LTA COLLABORATES WITH STAKEHOLDERS IN SEKHUKHUNE FOR THE 2023 EDITION OF THE YELLOW ARUM LILY FESTIVAL
Limpopo Province; Polokwane: Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) again collaborated with stakeholders in Sekhukhune to stage the 2023 edition of the annual Yellow Arum Lily Festival on from the 23rd to 25th November 2023 at the small town of Roossenekal. Stakeholders include Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), Elias Motsoaledi Municipality, Sekhukhune District Municipality, Small Economic Development Agency (SEDA), Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA), Sekhukhune Development Agency, and Sekhukhune District Tourism Association.
The 2023 Yellow Arum Lily Festival was graced with the presence of the Queen of the Bapadi nation, Queen Leganabatho II Thulare (Hlapogadi A Phaahle), MEC of LEDET, Mr. Rodgers Monama, who was supported by LTA Board Chairperson, Mr. Andrew Dipela, Deputy Chairperson, Ms. Grace Sibara, Chairperson of the Marketing Committee, Mr. Moses Tseli and CEO of LTA, Mr. Moses Ngobeni, CEO of Sekhukhune Development Agency (SDA), Ms. Mantwa Makanyane, Director Tourism Planning and Regulations, Ms. Seema Harmse from LEDET, Dr. Baatile Komane from Tshwane University of Technology.
Yellow Arum Lily Festival is a celebration of a unique flower that grows only in the Sekhukhune region in the Leolo Mountain ranges and the rocky areas of Roossenekal after the summer rains in November. The flowers are protected as endangered species for which LTA with stakeholders and the community of Roossenekal are joining hands to promote and celebrate.
Bapedi Ancestral Flower bears much history on the Bapedi interface with fauna and flora in their heritage and appreciation of the geography of their development. This is evident in the praise poetry of Bapedi nation about Mohlake, where the Bapedi nation settled around 1651 on the summit of Leolo Mountains, where this flower is also found in abundance. The botanical name of this lily found in the Leolo Mountains is Zantedeschia Jucunda.
These yellow arum lilies are protected species from the endangered Red Data list. Nobody is allowed to pick these beautiful flowers or dig them up in the veld. The other family of this lily found around Roossenekal (same district) is Zantedeschia Pentlandia. The difference between the two is that the Zantedeschia Jucunda has deep green leaves with white sparkles while its cousin, Zantedeschia Pentlandia has shiny plain green leaves.
displaying a myriad of offerings such as indigenous food, arts/crafts, tourism offerings, etc. There was in addition several activities during the event, such as tours, cultural dances, music and Yellow Arum Lily Beauty Pageant, which emerged with three winners, Miss Yellow Arum Lily 2023, 1st Princess and 2nd Princess. This event was part of the Summer Campaign that MEC Monama launched on the 28th October 2023 at Sun Meropa Casino and Entertainment World in Polokwane.
Yellow Arum Lily Tour and Festival 2023 are organised with a view to meaningfully connect, enable and empower communities of Leolo and Roossenekal by coordinating the District-wide tour that enables exchange visits between these two special communities. The two communities are each a natural habitat of distinct species of Yellow Arum Lily, namely Leolo Mountain settlements, the home of Zantedeschia Jucunda and Roossenekal town, the home of Zantedeschia Petlandia.
The festival has this year expanded the appreciation of both endemic lilies to the communities of Leolo and Roossenekal by arranging a special tour on 23 November 2023 where over forty (40) community members from Roossenekal toured Leolo Mountain side to experience the natural habitat of the ‘cousin yellow arum lily’ on the Leolo Mountain. There was a lot of excitement among the Members of the community.
Messages of support of support for the festival were received from all the participating stakeholders including Dr. Baatile Komane, who spoke on the commercial side of things regarding this follower. She advised the community to take care of the flower but thanked the Government for protecting the flower to curb poaching. The word from the Royal house was that the community should take care of this unique flower that grows only in Sekhukhune around November during the summer rains.
The MEC of LEDET, Mr. Rodgers Monama, said, “The purpose of the festival is fourfold, that is, to deliver a 3-day immersive experience that is structured to rally exhibitors, visitors, ecotourism enthusiasts, the media and the role players within Sekhukhune District to jointly unleash the tourism prospects anchored by yellow arum lilies of Leolo and Roossenekal; to advance a joint approach for enhancing domestic tourism in Sekhukhune District with a single vision of showcasing the stakeholders’ capabilities of excellence and coherence in the promotion of ecotourism; to compact wide range of tourism promotion activities and bring the role players in the District and the Province up to speed in terms of inclusive and beneficial use of intra-District and inter-District tourism routes and to intentionally unify the communities of Sekhukhune and expand informed audiences that would readily marvel and strive to conserve Sekhukhune District’s endowment of fauna and flora”.
As he concluded, Monama said, “We wish to see this festival grow to the level of other flagship events like Limpopo Marula Festival and Mapungubwe Arts Festival. The growth of this festival will have ripple effects that will see the lives of the people
improve for the better while the economy will grow, thus making a dent on poverty, unemployment, and inequality”.
As she rendered the vote of thanks, the Deputy Chairperson of LTA Board, Ms. Grace Sibara emphasised that LTA would continue supporting the event to ensure that it makes an impact to the communities in Sekhukhune and the province. She said that Yellow Arum Lily Festival should be a flagship event to be elevated to others in the province.
The event ended on the high with the performances from Chris Venter, a local artist from the small town of Roossenekal and the famous Pleasure Tša Manyalo who kept the crowd on their feet dancing to her captivating music.
Limpopo will be abuzz with a plethora of activities and events this festive season. For more information on more upcoming events, you are advised to visit www.golimpopo.com
Released on behalf of Limpopo Tourism Agency by:
Head of Communications & PR
Limpopo Tourism Agency
Tel : 015 293 3600
Cell : 082 886 3294
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