Watches are portable timepieces, used to measure time and intervals. Historically, watches were worn as decorative pendants or carried in the pocket. In modern times, they are branded accessories most frequently worn on the wrist.
Ke Nako, a local watch brand, has hit the market with something that most Batswana can relate with. The company has watches that are of legacy, are relatable products; they speak to the style and taste of the wearer and communicate, by and large, the status of the wearer. Ke Nako have been modeled and labeled the Three Dikgosi Edition.
According to one of the Ke Nako co-founders, Gabriel Mothibedi, the brand name is derived from the Setswana phrase, which simply means ‘it’s time’, or ‘the time is now’. He noted in an interview with Arts & Culture that everything evolving around the human is influenced by time; the energy and efforts are all determined by time hence the brand tagline ‘Ke Nako.’
“The best way of understanding how to get the most out of your time starts with knowing in exact terms what your time is worth. Life brings to us two sides that are one positive and one negative. We turn to choose how best to live our lives, either on the brighter side (positive) or the darker side (negative). Day to day decisions are made and the best or worst results of the choices we made will be determined in time,” he said.
Mothibedi explained that they chose to use the Three Dikgosi Monument to honor the three chiefs, Sebele I, Bathoen I and Khama III, who in 1885, travelled from Bechuanaland to London for protection against handing over the country to South Africa.
“It is the most symbolic monument in our country in as far as its independence and therefore, who we are as a people is concerned. But
“That is why even at government level, diplomacy is a key principle of good governance. We as a country are famous for good governance, good leadership and an epitome of democracy and have been recognised for such multiple times internationally. It is from this perspective that we realised that as a part of our heritage, we needed to preserve the monument through a product that will reflect Botswana’s good governance, good leadership and good democracy, and that withstand the test of time,” he said.
Even though they are designed locally, Ke Nako watches are manufactured in Switzerland, the leading country in the watch-making industry. The company has been running for a year now. Mothibedi said they have been overwhelmed by the public support. The brand is marketed through different social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
He said they targeted Batswana who love watches and understand the symbolism, could relate with the watch at any level. He explained that their product differentiates itself readily from the international products. More than just being a good quality product with specifications of international standards, it carries a rich story of a people proud of their heritage and culture.
From the naming ‘Nako’ to the use of the most symbolic monument in their country, they are selling more than just a product, but a people’s history.