Updated: Jan 15, 2020
Botswana, affectionately referred to as BOTS, is beautiful beyond words and Batswana (the people of Bots, Motswana [singular]) are warm and hospitable. There are four things that I love most about my country, and these are; the food, the landscapes & wildlife, the stability and our cultures.
Botswana is nicely tucked away between South Africa (on her south), Namibia (on her west), Zimbabwe (on her east) and Zambia & Angola to her North. So, if you haven’t guessed it already she is landlocked and covers 581,730 km2.
Borrowing from the craft of basket weaving as an illustration, such is the beauty of Botswana. I and many don’t call it beautiful Botswana for nothing, it is because Botswana is indeed the land of beautifuls; beautiful sunsets, beautiful sunrises, beautiful wildlife, beautiful fauna & flora, beautiful blue skies, beautiful landscapes, beautiful birdlife, beautiful riveting history & people and I could keep going but I don’t want to be accused of being biased. One thing is certain and that is there is something for everyone, of all ages, all this diversity woven together in one beautiful country. Imagine this, the fish eagle fishes side by side with the local fishermen, the black maned lion roams the same terrain with the Bushmen in search of the next meal, the Okavango Delta spreads its fingers as deep into the country as the roots and branches of the Baobab tree, the rolling sand waves of the Kgalagadi sand dunes dare you to surf them, the ancient rock paintings of the Tsodilo hills take you on a time travel journey and the largest population of elephants will humble any giant with their magnificence. She is beautiful beyond words, and with more to offer than I can put in words, but in one word, it’s an EXPERIENCE. A beautiful one if I may add.
Many people I have met thought we are a homogenous nation. The best kept and most beautiful secret is that we are a very diverse nation with about 12 ethnic groups who speak different ethnic languages. Of these ethnic groups, the Tswana group is the largest and is made up of eight tribes that speak Setswana or a dialect of Setswana. As the Tswana are the majority, the national language is Setswana, but other languages are spoken in the areas of each ethnic group. Some of these are Sekalaka, Sesarwa, Seherero, Seyei, Sengologa, Sesobeya, Sembukushu to name a few.
If you are anything like me and love a good story here’s my favourite… it’s the legacy about the University of Botswana. There is a moving story behind the establishment of the university. Ask anyone to tell you about it when you are in the Capital City, Gaborone, or the second city, The City of Francistown, or simply use it as a conversation starter and I guarantee that you will be inspired.
Lastly, another thing I find thought-provoking is that the one thing we love most (even more than our diamond wealth), is the one thing that we have the least, and that is PULA (rain). So much so that our currency is the Pula, and our motto is Pula (Let there be rain). The primary colour of our flag is blue to signify the importance of rain and water to our semi-arid country. In Botswana, we have traditional community gatherings called kgotla/lekgotla at which PULA, is chanted to show consensus and also as a note of greeting and farewell. With that said,