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Blankets and Bling gains momentum

Tlali Mapetla

 MASERU — What started a year ago as a novel idea has now become a fully fledged cultural phenomenon.

Last Sunday saw many Basotho gather at Bambatha Tsita Sports Arena for the popular Blankets and Bling picnic.

Aimed at promoting culture and blending it with modern tradition, these picnics have over the past year become an integral part of Maseru’s social scene.

Characterised by breathtaking venues and a host of activities that include cultural games such as khati and mokou, these picnics further drive their point home by the dress code adorned by the guests. 

Last Sunday was no exception as more than 700 people, most dressed in traditional and modern clothing, showed up to support local artists who where performing at the event.

Commencing at midday, the picnic almost seemed  like breaktime at any primary school as adults forgot themselves in the atmosphere of water guns, candy floss and miniature soccer.

As the day progressed, more and more people took their own initiative in singing and participating in old primary school songs and games.

The entertainment was provided by Bloemfontein-based DJs Hypnotic Soulz in the afternoon, with local artists taking the stage as the sun was beginning to set. 

Live performances by Skebza D, Qekha, T-mech, Mr Maps, Nuch and New York-based Mosotho rapper Minister Po were greeted with great enthusiasm.

Macs on the Decks was the highlight of the evening, with the release of his first single, Penya Penya, which is taken from his upcoming album Mojapere.

The famo-themed house song was so popular that not only was it played over and over, but all the copies that he had made available were immediately sold out.

Undeterred by the fact that it was a Sunday, those in attendance continued to party until well after 10pm, at which point the organisers decided to close the show.

One of the organisers, Makeka Makeka, said he appreciated how Basotho were ready to come out and support each other, even on a Sunday.

He also indicated that the point of the picnics was to have day-time entertainment but the people who attended always pushed the event to close late in the evening.

It seems this event marked the unofficial beginning of the festive season, with an indication that there would be a Blankets and Bling bush festival scheduled for the end of December.

This event, which is the first of its kind in the country, is expected include other local entertainment companies and will take place over a four-day period at four different venues.

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