Standing its ground

Still standing: Kgale Hill is one of Gaborone’s most renowned landmarks
Still standing: Kgale Hill is one of Gaborone’s most renowned landmarks

It is the only hill that is a part of this city. But that is just one sense of it. Another is that fame came to it in an unprecedented way: it is the only place in this country that has ever given rise to a Hollywood-like name for itself.

But since 2008, this brief claim to movie-making (about a fearless woman sleuth) is no more – confirming that pop names are intrinsically ephemeral, although in their wake, we may be left with memorable performing artistry! What still remains though is that the top of this hill is the only place that offers a near perfect view of the Gaborone Dam, Mokolodi nature reserve, the A1 highway, the quarry and the city’s skyline. Amazingly, even on its ground, you also get one of the best flat views of the city as you enter it from the south on the dual carriage highway.

The name Kgale has an easy pronunciation with this country’s desert, Kgalagadi. Gaborone, the city and capital that it abounds on its southern fringe, is a gruff name made mellifluous by the constant reference of the city’s residents and visitors. It may be that the name Kgale - in English, the place that dried up - is an appropriate moniker for this hill – the entire country itself is a dry place anyhow! But whatever the season of the year or the hour of the day, on its hilltop the sun has virtual dominance as the city below the hill is both topographically and literally flat. At all times, and despite past and current human encroachment, Kgale Hill stands its ground at the edge of the city! In turn, it always renders it virtually impossible to regard the city as existing beyond the hill itself.

Editor's Comment
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