Tiger Kloof names buildings after Masire, Chiepe & Mogwe

21 Oct 2015

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iger Kloof has named its three buildings after three Botswana icons who studied at the school in the 1940s on government scholarship. The three, Sir Ketumile Masire, Dr. Gaositwe Chiepe and Archibald Mogwe were honoured at a ceremony attended by many pre-1962 Tigers at a ceremony held on Saturday, October 16, 2015 at Tiger Kloof – a historical institution just outside Vryburg in South Africa, about 320km from Gaborone. The Tiger Kloof Administrative block was named the “Sir Quett Masire Building” while the girl’s hostel was named “The Chiepe Hostel” after the first female MP of the Botswana parliament, Dr. Gaositwe Chiepe. The boys’ was named “The Mogwe Hostel” after the former minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Archibald Mogwe. The trio were educated at Tiger Kloof together with other prominent Batswana such as Sir Seretse Khama and Ben Thema. After their time at Tiger the three Tigers (as the Tiger Kloof students are known), grew to great prominence and significance in Botswana political landscape and helped form the modern Botswana state.           

Quett Ketumile Joni Masire has lived a most extraordinary life. He was born on July 23, 1925 in Kanye and together with Sir Seretse Khama (another old Tiger), formed the Botswana Democratic Party in 1961 and served as its first Secretary General. After completing his studies at Tifer Kloof in 1950 he helped establish the Kgosi Seepapitso III Secondary School and was its headmaster for six years. From the classroom, he was involved in the media briefly as a correspondent for the Naledi ya Bechwana newspaper. From 1966 to 1980 Masire was Botswana’s first Vice President. Following Sir Seretse Khama’s death in 1980, he was elected president on July 18, 1980. Quett Masire has served as the Chairman of SADC as well as the Deputy of Organisation of African Unity (OAU), before it was transformed into the African Union (AU). Masire transferred power to Festus Mogae peacefully in 1998. At home he is much loved and revered for his love of peace and dialogue, church attendance, language, dance and laughter all of which were fashioned in his formative years at Tiger Kloof and fossilized over long years of leadership experience.

The second Tiger who was honoured is Dr. Gaositwe Chiepe who was born in 1926 in Serowe. When Botswana attained her independence in 1966 she was one of the most educated persons in the republic. She is one of Botswana’s best minds ever. Completing her primary school education as the best student in the country, Chiepe proceeded to Tiger Kloof as one of the first girls to study there. She then read Batchelor of Science and a degree in Education at Fort Hare University. The brainy Chiepe later went to pursue a Master’s degree in Education at the University of Bristol where she graduated in 1958 as the first Motswana woman to earn a postgraduate degree. Between 1970 and 1974 she served Botswana as the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ambassador to Germany, France, Norway and Denmark. From ambassadorship in 1974 she became Botswana’s first female member of cabinet as Minister of trade and Industry until 1977 and as Minister of Mines and Natural Resources until 1984. For ten years, between 1984 and 1994 Chiepe was minister of Foreign Affairs. The last years of her career between 1994 and 1999 Chiepe spent them as Minister of Education, yes, as Botswana’s first female Minister of Education. Dr Chiepe is remembered as the local lady of many first. She is even believed to have been the first woman to have a drivers’ licence in Botswana! What a Tiger!

Archibald Mogwe was born on August 29, 1921 in Kanye. Like Chiepe and Masire, he has had an illustrious career. He was brought up as a herdboy by his father. However through sheer perseverance he worked hard to be one of the finest completing students at primary school. He ended up at Tiger Kloof in the 1940s. After Tiger Kloof he worked as a teacher, both in Botswana and South Africa, an education inspector, Permanent Secretary to a former Tiger, Sir Seretse Khama. In 1974 he became Member of Parliament for Kanye and was appointedMinister of Foreign Affairs until 1985. He also served as the Minister of Mineral Resources and Water Affairs from 1985 to 1994 taking over from Dr. Chipe. In 1996 he moved to the States as Ambassador to the United States. Mogwe has been closely involved in the restoration of Tiger Kloof since 1991.