Friday, May 24, 2024

Kgosi Kgafela II ÔÇô a follow up

I have noticed a sad characteristic of us Batswana. This is prevalent amongst the elite rulers and elite so called intellectuals who say they are educated and therefore civilised out of African archaic ways. The characteristic is to discard things that we do not understand or know. It is called intellectual arrogance borne out of ignorance. When we do not know the power in our language and culture, we easily abandon. When we do not know or understand Bogosi we abandon without questioning, or we corrupt the value system with concepts such as democracy (democratising Bogosi ) without any clue what democracy itself is. Kingship ( Bogosi ) is not a matter for Western democracy. If it were, surely the English, our colonial masters would have led the way by example.

Kings and queens are born. There are reasons for that. Some reasons are readily discernible whilst others remain observable only by those who think. The readily discernible reason is that a King is born and groomed to assume the ultimate responsibility for the future of any particular community.

He is groomed to and moulded into a character desirable by the community he is to lead. This grooming process is elaborate. It is not a simple matter. It takes years of concerted effort by the whole community. It is a process possible only where an individual is identified at childhood that he will be king years to come. This system of identification is at the centre of Bogosi. It is the foremost factor that defines Bogosi. You cannot hope to achieve the same grooming of an individual by a community where such individual is to be elected into office when he is an adult. In such case the community sees or hears of him for the first time when he runs for office. The community would not have participated in his grooming. That is why we have utter disaster when politicians usurp Kingship as they have done in Botswana. We have people who have no feeling at all for humanity or have no concept of responsibility running the country. It leaves us all in tears. When kgosi Kgafela was enthroned in September 2008, a programme for the day’s event was distributed in the form of an information brochure. Those who have kept that programme as souvenirs may re-look at what the brochure says about the grooming of Kgosi. He said that he was groomed by the community.

If you study his profile carefully, from his academic performance at school, his career as a lawyer and other engagements with life, you have a clear idea of what grooming by the community is all about and its beautiful results. Even those at the heart of his persecution played a part in his grooming, which some may now be regretful for. He was taught at secondary school by minister of local government Mr Mokalake. He was taught at university law school by Attorney General Dr Atalia Molokomme. He served his law school internship under Judge David Newman when the latter was a partner at Collins Newman and company. He served his internship also, and for a longer time, under attorney Mr Parks Tafa , who is the lawyer for president Ian Kgama. Each one of the judges of the High Court has had an occasion to contribute to the grooming of Kgosi Kgafela in the Court house.

Whilst they may not say it openly, each one of the judges has had an intimate moment with Kgosi Kgafela at one point or another before he became kgosi. He has represented Chief Justice Dibotelo against Mmegi newspaper ten years ago. The chief justice was candid to disclose this fact early. The entire legal profession membership still holds Kgosi Kgafela in high regard. Many members of the bar have had occasion to contribute to the grooming of the king in one way or the other, in heated Court battles and social gathering of the legal profession. Even those within the attorney general’s office and DPP who are prosecuting him feel they are persecuting a brother. The journalists have similarly contributed. Kgosi Kgafela was a news reporter (journalist) for Government in 1990. He has subsequently had tough engagements with the media in court. These interactions have brought him closer to the inner circles of the media world. The human rights organisations contributed their part. They have been part of Kgosi Kgafela’s life for nine years before he became Kgosi. Even the prison population, from the wardens to the prisoners, all know him. The prisoners know him from the heroic successes in saving death row inmates from the gallows.

That is a story that will forever be told in the prisons. The wardens know him from his professional, sometimes personal, dealings with him. It is the same with the police. The president of the country Rre kgama has had his brief personal interaction with kgosi Kgafela when he draped him with the leopard skin on the coronation occasion. Kgosi Kgafela is everywhere, whether one likes it or not. The business community, banking community, social community in Gaborone to Kasane all have dealt with him. At each human interaction, those dealing with kgosi Kgafela then knew that they were dealing with an heir apparent (ngwana a Kgosi). They added to his grooming without noticing it. This is where the difference lies. I accept that many people have impressive careers and have enjoyed some form of grooming by those they interact with. That is normal. The difference is that those people who they met in their upbringing did not know what the young man or woman they were dealing with would become in the future whereas those who dealt with kgosi knew in their conscious or subconscious minds that they were dealing with someone who was destined to be a leader in the future. It is largely for that reason why in many cases society attaches a high premium on the heir apparent. This is what kgosi Kgafela is reported to have experienced in his upbringing.

The coronation brochure says so. Therefore, whether one likes or hates him or hates to love him, the truth is that kgosi Kgafela is our product. Batswana have groomed him to be the leader we see. You cannot pick someone randomly like an apple from a tree and expect him to be Kgosi in his adult life when he has not been raised as kgosi. This is where our politicians and intellectuals go seriously wrong in their limited understanding or appreciation of the institution of bogosi. It is for this reason why election of a Kgosi can never be right.

“Ke nako”.


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