Bakgatla Bojale drum gets UNESCO recognition

Mma Seingwaeng and guests
Mma Seingwaeng and guests

Bakgatla women’s initiation drum, moropa, which has been in existence for over 100 years, has been recognised by UNESCO as a heritage item to be preserved.

The tribes women culminated at Phuthadikobo museum, (former Bakgatla National School built in 1921) to celebrate the big Day in true Bakgatla style. The event was organised by  Mohumagadi Mma  Seingwaeng together with UNESCO officials to shoot a ten  minutes video of  Bakgatla women showcasing bojale, the initiation ceremony.

 The elderly dressed on mateisi (German print) and megagolwane, holding Moologa tree branches , while the young ones acted as boswaile, (the initiates).

The whole affair was to showcase bojale (women initiation school) and show everything that happens there during bojale. The young ones wore miniskirts tucked in their panties and not putting anything on their heads unlike the elderly.


Mma Seingwaeng had her best moment as she was dancing and singing leading the tribesmen.

However, Mma Seingwaeng could not allow the drum to be photographed because  the whole bojale affair is confidential particularly the drum.  The shooting was also postponed because the only drum player was not well and no one else is allowed to play it while she is alive.

Among other things they were advised to shoot a  ten  minutes video showcasing bojale.

Mma Seingwaeng thanked the tribeswomen who attended and assured them that the meeting had the blessing of kgosi kgafela and mohumagadi Mma-matshego.

Mma Seingwaeng said that the reason why she went to see both of them is that during the graduation of the last bojale at the main Kgotla, she officially handed the drum to Mma Matshego.

The drum traditionally is kept  at the Mochudi Museum when not in use. According to Mma Seingwaeng  Bakgatla women have two bojale drums, and that  the other one now  is at the National museum in Gaborone. Both drums have 200 years between them  and have been used in  all bojale ceremonies.

Earlier on Mangana regiment , kgosi Kgafela’s age regiment, had converged the tribe at the main kgotla where they bashed Mma Seingwaeng saying she was  out of order for convening the meeting at the  Phuthadikobo museum.

The Mangana chair Moagi Molebatsi  claimed hat Kgafela did not know anything about his mother’s meeting at Phuthadikobo.

However  Mma Seingwaeng’s meeting went well without any disturbance  with the few tribeswomen who attended..

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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