Dikakapa and Marankana Carnival – IF Mobility Fund

As one of the recipients of the IF mobility Fund, Timonson Bwanah based in Kenya, visited Dikakapa to meet with collaborators in Botswana, and attend the MARANKANA Carnival. The focus was on benchmarking their methodologies in preserving and commercializing cultural performances, which could enhance our ongoing IF project, “Archiving Performances, Dance, and Oral Traditions of Luo Community.”  The carnival is a significant cultural event in Botswana with a theme emphasizing sustainable cultural tourism through traditional music. This alignment provided a rich context for learning and engagement. 



Collaboration with DIKAKAPA: The primary goal was to strengthen the collaboration with DIKAKAPA and gain insights into their methodologies for preserving cultural performances. 

MARANKANA CARNIVAL Participation: Attending the MARANKANA CARNIVAL aimed to understand how cultural events contribute to sustainable cultural tourism, particularly through traditional music. 

Benchmarking Commercialization Strategies: The trip sought to explore the successful commercialization of cultural performances in Botswana, aiming to apply these strategies to our ongoing IF project. 


DIKAKAPA Collaboration: DIKAKAPA demonstrated a robust approach to preserving the authenticity of cultural performances. Their use of traditional storytelling and immersive experiences significantly contributes to maintaining the essence of Botswana’s cultural heritage. 

Youth Involvement: The engagement of youth in commercializing cultural performances was impressive. DIKAKAPA showcased effective models where young individuals create self-employment and group businesses in the creative economy industry. 


MARANKANA CARNIVAL: The MARANKANA CARNIVAL exemplified the integration of traditional music into cultural tourism. The event’s focus on sustainability emphasized the importance of cultural preservation for economic development. 

Networking Opportunities: Participation in the carnival provided ample opportunities to connect with professionals, artists, and cultural enthusiasts, expanding our network for potential future collaborations. 


Commercialization Strategies: 

Innovative Marketing Approaches: Botswana’s cultural performers demonstrated innovative marketing strategies, utilizing digital platforms and collaborations to reach a broader audience and generate income. 

Community Engagement: The success of commercialization efforts was closely tied to community engagement. Cultural performers actively involved their communities, fostering a sense of ownership and pride. 


Lessons Learned: 

Authenticity and Innovation: 

Combining traditional authenticity with innovative approaches is crucial for the sustainability of cultural projects. 

Youth Empowerment: 

Involving youth in cultural preservation not only ensures continuity but also stimulates economic growth through self-employment. 

Cultural Tourism Impact: 

Cultural events, like the MARANKANA CARNIVAL, play a vital role in promoting sustainable cultural tourism, contributing to both cultural preservation and economic development. 

Community Involvement: 

Successful commercialization is rooted in community involvement and support, creating a symbiotic relationship between performers and their communities. 


The Imagining Futures Mobility Grant trip to Botswana was a resounding success, providing valuable insights into the preservation and commercialization of cultural performances. The lessons learned will significantly enhance the ongoing IF project and contribute to the sustainability of cultural initiatives in the future. The collaboration with DIKAKAPA and the experiences at the MARANKANA CARNIVAL have broadened our understanding and enriched our approach towards cultural projects in the ‘Global South.’