Vol.23 No.5

Monday 16 January 2006    





Cartoon Strip

Business Week



Arts/Culture Review




The Cave Of Fear And Evil

Tuduetso Setsiba
Staff Writer

1/16/2006 4:25:21 PM (GMT +2)

MOLEPOLOLE: For most people who grew up in Molepolole, a mention of Kobokwe's Cave evokes fear. To them Legaga la ga Kobokwe is a place of evil and no one should go there lest he or she perishes. The place of fear lies along the western side of the Thamaga/Molepolole road in magnificent hills.

The cave is traditionally associated with evil. In the past, it is believed that Bakwena chiefs often threw witches in the cave. As a result, their spirits are believed to be hovering at the place.

Sethukuthu Modiakgotla whose farm is not far from the cave never goes there. She strongly believes that the place is evil and would bring bad luck should she move close to it. "We were told that witches were thrown there in the past," she says. "We never go there because the place is a home to the ancestors."

During the night, she alleges that they often see a huge snake crossing from one hill to another. Her companion Mmaseaneng Selaledi says only spiritual leaders and Sangoma visit the cave to consult with the divine powers. She believes only those with powers to converse with the dead strengthen their powers and seek wisdom. "Chiefs also often go there to talk to ancestors on behalf of the tribe," she said.

Though the place is associated with evil, Bakang Tedi of Molepolole has visited the cave on several occasions.

At some point, he helped to guide students who came to visit the cave. "It has a beautiful surrounding but is so dark inside. We used the torches to light our way." Tedi says he has heard stories of witches being thrown into the cave. "I understand they were often caught in yards that have been fortified by strong traditional doctors. Once caught, the chiefs would not have any mercy as witchcraft at that time was intense and the villagers were living in fear," he says. He has heard that in the past, only people with connection to the supernatural powers could visit the place and come back safe.

A local historian, Dr Jeff Ramsay says that the cave has over the years been associated with evil. "I have heard that witches were often taken to the mountains and pushed into the cave," he says. The late Kgosi Sechele who converted to Christianity is said to have demystified the talk that one would disappear or have bad omen is they visit the cave. "I understand that he and David Livingston visited that place and left a coin there. I heard that people are still looking for that coin even today," Ramsay says. He has also heard about a huge snake with multiple heads that reside in the area. He does not believe that the reptile exists. Though the cave felt spooky when he visited it 20 years ago, Ramsay says there was nothing scary about it. He alluded to the intense marketing of the historical site to tourists. He suggested that the relevant authorities could take advantage of other historical sites in Molepolole and those in Kolobeng to lure more people to visit Botswana. Ramsay said the Kobokwe's Cave is one of the oldest historical sites in the country.

Though it is associated with evil, the cave is breathtaking. From a distance the green vegetation contrasts with the brownish colours of the neatly packed stones. Despite the beauty of the place, heaps of rubble and empty cans and plastic bags about. Farmers in the area blame this on contractors and merrymakers who come the to the place to kill time.

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