Ghanzi, Botswana: However little-known a festival this might be outside of Botswana, the Overthrust Winter Metal Mania Festival is steeped in tradition and is growing in stature. Furthermore, it has begun to attract international eyes towards the geographically isolated town from far-off countries such as in the EU or USA and has already hosted a band all the way from Finland in 2015. The initiative is – as recognized by its namesake – hosted by local death metal band Overthrust, who serve as something of a guardian over the Rock and Metal scene of the region surrounding Ghanzi.
In a previous chat when Overthrust visited Cape Town in 2013, leading band member and festival manager Tshomarelo ‘Vulture’ Mosaka explained to us how the band plays an important positive role in their community and the festival has become an extension of that. There is a particular focus on breaking down the myth of Heavy Metal or Rock Music as being the cause of problems in society, but rather to be portrayed and promoted as a constructive solution.
Some of the activities which have given the Winter Metal Mania it’s unique character have included: a march through town, picking up litter; the collection of donations from fans and other supporters in the form of blankets, clothes, and food-stuffs for the needy; the washing of cars and motorcycles as fundraiser; various ceremonies such as the Welcoming and the Handing Over of donations and funds, and; a collection of Metal and Rock bands from all around Botswana and abroad. Tshomarelo also takes it very seriously as to who the beneficiaries of these collections should be.
“Overthrust Winter Metal Mania Fest was incorporated in to a charity event so as to help people in need in the community, but specializing in gathering and giving donations to orphan children and disabled children and needy children. We give them clothes, food and other necessary materials. We liaise with the S & CD-Social and Community Development Department and the community to help us identify those in need which are either registered with them or not” ~ Tshomarelo Mosaka
This year’s event features South African metal band Adorned In Ash, along with locals from all over Botswana including Barren Barrel, Dust N Fire, Evergreen, Nodd, PMMA, Raven N Flesh, Remuda, ROKARA, Skeletal Saints, Synader and obviously Overthrust also. The live music event takes place in the Ghansi Community Hall on Saturday, with other festival-related activities spreading out into the nearby surrounds over the whole weekend. For more detailed information, visit the official facebook event page.