Mogakolodi Nelson Boikanyo, a native son of Botswana, passed from this life into the next on March 7, 2018.
This followed an unfortunate and tragic illness that cost him to lose his leg; perhaps if better immediate medical care had been available, his life may have been spared.
Mogakolodi Nelson Boikanyo was an incredible human being. Whenever he walked into a room, his big smile filled the room with light. Mogakolodi was a modest man, but he was very intelligent and quite creative and talented in the arts.
Mogakolodi loved the Setswana language, and he wrote novels and stories in Setswana, which have since been used in schools throughout the country. He loved photography and became a self-taught photojournalist. He not only became quite accomplished, but he also achieved status as an award-winning photojournalist.
As he continued to develop his skills, he increasingly became more interested in the investigative aspects of journalism, particularly criminal investigation. This passion became so strong, that he pursued a university degree in the US. He graduated, with top honours, from the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2011.
Mogakolodi was admitted into Phi Theta Kappa, an honour society for scholastic high achievers. He received an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology and also an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics.
He was accepted at the University of Botswana to complete a four-year Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies and had been working hard toward graduation.
His illness slowed him down in obtaining his goal, but he only needed a few more credit hours to complete the degree and to graduate. He was looking forward to applying to a graduate programme. Mogakolodi built his own home in Sikwane, and more recently had been developing a plot in Kasane. He also owned a farm close to the Limpopo River, where he had been raising free-range chickens, ducks, geese, goats, and pigs. He loved farming and looked forward to spending more time on the farm and developing this important resource for his community.
But more important to Mogakolodi than any of his accomplishments or possessions was his daughter, Koketso Sheebah K. Letsati. While he frequently called her KK, he more often called her Queen Sheebah or just “The Queen.”
He was not able to swerve in one direction because of a building, and he refused to hit the children, so he swerved in the other direction, into a culvert at the side of the road. His Subaru rolled over and over and over, before stopping upside down, smashed flat like a griddle cake. The airbags activated, he managed to force an opening in the driver-side window and crawled out. He stood up and was able to walk away. No one at the site could believe that he had not been killed, let alone to get out of the wreckage and walk away. An elderly gentleman from the village had rushed to the automobile, and when he saw Mogakolodi emerge, he exclaimed: “Rasta! God was driving with you!
Mogakolodi made a Hero’s choice that day, to risk his life for children of Botswana. He made a difference with his choice to risk harm of himself over harm of small children that day, and he should be honoured by all for this!
Mogakolodi Nelson Boikanyo was an incredible human being. The world is a better place because Mogakolodi graced us with his presence. His beautiful spirit and vital energy will always be with those of us who knew him and love him.
Mogakolodi, remarkable son of Botswana, will always be with those he loved. At the time of his death, he was working as a university student, as a freelance photojournalist, and also as a farmer. He is survived by his beloved daughter, Koketso Sheebah K. Letsati, his loving fiancée, Professor Lisa Lopez Levers, of the USA, as well as other family members.
April 20, 1974 – March 7, 2018
LISA LOPEZ LEVERS