Remembering a Good Samaritan dedicated to Tonota

Torchbearer: Mme Mmaditsapelo
Torchbearer: Mme Mmaditsapelo

Mme Boijane Sabokone Mpotokwane can be described as a local Good Samaritan who worked tirelessly to transform the health care system in her village from humble beginnings to what it is today.

Popularly known as Mme Mmaditsapelo, Mme Boijane was born and raised in Tonota. Her education started at her home village, Tonota, in 1932. Her primary education teachers were Rre Bothasitse Masedi, Rre Rakesoketswe Tshipa, and Rre Lekula Mmolawa, popularly known as Ranswazwi. She also attended primary at Bobonong and Ramokgwebana. Mme Boijane later proceeded to Impandeni Roman Catholic Boarding School in Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia).  She then completed her education at Tigerkloof in South Africa in 1942, where she schooled with Sir Seretse Khama, Rre Mmualefe Raditladi, and Mme Gaositwe Chiepe.  Following her education at Tigerkloof, Mme Boijane was immediately employed at the Jubilee Hospital in Francistown in 1942 as a tailor to mend patients’ clothing. Later she was promoted to answer phone calls in Matron Barnes’ office under the supervision of Mme MmaPeter Lesolepina Moroka (affectionately known as Makhulu). At Jubilee Hospital, Mme Mmaditsa worked with Dr Square, Dr Morgan and Dr Cunningham. The District Commissioner at that time was Mr Robinson. As years went by, Mme Mmaditsa got married and decided to leave her job. 

In 1962, Mme Boijane traced back her steps and rejoined the health care service. She was then posted to the old Tonota Clinic as a General Duty Assistant (GDA). At this clinic, she worked alone with doctors and nurses commuting from Francistown. She prides herself as the first health care worker posted to this Tonota Clinic and the clinic was under her care. It was located by the banks of the Shashe River. Later on, two employees were posted to Tonota clinic; Staff Nurse Bontsi Lebelo from Serowe as head of the clinic and Mme Mmathebe Matsetse from Tlokweng as a nurse. At that time, the clinic Head Office was St. Peter’s Hospital in Mmadinare. The staff nurse was consulting and the nurse was giving injections, doing dressings, and attending to pregnant women. Mmaditsa gave medicines and pills. She then ended up nicknamed ‘Gararo ka letsatsi’ because she gave medicines and pills to be taken three times a day (morning, afternoon and evening). To this day, she is passionately referred to as ‘Gararo ka letsatsi’ by Tonota residents. The old clinic is also referred to as ‘Clinic ya ga Mmaditsapelo’. At the clinic, they were visited by doctors from Mmadinare on a rotational basis. The first to visit the clinic was Dr Ross. He was driven by Rre Ragontse Motimedi from Mmadinare. Mme Mmaditsa worked peacefully with Dr Ross and she honoured him by naming one of her sons ‘Ross’. Other doctors and nurses came from Francistown on a commuting basis, namely Dr Moeti, Dr Mashalaba, Dr Horn and Dr Seakgosing. All the nurses worked on a rotational basis except Mmaditsa. She received all personnel and was responsible for keeping the clinic keys. Later on, two female welfare educators, Evelyn Moyo and Galetlwaelwe Mmolawa joined them at the clinic.  Mmaditsa worked tirelessly as there were no resources such as transport. She used the bicycle bought by Mr Sebogodi to run the clinic errands. Subsequently, they were given an ambulance from Serowe and were driven by Rre Mariana Kasara from Serowe. The storeroom was then built to keep maluti and other food rations. Mmaditsa was then promoted from GDA to Female Welfare Educator following the Welfare Educator course she had attended at Sebele. Her GDA position was then taken by Mme Keimetswe Tangane.  With time, the Tonota Clinic started experiencing an increase in the number of patients. A new and bigger clinic was subsequently built opposite Masedi Primary School. This clinic was under the supervision of St. Peter’s Mission in Mmadinare. Later, the clinic was under Serowe Council and no longer under St. Peter’s Hospital. The staff of the old Tonota clinic then moved to this new clinic in November 1978. They were helped by Dr Seakgosing to move their goods from the old clinic to the new location, using his own vehicle. The new clinic was clear and spacious. More people were employed and mobile clinics opened up at Dimotswe, Mabesekwa, Leribe, Kokorega and Petoria. Mmaditsa retired in 1987 and her wish was for the clinic to grow more and become a hospital.  Below are a few of the outstanding contributions to Tonota Clinic and the legacy she will leave behind:

Editor's Comment
CoA brings sanity to DIS/DCEC long-standing feud

This decision follows the raiding of the office of the former Director General of the DCEC, Tymon Katlholo early 2022 and his staff officer by the DIS operatives who reportedly took files that they had targeted.After all back and forth arguments, the CoA has set the record straight giving an invaluable lesson to the DIS that it was no super security organ and it does not have any powers to cogently supervise other security organs including the...

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