MAUN: Kgosi Kegaisamang Ramokwena has died of Covid-19 related complications.
The late Kgosi has been described as a generous people’s person, a disciplinarian and a character of note whose shoes might not be easy to fill.
Family spokesperson and uncle of the deceased, prominent businessman John Wellio said in an interview with this publication that the family received news of his demise with utmost shock as it was a sudden death.
He noted that Ramokwena, also a church Reverend at the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) was admitted at Maun’s Letsholathebe Memorial Hospital on Saturday where he tested positive for Covid-19.
“We received a call which summoned us to the hospital the day that followed, whereupon we were told of his deteriorating situation as he had difficulty in breathing. The hospital had plans of referring him to Sir Ketumile Teaching Hospital, but then they told us they were challenged since the hospital did not have enough space to receive new patients,” he said.
Faced with the challenge of not knowing what next step to take, Wellio said they then decided as a family to have him airlifted to Gaborone for possible admission at either Bokamoso or Sidilega private hospitals, but learnt that both were equally fully occupied. It was while they were still deciding on alternative measures to take that he finally passed on Sunday afternoon.
Fellow church Reverend Motlapele Dikole said Ramokwena grew up in the UCCSA and was a staunch member of the church who was respected by many. He said having been ordained in Sehithwa in 2002, prior to completing his two-year pastors’ internship.
The late Ramokwena was then tasked with overseeing the Sehithwa local church which also covered Tsau and Nokaneng branches as a self-supporting minister as he also served as a headman at the same time. Fast forward 2016, Ramokwena is said to have been appointed to lead the Matlapana ward extension of the church which later (2018) became a fulltime local church, still under his leadership.
“He had a good sense of humor and his teachings in church were high-ranking. Our members enjoyed his sermons the most because of his wisdom and his brilliant analysis of the bible. The less privileged benefited from his kind generosity as he was a born giver.
The church equally benefitted because of the many donations and contributions he made from his pocket. He used own resources and manpower but never complained as he was doing the works of God, and had pledged to keep financing church projects as long as he lived”, said reverend Galeganwe Mbulawa of UCCSA Boseja branch.
Also commenting was UCCSA full time minister and overseer in the Bojanala region – from Ngamiland to Ghanzi. Reverend Boikobo Nthobatsang described the deceased as a kind-hearted and active reverend whose passing is a big blow which has left a void in the church and the region in general. He also described him as a dedicated member who lived by his word and made his good works visible.
In HainaVeldt farms where he owns Kanana farm, he was described as a big influencer who was always willing to give advice. His long-time friend, Haina Veldt farms association chairperson Keloitsang Ledimo said Ramokwena was one of the founding fathers of the association who contributed significantly to its growth. “He was a renowned cattle baron in Ngamiland who owned an assortment of quality cattle and bulls. The association has lost a pillar, a friend and a companion. We are going to miss him dearly,” he said.
Chairman of Ntlo ya Dikgosi, Kgosi Puso Gaborone also sang praises for the late Ramokwena, the man he worked with for years, from 2009-2014 and from 2019 to date.
He stated that Ramokwena was very instrumental in terms of spiritual nourishment of members of the house, adding that even his approach to issues was always in line with his responsibility as an ordained man of God.
“We never struggled looking for pastors because we had a minister of religion in our midst. I remember how during his debates he would constantly make reference to the Bible. He had this tendency of trying to reprimand me whenever I raised my voice when things didn’t go well. But the interesting part is that he would do this like a father figure, not an irate member trying to mock, stay relevant or attract attention. He’d quote a bible verse and we’d all laugh about it and forget we ever differed in opinion. At some point during the last sitting of the house, Kgosi Gaborone said he jokingly told members that “ke le neelela Modimo,” a statement which made Ramokwena to immediately rise up and told him to withdraw as he felt strong language was used.
“The house went in fits of laughter of and indeed I had to opt for a different approach. Most of his motions were in line with the many setbacks experienced in Ngamiland such as the issue of Foot and Mouth Disease, he lobbied for a boost of the tourism and agriculture sectors as well as finding new markets for Ngamiland cattle”.