My Heritage – Katlego Phalatse

My Heritage, My Pride & My Guide

Ke Motswana wa MoAfrika (I am a Motswana of an African).

Katlego Phalatse

We pride ourselves in the unique eye catching traditional attires of Seshweshwe le Moteitshi. Our cultural clothing has evolved over the centuries, and for Batswana women the attire indicates a women’s position and the role she plays within a household. It is usually a voluminous outfit of dull color over which she wears a multi-colored apron tied at the back then finished off with a scarf tied around the head.

The Batswana culture is recognized through the cultural songs and dances that gather masses for entertainment, sharing and cultivating happiness. The profound and deep rooted meanings in our traditional names that we are given at birth stretches the buoyancy of our culture. The names Kearabetswe (they have answered), Kgosietsile (the King has come), Sethunya (Flower), Tau(Lion), Kebonemodisa (I have seen/or found a shepard) only to name a few, are passed from generation to generation. Every clan proudly shares their praise at gatherings of all sorts:

Ke Motswana wa MoAfrika (I am a Motswana of an African).

Ke mmaramaa’Kotu lekumula dithaka.

Ke mafiri ke magadimana ntweng,
Ga re ja ga re gadime.

Phiri tsa’ Molopo a’ Mogale, marinarina a Borankhumise!
Motho o rileng a tsaa motho a mo akga,

A mo refosa ka theko ‘a lerumo,
Mompei ga a yo, Mompei o ile masimong.

Ke moagi o montsho wa motse wa Rakau,

Dihemela tsa motse wa Mmakhunwana.

Ke ngwana’ mosadi o lebele le makgabe,

E reng ngwana a lela a tsee lebele a le akgele kwa morago
Ngwana a didimale!

Ke ditlogolwana kwa Mmamarama’ Kotu!

Ke ditlogolwana tsa matebele a Makonkonyane

O ba bone, fa ba tlhoka kgomo

Ba tshwara motho ba mo soboloka fela.

Ditlogolwana tsa Bommaramaa’ Kotu

Ba kotula diako ba tlogela mfero!

Ke bosebesa-ka-dimeko

Dikgong di le teng!

Mmamaraama!!! Mmmooou!!!

Heritage defines us and it’s the strongest weapon that unites us all. It is an essential aspect in life which we all need to embrace with respect and honour.

“It is a historical truth, no man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been, exactly how he arrived at his present place”. Who did you quote here?

We the Batswana people are rich with diversity that can be seen in our many clans, each with its own culture and dialect. There are, however, certain elements of Batswana culture that bind us, such as the use of cattle as currency and similar traditions of ancestral reverence. The different clans spans over a number of subgroups or “tribes”: Bahurutshe, Bakaa, Bakgatla(Bakgatla ba bakgafela le ba rrakau), Bakwena, Bamalete, Bangwaketse, Bangwato, Barolong (Seleka and Tshidi), Batawana, Batlhaping, Batlharo, and Batlokwa.

My Heritage My Pride & My Guide…

I often meet people who’d ask me where I’m from and who I am. “Ke Motswana from the North Western side of South Africa”, I’d reply with an innocent smirk on my face. “You’re so humble, your people are humble”, is the response that I would receive.

It is undeniable that Batswana people are humble, at least most if not all. Raised to be proud and bold.

If anything culture comprises of food- it is food prepared in such a way that separates other tribes from us, ting (sour porridge), tsotlho (shredded cow meat), refreshments such as khadi (traditional cider) and traditional beer.

Not only is this food to us, there are certain ways in which it is prepared and preserved before cooking. Food is amongst the many ways we honor our tradition, one of the ways that bring people together to share and appreciate the distinct taste, enjoy themselves and engage in different conversations.

In as much as I was raised in a modernized society, culture is still an important part of who and what I am. I may not be exposed to what my forefathers did and they’re ways of living back in the day but some of their practices or ways of doing things are carried out in the 21st century. The best kept practices are still evident in celebrations such as weddings, ancestral ceremonies and the spiritual practices.

“People without the knowledge of their past history, origin and cultural is like a tree without roots”, Marcus Garvey.  Cite the author of this quote

Mokgatla wa Mmakau.

Previous Celebrating cultural unity

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