Scores of people have converged on Makapanstad, north of Pretoria, to participate in the annual trooper event.

The event was started 101 years ago by World War One combatants during their holiday breaks from foreign missions as they visited their village homes.

The Bakgatlha Ba Mosetlhe men took part in the first and second World Wars… Upon their return, they visited the royal kraal to greet the Chief. That’s how this century-old tradition began.

The annual event has been credited with enhancing tourism and economic development in the area.

With the support of the local traditional authority, the Moretele Local Municipality and the North West Department of Sports, Arts and Culture – the star performers will go home with trophies and other prizes that include shopping vouchers.

More than 1000 enthusiasts from 23 trooper groups are part of this year’s event. Lerato Sepeng and Mahlatsi Nkuna are from Thari Entsho Trooper Group.

“I am interested because it helps us a lot regarding taking youth out of the streets, not to take liquor and nyaope. We also exercise. It helps me to fit,” says Lerato Sepeng of Thari Entsho Trooper Group.

Another trooper group member Mahlatsi Nkuna says: “It makes us socialise, interact with people. It’s good exercise for your fitness and keeps us out of the streets.”

 

The event attracts participants from near and far. Among them professionals from all kinds of backgrounds. The best performing trooper will walk away with bragging rights.  -Additional reporting by Ofentse Setimo