Bakgatla queen mother passes on At 79

Kathleen Nono Kgafela
Kathleen Nono Kgafela

Bakgatla queen mother, Kathleen Nono Kgafela has passed on. Mma Seingwaeng passed on Sunday morning at Sidilega Hospital after a three-day long hospitalisation.

Born in 1943, Mma Seingwaeng was married to Kgosi Linchwe Kgafela who died in 2007. She is mother to self-exiled Kgosi Kgafela Kgafela, Minister Mmusi Kgafela, Seingwaeng and Bakgatla Kgafela.

At the time of going to press, the family was yet to appoint a spokesperson to deal with media enquiries. Mma Seingwaeng was a celebrated nation builder who in 2008 had an exhibition in her honour.

According to Mmegi (sister publication to The Monitor) archives, the guest speaker at the exhibition, Kgosi Mosadi Seboko, praised Mma Seingwaeng for the contributions she had made in the lives of Bakgatla and the nation at large. Kgosi Seboko pointed out that as a former nurse, Mma Seingwaeng started a non-profit making association aimed at combating the HIV/AIDS scourge. She asserted that the association, called Bakgatla Bolokang Matshelo, has been in operation since 1998 and offers counselling services to orphans and the terminally ill.


Kgosi Seboko revealed that the association, which is under the Ministry of Health, receives assistance from individuals, business organisations, churches and women’s associations. She added that even though Mma Seingwaeng was married at the tender aged of 23, she had to perform other national duties. Kgosi Seboko revealed that Mma Seingwaeng had to join her husband in the United States of America (US) in 1968 when Kgosi Linchwe was appointed Botswana’s ambassador to Washington DC.

Mma Seingwaeng enrolled at the Anglican Holy Cross where she completed her primary education before moving on to Klinaton Training Institute for secondary education. She finished her tertiary education with the Anglican Church Hospital Nursing School in Soweto.

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