Botswana: President Masisi Eulogises Lekgowe

Moshupa — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi on November 9 joined mourners in Moshupa to celebrate the life of the late Ramosesane Jabulutu Lekgowe.

Several speakers described the late Lekgowe who passed on last week aged 85, as a skilled wordsmith and straight talker who enjoyed using the art of language to ensure justice during disputes.

In his epitaph, President Masisi implored Batswana to document their rich history. He said death had robbed the nation of a repository of history, traditions and indigenous wisdom. He said nobody told stories of the origins of Jwaneng, mine, Moshupa better than the late Lekgowe.

He shared with mourners that the only downside of the international diamond conference that took place in Gaborone last week was the absence of first-hand accounts of stories around Jwaneng, told better by people like Lekgowe.

He regretted that had he documented the history and digitalised the content, the late Lekgowe who was among the first farmers to make way for the establishment of the Jwaneng mine could have enjoyed bountiful rewards.

President Masisi further informed mourners that government was driving towards a knowledge-based economy and elucidated that the latter would hinge on the content provided by elders like the late Lekgowe. To this end, he encouraged especially young people, not to disregard indigenous wisdom adding, if documented, it was worth just as much as the conventional.

Dr Masisi shared a story of a young American biologist who stole an anaesthetic drug which had been used for generations by a tribe in the West Indies' traditional medicine, appropriated and patented it as if it was his own discovery.

Likewise, he warned that Batswana could get robbed of their timeless tradition of healing a fractured bone called 'Go tlhaba thobega' should they not patent it. He said the tradition defied science and was the best his eyes had seen across the world.

In future, he revealed that government would engage elders like the late Lekgowe to orientate new Members of Parliament (MP) with a view to impart wisdom. This he said could help them connect better with those they represented.

Dr Masisi further said Lekgowe had touched many lives and would be missed but without doubt, adding that the stories and insights he shared would live with many people for a long time.

Kgosi Oscar Mosielele said the late Lekgowe was a father figure in the community. Although he did not go far with schooling, he said the late Lekgowe was, without doubt, a man of education. He implored the government to find ways to derive maximum benefit from outstanding individuals like the deceased.

Mr Moses Gare described his late friend as a self-made lawyer, oral historian and straight talker who was never shied from speaking his mind.

A niece Ms Peggy Kgosietsile described her late uncle as a kind, loving, and jolly person who raised them as his own.

On behalf of his uncle, Ms Ponatshego Tshiping described the late Lekgowe as a man of good, noble heart and hard worker who enjoyed singing hymns.

As his days tethered to the end, she said the deceased's dying wish was to vote for Dr Masisi's party and send him off to the highest office.

Another friend and age mate Reverend Patricia Pheko said the death of Ma Jumbo, as the deceased was otherwise known, was for her a bitter pill to swallow.

She likened him to a tree whose shade, fruits were enjoyed by birds and animals.

He leaves behind, three children, a twin brother, three sisters and 15 grandchildren.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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