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Botswana Honours Legends...They Laid the Foundation

S

tars are glittering land marks of the universe because when darkness falls humanity visibly experiences their spectacle. 

Far above the earth surface they sparkle and one might assume the Creator may have positioned them strategically to lessen the pitch black darkness and light up the earth beautifully. 

Thus it was on the 29th of September that Botswana celebrated these stars, its founders who were at the forefront of Botswana’s transition from a British Protectorate to a sovereign and democratic republic who have given shape in all facets to the Botswana of today. 

From a country which was among the poorest nations in the world 50 years ago these stars shinned to give it its sparkle transcending outsiders critics view in former President Sir Ketumile Masire’s words that when Botswana attained independence in 1966 there was general view among outsiders that the founders of this nation “were either very brave of very foolish.”

During the glittering awards ceremony at Gaborone International Convention Center (GICC) Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Mr Eric Molale said given the low levels of human resource and infrastructural development at the time and being a landlocked country which was surrounded by hostile minority rule regimes, the doubters of Botswana’s independence saw little prospect for Botswana to thrive and some suggested that that we become a subordinate of the apartheid regime .  

Thus, he said the golden generation defied the odds and displayed courage which he said the main ingredient to their formidable force was the shared norms and social behavior embedded in our communities.

He noted that the 75 stars were appreciated as founders of Botswana who have planted a rich legacy for Batswana hence deserve to be celebrated and their footsteps followed with boldness to build a better Botswana.

In his foreword in the Botswana Honors Awards profiles booklet for the 75 awardees President Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama said, “This award denotes the quality and essence of the people being recognized as being efficient and devoted in their service to the Republic of Botswana. 

Today we acknowledge the contribution made in 1966 by our heroes and heroines. Our success story of a humble beginning continues to inspire us to do even more than what our pioneers started.”

In an interview Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President, Ms Kebonye Moepeng said the awards were held under the Golden Jubilee BOT50 theme; United and Proud nation to appreciate togetherness, the peace and stability and the progressive growth that Botswana has enjoyed for the past 50 years in various sectors of the economy. 

She said President Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama saw it fitting to bestow honors on the former state Presidents of Botswana, the former vice Presidents, First cabinet, First Parliament, First members of the House of House of Chiefs, First ladies, First Members of the First Legislative Council as well as Pioneers in various sectors of the economy.

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