Hundreds of people thronged Phomolong Cemetery over the weekend to bury one of the country’s education icons.
Former students, former colleagues and the nation at large came to pay their last respects to the late Barache Busiswa Motsepe who worked as a teacher for more than 40 years. Speaker after speaker described her as a great woman who lived, breathed and ate education and instilled that into everyone who happened to be in her life. Bach, as she was popularly known, believed in good quality as was evidenced by the good results she produced in everything that she did. Bach instilled good values in her students and many of them have now made it in life. “When she was the school head at St Joseph’s College they produced excellent results and we were at par with schools such as Maruapula and Moeng College,” said Marx Mophuting.
Mophuting was one of the teachers at St Joseph’s College during Bach’s tenure as the school head then and said Bach was also a perfectionist who did not tolerate unfinished business and remembered her during the College’s 50th anniversary where she did a sterling job in preparations for the event.
Archie Makgothi informed mourners that Bach allowed drop-out students especially pregnant ones to go back to school to finish their studies. He said at that time when a student fell pregnant, it was not easy to go back and finish school because some school heads made it difficult for them to do so. “However Bach discussed this with me when I was the school head at Gaborone Secondary School, that if one of my students or hers fell pregnant then we should do some sort of exchange programme, me admitting hers and she mine. This actually worked for us such that other heads later joined,” he added.
“Bach valued friendship and was a very innovative person as she came up with the Roll of Honour award which was awarded to teachers who excelled in their job at her schools. She also believed in empowering women and was at the forefront in being vocal about teachers, especially at the middle management, for them to be promoted to senior posts, as we see many of them now heading schools”.
Bach had a strong character and had the will to live even when she was sick. She was steadfast in her faith.
“This was a lesson to many because she had that zest even in dire circumstances,” said Dijeng Lebatha.
Some described Bach as a link pin for her family as she knew each and every family member and was the best secret keeper whom the family and even people from outside family always confided in.
Bach was born in September 5, 1950 at Reitfontein, Mpumalanga, South Africa. She attended schools at Witbank, Manzini, before completing her BA in Education at the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. She was also a devoted Catholic. She taught in various schools in Botswana and was the school head at St Joseph’s College and Kagiso Secondary Schools before she retired in 1997. She is survived by her husband and five children.