Botswana’s first ever book on the country’s diamonds will be launched this week. The book “Botswana’s Diamonds ÔÇô Prospecting to Jewellery” is the work of Michael Brooks – a self-published author and hydrologist who has lived in the country for 26 years.
With a foreword by Vive President Ponatshego Kedikilwe, Brooks traces the long history of Botswana’s diamond discovery from prospecting to beneficiation. It is an easy to read coffee table book with less text and lots of illustration of 11 chapters.
The first chapter deals with the seven diamond periods in Botswana from 1954 at a time when the country began prospecting to the time when Botswana seeks to position herself as a leading diamond hub.
The book has captured a historical moment when, in 1967, Botswana’s chiefs met in Gaborone where they agreed and accepted to relinquish mineral rights in their tribal lands to the government with a photo depicting among others Sir Ketumile Masire, Jimmy Haskins ÔÇô then Minister of Commerce, Industry and Water Affairs, Kgosi Linchwe of Bakgatla, Kgosi Kelemogile Mokgosi of Balete.
Brook’s book deliberately ignores to capture the politics of the diamond industry over fact.
“The book is about fact not fiction. I am not interested in the politics of diamonds that is the stuff that you leave to people like Chaim Even-Zohar,” he says. “I wrote this book to capture the history of diamonds in Botswana. There have been a few brochures written on Botswana’s diamonds, a couple of chapters and editorials but no one has ever written a book. ┬áIt took me a year to release the book, three months to write the book, there months to design, three months to edit and three months to print,” says Brook.
The Debswana Hydrogeology Group Manger says the book is a reflection of the years he spent doing exploration work in the Kgalagadi area.
“I was living in a tent. You can imagine that there were no cellular phones, computers and no air conditioning. ┬áThose were the days,” he says.
The 267 page book, edited by Esther Kanaimba-Senai, who is also an employee of Debswana, will go with a special price tag of P350 at the University of Botswana on 25 April.
Botswana’s Diamonds ÔÇô Prospecting to Jewellery is the second book published by the geologist after Crocodile Pools Botswana ÔÇô History and Biodiversity.