Naming institutions after icons

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Recently in Mmegi (2.10.15) Dithapelo Keorapetse suggested that it is time that the country better honoured its legendary figures and icons. He noted that Sir Seretse Khama is generously remembered and that throughout much of the country, it has been standard practice to name schools after major tribal figures.

He also noted, however, that people such as Masire, Mogae, Chiepe, Mpho, Matante, Koma and so on have been completely ignored.  Keorapetse’s concerns made me wonder who has been honoured in the past by giving their name to an institution, or to a major project and what might be learnt from such a list.

Those that pre-date Independence in 1966 are the Deborah Retief Memorial Hospital in Mochudi, the Bathoen Dam and King George V Memorial Hall and School in Kanye, the Athlone Hospital in Lobatse, the Sekgoma Hospital, the Arthington Hall (now only a deserted shell) and the Ruth Khama Hall all being in Serowe, the Hands Memorial Hall (a mere shell) in Mahalapye, and the Lady Liesching Clinic in Gaborone (now de-listed). After Independence comes another cluster – the Princess Marina Hospital and the Julia Molefhe Clinic, in Gaborone, the Ben Thema Primary School, and then, more recently, the three schools in Gaborone, Livingstone Kolobeng, Phillip Moshotle Memorial School, and Solomon Dihutso.

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