It is time to defend your own empire

Tshegofatso Leeuw Social Observer.
Tshegofatso Leeuw Social Observer.

During the late 1940s, in what was known as the Bechuanaland Protectorate (Botswana), a special meeting took place in the BaNgwato village.

The United Kingdom and Ireland had established this protectorate on 31 March 1885.

Seretse Khama, son of Queen Tebogo and Sekgoma Khama II, the paramount chief of the BaNgwato people, was forced by the British – and his own uncle – to give up his throne for five years for marrying Ruth Williams, a white woman.

, Bear in mind that was forced by the British and his uncle to Their marriage was deemed as a disregard for customs, norms and the regent’s command.

as breaking tribal customs, norms, disregarding the regent’s command and questioning the British rule in the Bechuanaland Protectorate.

On 20 August 1949, another tribal meeting was held in the BaNgwato village.

Sir Allister Canning and Chief Tshekedi Khama, Seretse’s uncle, considered it a done deal that Seretse would give up his chieftainship or his white wife.

It was a sunny clear blue-sky day with a sombre mood in the air. Everyone had the opportunity to state their case.

“Seretse has disrespected our customs and questioned the British rule. We cannot have Ruth as our queen,” Tshekedi said.

Sir Canning told officers to write a report his is a done deal. Then, to the shock of Chief Tshekedi and Sir Canning, a man stood up to say: “Those who want Seretse as your paramount chief, raise your hands!”

Many stood up.

Shouts of “pula, pula, pula, pula, pula” echoed as the crowd took charge of the meeting.

; the crowd shouted. Seretse was reinstated as the BaNgwato paramount chief.

“Now you will see how an empire defends itself, Mr Khama,” an angry Sir Canning said.

Dear Express reader, read the quote again!

I have read that quote many times and researched how Chief Seretse Khama’s life – and the fate of his village and country – unfolded after this day.

As I re-read the quote a many a times and how life folded afterwards for Chief Seretse Khama, his village and Botswana country,It finally struck me that the quote was about being a leader despite being on your own.

that the quote was about - Being on your own and Leadership position.

When a young man leaves his parents’ house to establish his own family, it is only natural to ask questions.

Do you have enough money? Do you know how expensive food is, Son? You want to be the man of the house – now you will see what it takes to be on your own; paying rent, registering for a tax number, ‘hustling’.

Or when a managing director or a municipal manager, is expected to conform to their demands of corruption deals, you say no, then you are on your own because your days are numbered.

From 20 August 1949 onwards, until the 1960s, Chief Seretse Khama knew what it meant to be on his own.

The British were not interested in helping, and the majority of the Commonwealth felt the same.

  • Malaria, poverty, unemployment, drought – he had to deal with it all on his own.

, an ordinary villager knocking on his door to complain about not being able to export his maize sacks, etc

In my experience of running a small building services firm, I have seen many difficulties of leadership.

I have seen assistant workers’ lack of support, I know what it feels like when no one sees your vision.

We live in a tough world – one that will not be perfect all the time.

There will be days when you wake up questioning your decisions, questioning why the people you trusted have left you in the dark.

You jumped, but no one was there to catch you.“Jump and we shall catch you”, you jump and there is no one to catch you.

Now you must defend your own empire – your life, career, vision, values and dreams.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
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