Two batswana youngsters who dined with Mandela

No Image

It is 1990 in Tokyo, Japan and an eight-year-old Motswana boy, Katlego Matsila, looks Nelson Mandela right in his eyes and asks him in English: " Do you speak Setswana?" Mandela responds: "I speak many African languages ... Dumela rra, ke bua Setswana. Lebitso la gago ke mang?"

Young Matsila's eyes brighten up with both surprise and pride to hear the famous African National Congress (ANC) leader speaking to him in Setswana, his mother language. Matsila, who is now reading for a Masters' Degree in Economics, was the star of the evening on the night of October 28 1990 when Nelson Mandela made his first tour of Asia shortly after he was released from Robben Island.

With his then 14-year-old sister Masego, who today is a marketing manager with a local independent newspaper, Mandela spotted them from the crowd and invited them over. Masego recalls how the two of them spent considerable time talking to the icon. "We were the only black children there; we had come to the event with our parents because my father was still working in Tokyo by then.

Editor's Comment
Your vote matters

This period, running from May 20 to 31 2024, is crucial for those who have not yet registered to vote. This announcement comes in response to a significant shortfall in registered voters following the recent registration period. As it stands, only 62% of the target number of voters registered, leaving a considerable gap.With Botswana's general elections scheduled for October, every eligible citizen needs to register and exercise their...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up