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The Matsheng Region (Part 2)

JEFF RAMSAY

BUILDERS OF BOTSWANA


Having previously visited Hukuntsi, his week we continue our historical journey through the Kgalagadi District’s Matsheng region with some background on the neighbouring settlements of Lehututu and Tshane.  

Lehututu, also rendered Lehududu in Shekgalagari, has long been the home of two merafe: the Bapebana, who are commonly categorised as being a branch of the Bangologa, and the Bariti, who are said to be of Bakwatlheng origin. The Bariti have also been commonly, but more controversially, labelled as Bashaga.

The Bariti trace their origins to Bakwatlheng who were pushed out of eastern Kweneng during the seventeenth century reign of the conquering Bakwena Kgosi Kgabo I. By the mid-nineteenth century Bariti communities were scattered throughout much of the Kgalagadi, by which time many had become vassals of Kgabo’s descendent Kgosi Sechele I. The Bariti settled at Lehututu under Kgosi Mokwatheng II, also known as Moriti, who begot Mogolega I, who begot Mokutsuwe, who begot Mogolega II, who begot Serhame (Serame), who begot Lekgome. Serhame was ruling at Lehututu when the Bapebana arrived in the 1860s.

The Bapebana presence in the region can, however, be traced back further to a figure named Mopebe who is said to have been the fourth son by a junior house of the legendary Mongologa, who lived under his senior brother Mbolawa. According to a perhaps incomplete genealogy, Mopebe begot Mososwe, who begot Marhogwe (Marogwe), who begot Moabalosu, who begot Moeperi (Moepedi), who begot Morhagaole (Maragaole), who begot Mabotye (Mabote), who begot Leswape, who begot Montshiwe. The latter was still ruling the Bapebana during the 1940s.

While under Mososwe, the Bapebana were settled at Hukhuntsi. There Mososwe allied himself with the Barolong, who provided him with weapons to defeat and incorporate the followers of his local rival Maleme. Mososwe subsequently defeated a Barolong force sent to extract tribute. The Bapebana thereafter moved northward to the Mabeleapodi pans located in the plains south of Lake Ngami, where they lived alongside local Khoe (Basarwa) and Wayeyi before the early nineteenth century arrival of the Batawana.

The Bapebana had relocated to Nokeng, in the modern Ghanzi District, when they were first attacked by the mephato of the Batawana Kgosi Letsholathebe I. An individual named Manthe is said to have convinced Letsholathebe that the Bapebana were becoming a threat. Nokeng was, in this respect, strategically located along the trade routes linking Ngamiland with Namibia, including the already busy port at Walvis Bay. Letsholathebe's own ambitions precluded allowing the Bapebana, along with the neighbouring /Auen Khoe under their leader Dukiri, from obtaining guns from European and Orlams-Nama traders. Many Bapebana were slain in the attack, thus driving the survivors to Lehututu.

The 1880s saw the further arrival of Barolong and Batlharo refugees, who had been uprooted by British expansion in the Northern Cape. Tshane has long been the home of the Bathaga (Batyhaga), whose founding patriarch according to traditions was Nyane who begot Kgosi Tyhaga I. The nyane (finch) bird remains the group’s totem.

Originally, the Bathaga lived in the Central District. Oral traditions claim that there they were attacked by the Bangwato for refusing to pay tribute. But the generational chronology of these traditions suggests that another Setswana group, such as the Bakaa, may have been their actual tormentors; given that the Bangwato under their first independent Kgosi, Mathiba, only settled in the District during the second half of the eighteenth century. Following Tyhaga's death in battle, bogosi jwa Bathaga was passed to his son, Serimeri, who sought refuge in Kweneng. This was probably also during the reign of the Bakwena Kgosi Kgabo.

Like his father, Serimeri died while resisting the imposition of tribute. Subsequent rebellions against the Bakwena, and probably Bangwaketse, authority are said to have lasted for five generations. Serimori was succeeded by Mokgetyhi I, who begot Kwene, who begot Tyhaga II, who begot Moswewi, who begot Moloi, the founder of Tshane. Moloi’s migration westwards from Kweneng coincided with the arrival in 1825-26 Sebetwane's Bafokeng baga Patsa, who would subsequently become known as the Makololo, into south-eastern Botswana. Sebetwane's mephato initially defeated both the Bakwena and Bangwaketse, providing Moloi with an opportunity to break free of the former’s suzerainty.

However the Batyhaga did not find peace in their new home. Moloi was succeeded by Mosarhwe (Mosarwa) who was soon confronted by the "Bamakakana" or BooRatshosa faction of the Bakwena under Moruakgomo I. The later killed Mosarhwe at Kgainyane. Mosarhwe's son Mokgetyhi II then asked for protection from the Barolong. The Bamakakana, however, were reinforced by Kgosi Sebego's Bangwaketse, who killed Mokgetyhi. Thereafter Bathaga were led by Tyhaga III, who begot Motshoge's father Mosalayeengwe. The latter figure was around at the time of the imposition of colonial rule, when the British found him living under a local Morolong ruler, Kgosi Seitsang.

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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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