Connect with us
Advertisement

Khama’s Serowe ghost house now a heritage site

The house in which Botswana’s first democratically elected President, Sir Seretse Khama was born and raised has been listed under the one hundred (100) national monuments.

The house which is an inherited property of Khama’s royal family is situated in the capital village of Bangwato, Serowe where he was born in July 1st 1921. The house had been abandoned, and was in dilapidating state for years but has been remarkably revamped for tourism purposes.

Built by Khama the Great (Khama III), it belonged to his son Sekgoma II who was Paramount Chief of the BammaNgwato, having been given to him as a present after his wedding and reconciliation with his father.  When Sekgoma II, father to Seretse became Chief he insisted that as a result of their reconciliation, his father had altered his will verbally and allotted the bulk of his house and cattle to him.

The modern European style house was last year refurbished at a budget amounting to hundred thousand pula and will soon be used as a heritage site. Botswana has over 2,500 such sites, of which more than 100 have been gazetted. The National Monuments and Relics Act of 2001 ensures that the sites are adequately protected. The National Museum found it befitting to revamp it and it was launched on the 23rd December 2015.

According to a research carried out by the National Museum, the last person to have stayed at the house from the royal family was Tebogo Sekgoma, the wife to Sekgoma II.

This was before it was handed over to the council. Vasco Baitsiseng who is the Principal Curator at the National Museum says they will soon open an exhibition at the newly refurbished house showcasing the life of Sekgoma, his leadership style and the succession and the birth of controversial and vocal Tshekedi Khama.   

From his Biography titled Black Prince, Tshekedi Khama has documented well the relationship between him and Sekgoma and the call to the regency, his clashes on many occasions with both the Bangwato royal family and the British Administration, whose representatives he took to task right up to the level of Whitehall and Westminster.

Contrary to Sekgoma II’ s rule the significance of the house is in housing the first President Seretse Khama and father to the current President Ian Khama. However it will zoom significantly to the life of his uncle Tshekedi Khama who rose to fame while he was formally installed at the age of twenty as the Regent of the Bangwato.

This will form part of the history that will be exhibited in the house. In an interview with one of the papers Naledi Khama, the only sister to the founding president Seretse Khama also hailed her uncle Tshekedi for having raised them.

“Being young I cannot remember that much.  What I know is that our uncle (Tshekedi Khama) looked after us like one of his own.  He gave us unconditional love and sent us to schools both locally and abroad. I don’t know whether he was using his resources or the ones left by our parents,” she said.

Who is Tshekedi Khama?

The birth of Tshekedi Khama on 17 September 1905 when his father was in his late sixties added a new dimension to the intense rivalries that had torn the royal family apart over the past decade. Although Khama had married three times, only his first wife, his much loved Mma Bessie, had born him a son, whom he named Sekgoma after his own father.

But when Sekgoma attained his majority he proved as strong willed as his father and the two began to clash over issues affecting the administration of the state. In 1898 Sekgoma accused his father of grooming his son-in-law, Ratshosa Motsetle, the husband of his eldest daughter Bessie, to succeed him. Khama denied that he was contemplating such a flagrant violation of the Ngwato laws of succession which held that as his only son Sekgoma was his lawful heir.

But Sekgoma continued to see Ratshosa as a rival, especially as it seemed that his imperious sister, Bessie, was determined to exploit his estrangement from their father to seek the succession for herself and her children. Khama entertained such a possibility and even threatened Sekgoma with it, though there was no precedent either for the succession of a woman to the office of kgosi or of succession through the female line.

On that occasion Khama had declared “And to you Sekgoma I swear that you will never get the chieftaincy…I must warn you that I can deny you the chieftaincy and pass it to the Ratshosas if I like.” Sekgoma's apprehensions cannot have been diminished when Ratshosa replaced him as his father's Secretary. Eventually relations between father and son became so strained that Sekgoma went into exile taking a number of followers and their cattle with him. He set himself up as an independent ruler and was recognised as such by the British administration.

In 1916, Khama nearly died after falling from his horse and breaking his leg. When Sekgoma heard that his father was gravely ill, he came to visit him on his sickbed and the two effected a reconciliation that survived Khama's recovery, though Sekgoma continued to live in his place of exile.

While Khama did not formally announce to the British administration that he and his son had become reconciled, the Resident Magistrate at Serowe reported to the Resident Commissioner that the two had resumed friendly relations. Nor did Khama alter his will in his elder son's favour.

Tshekedi had been formally installed as Regent less than three months before the attempted assassination. And so began a turbulent career during which Tshekedi was to take on royal rivals and British overlords including the most senior of these, the Dominions Secretary himself.

In 1951, his protests against the exile into which he had been sent by the British Administration nearly brought down the Labour Government of the day. And when he died in a London hospital on 10 June 1959, one distinguished campaigner for colonial freedom remembered him as the 'most outstanding' of the many African leaders he had met.

Source: Black Prince: A Biography of Tshekedi Khama 1905-1959

Continue Reading

WeekendLife

Vee Mampeezy wants to marry again!

28th November 2022

In May 2014, controversial pint sized musician, Odirile Sento married his longtime girlfriend, Kagiso Sento in a glamorous wedding, not knowing that eight years later, the two will be fighting until the very end of their holy union.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

WeekendLife

Motsetserepa needs help

18th October 2022

Mental health is one critical element in someone’s life but gloomily, it is often overlooked. Topics centered on mental health and depression dominate the public discourse. The national conversation surrounding mental wellness, both online and offline has aided in the stigma of suffering from depression being removed, slowly but surely.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

WeekendLife

TatsoConnekt Leading Women Brunch

14th October 2022

On Saturday 29 October 2022 (11:00- 15:00) Bash Connektor will be presenting their 1st TatsoConnekt Leading Women Brunch which will be hosted by Basadi’Bash’Masimolole. Tatso. A Setswana word. Taste  .Tatso / ta-tso/. verb.

The Brunch will be held at Myhomecafe by Mogobane Dam and tickets are selling at P650 per person. Only 50 tickets available and sold through pre-booking. The value of the offering will be a brunch meal + bottomless mimosas + connekting conversations that matter with leading women in corporate and entrepreneurship. This is an inspirational / empowerment connekting session for Women.

Bash Connektor is a Marketing Company with a twist founded in March 2022 by Basadi Bash Masimolole who has 15 years plus Marketing Experience. The INTENT of Bash Connektor is to Link People, Experiences, and Brands. The K instead of C is INTENTIONAL. We are all about contributing towards AMPLIFYING brand and country messages through curating experiential offerings and connekting conversations that matter, said Basadi Masimolole.

With a sponsor or funding, Basadi Masimolole’s ultimate goal is to have visual podcasts and empowerment connektor sessions at villages as part of cultural tourism and contributing towards the Botswana Government’s Rural Areas Development Program (RADP).

Individuals interested in purchasing the limited number tickets or Brands interested in participating on the TatsoConnekt Leading Women Brunch through sponsorships/ brand placement opportunities can reach Basadi’Bash’Masimolole on +267 7140 6660 / masimololebasadi@gmail.com / Bash Connektor Facebook page.

Continue Reading