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Kgosi Malope rebuffs Mosielele’s leopard skin coronation

Paramount chief of Bangwaketse Kgosikgolo Malope Gaseitsiwe II has hinted that there may be repercussions for the un-cultural and un-procedural draping of his subject, Bahurutshe chief Curty Kebinatshwene Mosielele with a leopard skin.

Mosielele will be officially installed as a Kgosi draped with a leopard skin this weekend at Manyana. This follows his father Mark Mareko Mosielele’s death in 2015. The Bahurutshe tribe has against all odds forged ahead with draping Mosielele with a leopard skin – a move which has irked Bangwaketse who say it is improper. Bangwaketse contend that the arrangement is not be-fitting as Bahurutshe are subjects of the latter, stressing that Bangwaketse are more senior in the Ngwaketse territory which Bahurutshe people fall under.  

Manyana village falls under Ga-Ngwaketse territory and Kgosi Malope II has the authority and power to address a kgotla gathering at the village as the paramount chief overseeing the area. When speaking to Weekend Post this week Kgosi Malope said there will be far-reaching implications for Mosielele’s continued insubordination. “This is a big issue and of course there will be implications. Although I cannot say much on the implications for now but they will be there, and probably they won’t be immediate,” Malope pointed out to this publication in a hushed voice.   

According to the Bangwaketse Paramount Chief, the move by Mosielele is disrespectful to not only Bangwaketse but also to the customs and traditions of Bogosi in general in Botswana. He said: “it never happened anywhere but remember the bogosi institution is from far back.” Formerly a long time friend of Mosielele, Malope insisted his stand point on the matter “our position is that Mosielele, is not supposed to wear the leopard skin in his coronation, he even knows about it.”

Kgosi Malope also reminisced to justify his point that Mosielele knows the appropriate procedure of matters of bogosi, he sent his elders from Manyana to the Bangwaketse kgotla in Kanye earlier this year to “request” to be adorned with a leopard skin on his coronation, but he was turned down out rightly. Malope further told WeekendPost that “Setswana sa re kgosi e nngwe hela mo Gangwaketse. Mme ee ke nnete merafhe re bantsi gone mo ga Ngwaketse. Mme hela ko morago kgosi e nngwe hela mo ga Ngwaketse. Ke kalo,” (in accordance with Setswana culture, there is only one paramount chief in Ngwaketse territory.)

He gave an example of his counterparts at Batawana territory where the paramount chief remains Kgosikgolo Tawana Moremi II who was and remains the only one coronated with a leopard skin. In addition, he cited Bangwato under the chieftainship of Kgosikgolo Ian Khama whom was ordained with a lion skin during coronation. Another example was that of Bakgatla baga Kgafela, Kgosikgolo Kgafela Kgafela who was also draped in a leopard skin, just to mention a few. The Bangwaketse paramount chief emphasised that it is only the paramount chiefs in a territory that are entitled to be coronated with a lion or a leopard skin as traditions dictates from far.

“To wear a skin is like a crown you know even in England it is only the Queen to the throne who can wear a symbolic crown,” Malope justified. According to the Ngwaketse chief, even his father Seepapitso Gaseitsiwe IV wore the leopard skin and so is him, adding that Seepapitso even wore the skin while his grandfather Bathoen Gaseitsiwe II was still alive. He dismissed Mosielele and Bahurutshe’s suggestion that their previous chief Mareko Mark Mosielele ever wore a leopard skin as they claim. “They or he is not telling the truth,” he highlighted.

But he was however impressed that both his father Seepapitso and Mosielele’s father Mark worked together harmoniously while respecting territory lines and certain cultural practices that came with the institution of bogosi. However, when contacted for a comment after numerous times, Mosielele was not at liberty to be drawn into discussing the matter instead directing this reporter to attend the event today (Saturday) where he will be coronated wrapped in a leopard skin. Previously, he had told this publication that their cultural tradition dictates that a kgosi undergoes crowning through wearing of a leopard skin.

Mosielele also declared then that: “as Bahurutshe, we are in the zone of Bangwaketse. But we are not Bangwaketse. Our totem is a baboon (tshwene) but theirs is a crocodile (kwena). Our cultural customs and practices also differ.” Meanwhile, a dikgosi historical independent Professor at the University of Botswana (UB) who preferred anonymity, told Weekend Post then that the issue is a conflict particularly because Manyana village is part of Ga-Ngwaketse zone in terms of geographic setting.

Customary law dictates that within a geographical location there should be one Kgosi-Kgolo who can only undergo crowning by being wrapped with a leopard skin, the academic highlighted. A leopard skin or a lion symbolises “dominance” in terms of the geographical location. The move by Bahurutshe chief to go ahead with the coronation draped in a leopard skin while there is a paramount chief in the territory has brought a sharp contrast with regard to the constitution of Botswana particularly the contentious sections 77, 78 and 79.

Section 78, it states that “the ex-officio Members of the House of Chiefs shall be such persons as are for the time being performing the functions of the office of Chief in respect of the (so-called 8 major tribes) Bakgatla, Bakwena, Bamalete, Bamangwato, Bangwaketse, Barolong, Batawana and Batlokwa Tribes, respectively.”

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BODANSA strikes gold with a handsome P45K windfall from Turnstar Holdings

27th February 2024

The Botswana DanceSport Association (BODANSA) has been graced with a financial boon of P45,000 courtesy of Turnstar Holdings. This generous endowment is earmarked for the illustrious Botswana International Dance Sport Grand Prix Championships, which are scheduled to animate Gaborone from Friday to Saturday.

At a media engagement held early today, BODANSA’s Marketing Maestro, Tiro Ntwayagae, shared that Turnstar Holdings Limited has bestowed a gift of P45,000 towards the grand spectacle.

“We are thrilled to announce that this backing will enable us to orchestrate a cultural soirĂ©e at the Game City Marque locale, a night brimming with cultural fervor set for March 1, 2024, from 6pm to the stroke of midnight.

This enchanting space will also serve as the battleground for the preliminaries of traditional dance ensembles—spanning the rhythmically rich Setapa to the euphoric beats of Sebirwa, the spirited Seperu, the heavenly Hosana, and more—in a competition folded into the Traditional Dance Groups Category. The ensemble that dances into the judges’ hearts will clinch a grand prize of P10,000,” elaborated Ntwayagae.

He further illuminated that the cultural eve would not only celebrate traditional melodies but also the fresh beats of contemporary dance variants including Hip Hop, Sbujwa, Amapiano, among others, in a dazzling display of modern dance mastery.

Moreover, these championships carry the prestigious recognition by the World DanceSport Federation as a qualifying round for the Breakdance category for the Paris 2024 Olympics. “This is a monumental opportunity for athletes to leap towards their Olympic dreams during one of the penultimate qualifiers,” underscored Ntwayagae.

Looking ahead to March 2, 2024, the festivities will propel into the University of Botswana Indoor Sports Arena for the championship’s climactic showdowns encompassing Breakdance, Latin, and Ballroom Dancing.


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Government of Botswana yet to sign, ratify the UN-CRPD

26th February 2024

In Botswana, a beacon of democracy in Africa, the right to participate in the political discourse is a cornerstone of its societal structure. It’s an avenue through which citizens shape the rules and systems that govern their everyday lives. Despite this, recent studies indicate that Individuals with Disabilities (IWDs) are notably absent from political dialogues and face substantial hurdles in exercising their democratic freedoms.

Research within the nation has uncovered that IWDs encounter difficulties in engaging fully with the political process, with a pronounced gap in activities beyond mere voting. The call for environments that are both accessible and welcoming to IWDs is loud, with one participant, who has a physical disability, spotlighting the absence of ramps at voting venues and the dire need for enhanced support to facilitate equitable involvement in the electoral process.

The challenges highlighted by the study participants pinpoint the structural and social obstacles that deter IWDs from participating wholly in democracy. The inaccessibility of voting facilities and the lack of special accommodations for people with disabilities are critical barriers. Those with more significant or intellectual disabilities face even steeper challenges, often feeling marginalized and detached from political engagement.

To surmount these obstacles, there is an urgent appeal for Botswana to stride towards more inclusive and accessible political stages for IWDs. This necessitates a committed effort from both the government and relevant entities to enforce laws and policies that protect the rights of IWDs to partake in the political framework. Enhancing awareness and understanding of the political landscape among IWDs, alongside integrating inclusive practices within political entities and governmental bodies, is crucial.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing an inclusive political environment, Botswana can live up to its democratic ideals, ensuring every citizen, regardless of ability, can have a substantive stake in the country’s political future.



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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.



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