Africa-Press – Botswana. President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi on Saturday joined members of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and other Batswana in a colourful military parade to celebrate the army’s 47th year of existence.

Vice President Mr Slumber Tsogwane also graced the occasion that drew a sizeable number of enthusiasts across different ages to the national stadium.

Perhaps the highlight of the day’s festivities was when Commander of the BDF, Lt Gen. Placid Segokgo rolled out a red carpet to a social media sensation and Ramotswa native Mr Orapeleng Delu Kwatle, affectionately known as “General Nankase”.

General Nankase gained widespread recognition on social media for his video that went viral showcasing his knowledge of BDF’s high command amongst them Air Arm Commander Major General Hendrick Rakgantswana.

On arrival President Masisi took a lap of honour around the national stadium track accompanied by a 30 white horse mounted guard before inspecting a full guard of honour.

Through the annual BDF Day, the army continues to exhibit capability to live up to its motto, ‘Thebe Ya Sechaba’ (shield of the nation).

This years’ celebration was held under the theme: “Transforming The Military for a Culture of High Performance in Service Delivery Through Mindset Change”.

The BDF Day celebration continued to speak volumes of a disciplined and hardworking force.

Through displays such as the civilian participation drill, BDF showed its professional training standards, skill and talent.

One colourful display involved flag bearers who are usually positioned at the centre of the guard. This is called the colour party. They carry the national colours and others appropriate to the event including the presidential, unit and formation flags.

The colour party is mounted on occasions such as BDF Day as a mark of respect.

Also on the day, spectators were entertained with ceremonial and marching music churned out by BDF Band.

They played entertaining music arranged and composed by some of their own such as Swabisa Saatane and A reyeng bosoleng.

Priding itself in being among Africa’s few truly home grown military outfits, BDF has since its establishment in 1977, evolving from the Police Mobile Unit, undergone a steady process of restructuring.

The strategic objective now is to embark on a journey of transformative growth with mindset change strategy being a guide towards fostering a high performance culture within the organisation.

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