Mabogo Arts and Culture Productions is an out of school and out of work youth group that concentrates on HIV/AIDS Education. The youth perform songs, dances and dramas that tell a story about HIV/AIDS, STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), and ARV’s (Anti-Retroviral Medications). The group is funded by the Masthelo Community Development Association which is an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization). The group has a coordinator that is responsible for training and supervising the members. The youth each receive 260 Pula ($55) per month for educating the community in Nata. The members take their educational performances straight into the heart of the community. They perform in churches, private homes, shabeens (local drinking establishments) and bars. Mabogo Members are extremely talented and have received recognition at local and regional competitions. Because most of the villagers in Nata do not have TV’s, radios and many are illiterate, the education that Mabogo provides is often the only education that villagers receive about HIV/AIDS. Mabogo is one of the most effective educational tools in the fight of HIV/AIDS in Nata.
WATCH MABOGO SING:
The Nata village videoblog, Episode 2 (20 MB Quicktime)
Because the members are paid only $55 per month, many will move on to other employment when it becomes available. The work that Mabogo does is critical in educating Nata Villagers about HIV/AIDS. Mabogo is currently trying to get registered as a Community Based Organization so that they can apply for grants from the many funding sources in Gabarone (the capitol). Their constitution has been submitted to the Registrar of Societies in Gabarone. We are currently awaiting a response. Let it be noted that registration can take more than a year as the constitutions are frequently returned for minor errors. The work that these young people are doing is worth a decent salary and until they are paid a fair wage, the members will continue to come and go.
Members of Mabogo Arts and Culture Production are providing a vital service to the people of Nata. They are educating people in the local languages and in culturally sensitive ways. Using interactive dramas and audience participation is extremely beneficial. The Mabogo group along with the People Living with AIDS support group, are the two most important educational groups in Nata. They deserve our support.
UPDATE - MAY 2008
There have been many challenges for Mabogo over the past two years. Firstly, they lost their funding through Masthelo Community Development Association. This had to due with the fact that the Global Fund pulled out of Botswana for a short time. They have yet to find another sponsor. The good news is that the group is one of only 2 in the country that have stayed together and this is largely in part to the sound system and generator that you, our donors. bought for them. They have been able to use the system to generate income from weddings, concerts, and other gatherings. They also have a new leader and his name is Dikoranta Kegapetswe. He has been a member of the group for several years and he is currently working as a special constable with the Nata police. Despite all their challenges, they continue to practice and provide the village with vital HIV/AIDS education. Donations from this website continue to support them.