Mogwana Dance Troupe

Apart from offering our services, we aim to provide information about traditional Botswana culture and snapshots of our performance. If you have any comments or questions, please don't hesitate to contact us by sending email to "mogwana AT com DOT to". Sorry, we have to mask our email addresses as a spam countermeasure. Please substitute AT with "@" and DOT with "." (without the quotes).

24 March 2006 UPDATE: We have started a blog to make it easier for us to post updates and receive feedback from readers. Check it out:

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Who are we?

The word "Mogwana" is pronounced as 'mo-hua-nah' in the national language of Botswana, called "Setswana" (closely related to the Southern Sotho language).

We are a group of professional artistes based in Gaborone, Botswana. We specialise in traditional music, song and dance of indegenious ethnic groups of Botswana and the southern Africa in general. Given the opportunity, we also perform outside Botswana either for non-profit purposes such as cultural exchange, or for paid performances. Our group started out as a project in 1991 to promote traditional culture on the occasion of Botswana's Silver Jubilee independence celebration. The Mogwana project is the brainchild of Mr. Abram Spuna Kesupile, who also served as its chief instructor.

Our motto is "O sa jelweng pheko" which is derived from a well-known Setswana saying "Boammaarure ga bo jelwe pheko" which basically means "nothing can change the truth, not even the talisman (pheko)", likewise, nothing can sway us from our goals.


On 5 May 2001, we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of our group in Matisong Hall in Maruapula School in Gaborone. In his opening speech, our founder gave an interesting explanation on the origin "Mogwana":

Cover page of souvenir programme

... (Mogwana) takes its name from an indigenous bush. The bush has edible sweet soft skinned berries with hard nuts. The bush is brown in colour, and so are its smooth berries. The berries are small, the size of a green pea. The bush has a number of long, strong, thin and flexible stems that make them attractive for a variety of traditional uses. They are also popular with head-boys and those who like to punish by lashing. The stem tends to be black at the bottom. The leaves though green, tend to have flashes of white.

The Setswana saying: go gotsa go fetelela, demands of us to weave the characteristics of the mogwana bush into those of the group...


We are proud of our continuous contribution to the high standard of traditional song and dance in village,schools and colleges. Special contribution by Mogwana are in:

News In Press

In August 2004, Mogwana went on a promotional tour in Canada for Project H.O.P.E. (Helping Orphans for the Purpose of Eternity). Toronto Star columnist Joe Fiorito caught up with them at Artword Theatre and wrote a favourable review which is also reported in a Botswana daily Mmegi

Artword Theatre, Toronto, has a press release on Mogwana's scheduled performance

A news report by a Botswana local daily Mmegi on our performance during the commemoration of the International Women's Day at the Gaborone Main Mall on 8 March 2003.

Past Performance

We have performed in many places in and out of the country. We have and continue to enjoy the staunch support of those who engaged us for entertainment at weddings, festivals, conferences and private social evenings, including Debswana, Air Botswana, BCAST, Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, Standard Chartered Bank Botswana Limited, Bank of Botswana, BP Botswana, Shell Oil Botswana, to name a few.

Some memorable international engagements are:

  1. Mmabana Cultural Festivals at Lehurutshe and Mmabatho, South Africa, April 1996 and October 1996
  2. Cultural exchange visits to the People's Republic of China, November 1996
  3. Linkfest Arts Festival, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, August 1997
  4. A visit to Namibia in the company of the electric Gaborone Choral Choir which sponsored the trip
  5. International Travel Fair on Tourism and Culture in Cape Town, South Africa
  6. "Botswana Night" evening during the All Africa Games in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 1999
  7. 20-th Anniversary Celebrations of Pilanesburg Nature Reserve, South Africa, January 2000
  8. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park Launch at Gemsbok National Park in May 2000 (Botswana/South Africa joint Government wildlife conservation project). We were mentioned in news report.
  9. Montana Chorale Music Festival trip organised and sponsored by Gaborone Choral Choir in Mussola, USA, July 2000
  10. Mmabana Cultural Festival at Thaba Nchu, South Africa, September 2000
  11. Pilane Health Care Centre Function at Johannesburg, South Africa, October 2000
  12. The Hlanzes function at Hlatikhulu, Swaziland, October 2000

DVD on Sale

In November 2004, we produced our first performance video on DVD and it is available for sale. You are welcome to preview some sample clips taken from the DVD.


We count ourselves fortunate to be led by two prominent and dedicated veterans in the performing arts arena: Mr Abram Spuna Kesupile and Ms Gaolape Aparang Basuhi.

Mr A.S Kesupile, a former senior civil servant, has been involved in the promotion and development of traditional song and dance for more than 15 years. He has wide knowledge and experience in traditional song and dance, other areas of culture and performing arts. He has helped the Ngwao Loshalaba Association of Traditional Song and Dance to establish the system of judging traditional dance competitions. He produced a model of training coaches and judges of traditional dance. He serves the group as our advisor.

Ms G.A Basuhi is a former employee in the Bank of Botswana. She too, has an in-depth knowledge and experience of music and drama productions. She has assisted in the establishement of a number of drama groups and has for over 10 years been resourceful in music ,drama and dance workshops/camps. She serves as our coordinator. She draws the knowledge for this work from her leadership and organisational roles in Bank Workers Union and daily business in financial matters.

How to contact us?

Gaolape Basuhi

basuhig AT yahoo DOT com
+267 72232077 (mobile)

Joseph Dikgomo lejoeman AT yahoo DOT com
+267 72208498
Our snail mail address:

P. O. Box 502498
Republic of Botswana

About Us
Sub-Sahara Wildlife
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