On the occasion of Botswana’s Golden Jubilee, High Commissioner Roy Blackbeard greeted cheering guests with the word ‘pula’ – literally translated as ‘rain’ but in the arid deserts of Botswana, it also means ‘blessings’.
In his speech, the High Commissioner reflected on the hardships his landlocked country had faced on independence. With virtually no roads, the journey to school for the young Roy was made by ox wagon. Yet Botswana was also showered with blessings: a resilient, peace-loving people, political stability and the discovery of diamonds (Botswana is now the largest diamond producer in the world). Its bountiful wildlife and diverse landscapes have made it Lonely Planet’s top tourist destination for 2016.
The High Commissioner’s upbeat speech was followed by an equally upbeat dance performance that inspired the crowds to take to the stage in a spontaneous display of joyous song.
PHOTOS: PIERRE DE VILLIERS