Remembering ZK

Few figures achieved more international prominence but are more locally forgotten, than Botswana’s first Ambassador to the United Nations, United States of America and Canada - Professor Zachariah Keodirelang “Z.K.” Matthews (1901–68).

In addition to being our country’s star diplomat at independence Z.K. was one of 20th century Africa’s intellectual giants. The long-term Vice-Chancellor of Fort Hare College, he acted as the mentor to the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the 1940s; while also serving as a father figure to founders of nationalist movements in Botswana, Lesotho, Kenya, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In the struggle against Apartheid, he helped bridge the post-World War gap between the impatient ANCYL and the movement’s old guard. As the President of the ANC’s Cape Province branch, he led in the drafting of the 1949 Programme of Action that resulted in the Defiance Campaign. Often referred to as “the Father of the Freedom Charter,” having first proposed the convening of the 1955 Congress of the People, he is also remembered as the first black Southern African to address the United Nations on the crimes of Apartheid.

Editor's Comment
Routine child vaccination imperative

The recent Vaccination Day in Motokwe, orchestrated through collaborative efforts between UNICEF, USAID, BRCS, and the Ministry of Health, underscores a commendable stride towards fortifying child health services.The painful reality as reflected by the Ministry of Health's data regarding the decline in routine immunisation coverage since the onset of the pandemic, is a cause for concern.It underscores the urgent need to address the...

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