been trying to get the buy-in from the Limpopo Parks Board in helping with marketing the area.
According to him for the past 10 years’ the agency tasked with promoting and marketing tourism in the province has been dragging its feet to identify with tourism products in Blouberg.
“It has been frustrating and demoralizing for us to market this on our own, as a result of budget constraints. Its’ no use having international visitors yet our own people have no idea of the gem they’ve got in their own backyard,” says Plouamma with a bleeding-heart.
Attempts to obtain comment from the agency did not materialize.