Africa�s First World War (Part 3) �Batswana In The Saudf�

Last week, we observed that at least some of the hundreds of thousands of Africans who were recruited into the French Army during the First World War had responded to Blaise Diagne’s promises of post-war equality: “When you return you will replace the whites in the administration, you will have decorations and you will gain the same salaries as the whites who are here.”

The influence of the first black French MP was not just confined to the ranks of “La Force Noire.” In his memoires, veteran Stimela Jingoes vividly recalled the day Diagne addressed Batswana, as well as his fellow Basotho and Swazi, members of the South African Native Labour Contingent (SANLC) Fifth Battalion in France:   

“We were told one day that some of France’s great men would be coming to camp, among them members of the French Parliament. When they arrived there was a black man among them, and we assumed that he was simply there to accompany his white masters. We were staggered when these men were introduced, for the pitch black man held a high position in the Government. When we asked how he had come to occupy such a position when he was black, we were told that there was no colour bar at all in France, and that a person was elected to office because of his education and ability;...

Editor's Comment
Something ought to be done about deadly A3 Road

The accident which happened near Marapong village comes after yet another horrific accident which claimed 16 lives in July last year near Hubona. These stats don’t include other accidents where fatalities were not as many as the two.While several factors may have contributed to the two accidents and many others, many believe the biggest with that road is the bad state that the road is in. Unconfirmed reports in the most recent accident state...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up