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Kgosi Sebele II (Part 9): Bogwera & Bojale


Jeff Ramsay


BUILDERS OF BOTSWANA


Our previous episode noted the rise of the initially Afro-centric Order of Ethiopia aligned Anglican Church in Molepolole during the reign and with the support of Sebele II's father Kgosi Kealeboga Sechele II.

This development resulted in an at time bitter sectarian division between followers of the Anglican S.P.G. and previously established L.M.S. mission societies.

Unsurprisingly, L.M.S. efforts to get the colonial Government to undermine Kgosi Kealeboga's authority, while suppressing their Church of England proved futile, The Resident Commissioner did, however, use the local conflict as a pretext in 1917 to order the expulsion the St. Paul's School head George Mashwe and Bakwena Tribal Secretary and local ANC organiser Richard Sidzumo, both of whom had been domiciled in Mahikeng, from the Protectorate as "undesirable aliens."

Mashwe's removal was widely resented by Bakwena.

 

Beyond appreciation of his efforts in building up first the Bakwena National and then St. Paul's School he had by then married a Mokwena and had generally been accepted as a member of the community. With the full support of his morafe's otherwise still divided factions, Sechele II in his final months petitioned the British authorities for the moruti's restoration.

The issue of Mashwe was still ongoing when Sebele II assumed his late father's throne in February of 1918.

 

The response by the Mahikeng administration to Sebele II's own support for Mashwe's return was an early harbinger of tensions to come. Writing in June 1918 the Resident Commissioner, James Macgregor, warned the young chief:

"You are going too fast my friend, remember what I told you in the Kgotla the other day 'Lepotlas potla le ya poli [Sesotho] Drop this matter please. Remember that you are not yet confirmed in your chair of chieftainship by the Secretary of state and don't make it difficult for me to tell the King in due time hat you are a fit and proper person to be his Mokwena.

 

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Whereas his father had clashed with the L.M.S. largely due to what he perceived as the denomination's political interference, Sebele II's championing of bogwera and bojale resulted in his ultimate break with both missions.

After St. Paul's parish came under the authority of the SPG missionary Rev. Clissold, both of Molepolole churches were united in banning their members from taking part in bogwera and bojale. The resulting tensions would ultimately be used as a pretext by the colonial authorities to allege that Sebele II in his zeal for the practice enforced attendance.

The later accusation is at most simplistic. Although instances of coercion undoubtedly took place Sekwena law continued to uphold the right of choice in the matter.

 

The real source of controversy was who within a divided lineage was entitled to decide whether a particular boy or girl attended. In this context Sebele's younger brother Mosarwa, who was originally designated to be the leader of the 1922 Malatakgosi regiment, may have gone to Kimberly to escape the pressure of his senior sibling.

Evidence, however, further indicates that Sebele's younger brother Kgari willingly accepted the leadership of the Mayakathata mophato in 1924 despite the disputed tradition that the regiment's name signified "those that went under compulsion".

The counter tradition to this that "thata" rather denoted many thus the regiment was truly designated as "those who went in large numbers."

 

The 1925 Report of the London Missionary Society confirms that "no fewer than 200 boys attended the initiation ceremonies.

Beyond sanctioning the parents of initiates in Kanye, as well as Molepolole, the L.M.S. sponsored the local formation of the Boy's and Girl's Life Brigades, a Christian youth movement patterned after the Boy's and Girl's Scouts, to provide a moral alternative to what they considered to be the return of heathen practices. The March 1923 LMS report had thus observed that:

"At Kanye as in Moleplole there has been a revival of heathenism. The forward movement chronicled in 1921 was met by a counter move in 1922 from the Powers of Darkness.

 

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The Boy's Brigades, however, had all but collapsed by 1929. In 1932 both brigades were merged into the more secular "Pathfinders" and "Wayfarers" youth movement.

Another policy of the missionaries was to bar those who attended bogwera and bojale from their schools. In response, in 1923 Sebele II took control of local education by appointing three of his own, eminently qualified, subjects – Goktweng Gaealafshwe, David Kgosideintsi and Martinus Seboni – as members of school board to oversee matters alongside two mission representative, i.e. one L.M.S. and one S.P.G.

The authorities in Mahikeng eventually allowed this reform to stand despite the objections of the then Molepolole magistrate, Claude Ledeboer.

 

Thereafter the two mission societies came to cooperate with the Kgosi's representative, albeit not without some occasional misgivings by old school diehards such as the by then sidelined Rev. Hayden Lewis:

"The whole influence of the male teacher in the schools is against the teaching of Christ, and young men of education are following in the footsteps of their dissolute Chief and at present there seem to be no way of making the alternative need, in order to win back the schools to the influence and control of the right people…Our Christian children are being taught by anti-Christian and morally corrupt teachers."

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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