Dr Chiepe: Educationalist: The 1st Woman MP & Minister

php7D.tmpIn the quest to adequately describe and capture the true description of Ms. Gaositwe Keagakwa Tibe Chiepe we looked to various sources, see below for what some of them had to say. We hope this is a fitting introduction to a woman who is all of the mentioned and more.

“an intellectual educator, diplomat, politician and cabinet minister of external affairs” – Whos Who SA

“…..luminous career, spanning decades of dedicated civil service…pan- African peace mediator and anti- apartheid campaigner”- Proudly African

Ms. Gaositwe Keagakwa Tibe Chiepe was born in Serowe in 1925. She attended primary school in Serowe then pursued her secondary education at Tigerkloof (South Africa). Following which she completed a Bachelor of Science Degree and Post Graduate Diploma in Education at Fort Hare, and later on attained a Masters of Arts at the University of Bristol (England). She holds a number of honorary Doctorate degrees from various institutions including Fort Hare and the University of Chicago and has received several awards such as the Commander of Royal Order of Polar Star, King of Sweden and President’s Order of Honor, Botswana.

Among the firsts accomplished by Ms Chiepe, she was the first woman education officer of Botswana from 1948 to 1953, as well as the first woman to be appointed a cabinet minister. Ms. Chiepe was instrumental in developing Botswana’s education system and is known to many as the woman who fought for the free education in Botswana. She was the Minister of Mineral Resources and Water Affairs in 1977-1984 during the crucial Debswana negotiations which saw the Botswana Government become a great player in the diamond industry and benefit immensely fromthe diamond revenues; 35 years later, the debswana deal contributes about 30 percent to government revenues.

“I won 5pounds, it was a lot of money at the time…I bought a pair of shoes, a jacket for my uncle and tukwi (head scarf)” Chiepe

Molaya Kgosi Documentary

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Molaya Kgosi HerStory Documentary

images-2Welcome to the first edition of Molaya Kgosi Herstory, The making of. It has been an amazing journey from the day we decided to go ahead with this project and every day since has been an adventure.

Molaya Kgosi Leadership and Mentorship Program filters from the Young African Women Leaders Forum initiated by the First Lady of the United States of America Mrs Michelle Obama and is led by young Batswana women who are alumni of the forum. The purpose of this programme is to re-define women leadership; to empower young women through exposing them to seasoned women leaders (mentorships and networking) and celebrating successes of women in Botswana and the world over.

When we started the program, we wanted to reach young women across the country; however, the breadth of Botswana tends to make it very difficult for us to penetrate to inaccessibility to the youth in places like Xere, Motopi and Nzwenshambe; the rural areas. We did not want to continue with this geographical discrimination and we were looking for ways we can reach out to the prime youth of Botswana, recognizing that young women in the rural areas are more vulnerable and need more exposure and motivation. The Molaya Kgosi HerStory series seemed like just the best mode for achieving our goal. The goal was to inspire and empower the younger generation through the works of the older, pioneering women who have been influential in the development of their sectors. Also equally important was to celebrate women leaders of Botswana.;we are fortunate to be living in a time when we can still converse with the ground breakers of the development of Botswana while in other countries, they have to read history books to understand the work that went into developing their countries. Given such an opportunity, it would have been such a shame for us not to use it and our grandchildren would shame us for such a failure.

So much history has been made and the baton is being passed to us as the youth. We won’t be the generation that will fight for independence, that will sign some iconic mineral deals with Debeers, we won’t be the ones to establish a whole nursing system but we are that generation that will improve on what has been made, the generation that will build industries, the one that will find a cure for HIV/AIDS, the generation that will end extreme poverty. There is still so much more for us and generations to come to achieve, many innovations that are awaiting that first step. We hope this documentary film meets expectations, is thought provoking and will give someone, somewhere a push they need to lead their community to greatness.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We would like to immensely show our gratitude to Dr Chiepe, Prof. Selelo Mogwe, Dr Nasha and Ms Sefhako for opening up their offices and homes to us to share their lives with everyone. Its safe to say without them, the first series of Molaya Kgosi HerStory would not exist.

A big thank you to our sponsors; The United States of America Embassy in Botswana, The Department of Women Affairs, Sauti Arts and Performance Managing Company, Gaborone Sun Hotel and Cresta President Hotel without their financial, technical and moral support our ideas wouldn’t be a reality. We thank the Ministry of Education, Secondary Education Department Guidance and Counseling for finding great interest in the project, enough to distribute to secondary schools. Lastly, a special thank you to all individuals who believed in this projects and who provided advise pre, during and post production.

All the best

B. Kenewendo (Executive Producer)

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