Mmegi Online :: World’s eyes focus on Kanye
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Friday 16 November 2018, 13:42 pm.
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World’s eyes focus on Kanye

Thousands of mourners, including current and past African presidents, will join a global television and online audience today as the world bids farewell to former President, Sir Ketumile Masire.
By Tsaone Basimanebotlhe Thu 29 Jun 2017, 14:15 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: World’s eyes focus on Kanye








Masire, regarded as the principal architect of the country’s economic success and a peacemaker around the world, will be laid to rest in his ward of Goo-Matebejana in Kanye in the culmination of a national mourning period after his death on June 22.

Yesterday, about 1,500 people gathered at the University of Botswana’s sports centre for a memorial service featuring senior local and regional political and judicial leaders, heads of embassies, family members and prominent regional dignitaries.

President Ian Khama and his deputy, Mokgweetsi Masisi were also in attendance.

Before Masire’s coffin, draped in the national flag, his sister Gabalengwe Koma described her brother as a father to the family, a role he particularly performed after their parents passed on.

“He gave us love and support during that hard time,” she said.

“We were very close and every time he would call me “mother”. I remember the time he refused to accept bogadi when Mahalapye people wanted to pay when I was getting married.

“When people got shocked, he simply said, “nyaya nna ga ke rekise kgaitsadiake, eseng mo go mme.”

She said the loss of their parents at a young age brought the Masire family closer together.

The late Masire’s son, Mmetla, said the former president insisted on an entirely normal upbringing.

“Our father never gave us any special treatment as his children. We walked to school like any other children and we knew that every Friday we had go to the cattle post. “The painful experience

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was that the cattle post was far in Gantsi where there were a lot of lions. However, we never grew up alone,” he said.

Mmetla said from his father, he had learnt that nothing in life comes easily and one has to go through tough times in order to achieve anything worthwhile.

“He would often come and advise me on certain issues,” Mmetla said.

“When I went to check him, we would take more than an hour discussing various issues. He loved reading. My father valued family time and he would not mix it with politics or bring political discussions home.”

Masire’s sister-in-law Bessie Raditladi paid tribute to the former president’s industrious staff for taking care of him “during hard times”.

“The drivers, cleaners, police amongst others, took good care of Masire even after the death of his wife. These people played a good role and the family is proud of them,” Raditladi said.

Former vice president, Ponatshego Kedikilwe said Masire had played a positive role in the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), where he served as secretary general for more than 18 years.

“He served this party for the longest under that portfolio. In 1965, the BDP manifesto had messages such as ‘thopho ke lerumo’, ‘Le re seka seke re le di party tse di farologanyeng’, ‘Mmualebe o bua la gagwe’. These messages made us align with Batswana very well,” Kedikilwe said.

Masire’s funeral entourage left for Kanye yesterday afternoon after the UB memorial.

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