Obelisk in Mahikeng commemorating British soldiers who died during the Siege of Mafeking.
|District||Ngaka Modiri Molema|
|• Total||24.57 km2 (9.49 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,500.0 m (4,921.3 ft)|
|• Density||620/km2 (1,600/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||74.5%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (SAST)|
|Postal code (street)|
Mahikeng, formerly, and still commonly known as Mafikeng and historically Mafeking in English, is the capital city of the North-West Province of South Africa. It was the site of the Siege of Mafeking during the Second Boer War.
Located close to South Africa's border with Botswana, Mahikeng is 1,400 km (870 mi) northeast of Cape Town and 260 km (160 mi) west of Johannesburg. In 2001, it had a population of 49,300. In 2007, Mafikeng was reported to have a population of 250,000 of which the CBD constitutes between 69,000 and 75,000. It is built on the open veld at an elevation of 1,500 m (4,921 ft), by the banks of the Upper Molopo River. The Madibi goldfields are some 15 km (9.3 mi) south of the town.
Mahikeng is the headquarters of the Barolong Boo Ratshidi people. The town was founded by Molema Tawana (c. 1822 – January 1882). Born in Khunwana during the difaqane period, Molema was the son of Kgosi Tawana of the Tshidi Barolong. Molema's brother and close confidant, Montshiwa, later became chief. During the period that the Tshidi Barolong resided at Thaba Nchu, where they found refuge during the difaqane, Molema was converted to Christianity by the Wesleyan missionaries based there. Molema's son and heir, Silas Molema, was educated at Healdtown College. (Silas helped his nephew Sebopioa Molema get to the United States about 1904 to study law at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio.)
In 1857 Molema led an advance guard to scout out the area along the Molopo River. This was a familiar area as they had previously lived in nearby Khunwana. Molema settled at Mafikeng (known in its early years as "Molema's town"), while the main body of the Barolong under Montshiwa followed. But Montshiwa did not feel safe at Mafikeng due to the close presence and encroachment of the Boers in the Transvaal. He led his followers to Moshaneng in the territory of the Bangwaketse in present-day Botswana.
Molema remained at Mafikeng to ensure that the Barolong retained a presence there. Several of Montshiwa's other brothers were also stationed at crucial sites in the proximity of the Molopo. Molema had to use all his diplomatic skills on several occasions to prevent Boer incursion and settlement near Mafikeng. He has been described as a man of "strong personality and exceptional gifts...and Montshiwa's chief counsellor in vital matters". (S.M Molema:35) After negotiations with Molema, Montshiwa decided to return to Mafikeng in 1876.
Molema was a firm believer in Western education, having attended Healdtown; he opened a school for the Barolong once they had settled in the district. Molema became a farmer and businessman, as well as advising his brother Montshiwa. He died in 1882. One of his sons, Silas Molema, became a Doctor and historian of the Barolong. (see S.M. Molema). The settlement was named Mafikeng, a Setswana name meaning "place of stones". Later British settlers spelled the name as "Mafeking". The Jameson Raid started from Pitsani Pothlugo (or Potlogo) 24 miles (39 km) north of Mafeking on December 29, 1895.
Siege of Mafeking
At the outbreak of the Second Boer War in 1899, the town was besieged. The Siege of Mafeking lasted 217 days from October 1899 to May 1900, and turned Robert Baden-Powell into a national hero. In September 1904, Lord Roberts unveiled an obelisk at Mafeking bearing the names of those who fell in defence of the town. In all, 212 people were killed during the siege, with more than 600 wounded. Boer losses were significantly higher.
Incorporation into Bophuthatswana
Although it was outside the protectorate's borders, Mafeking served as capital of the Bechuanaland Protectorate from 1894 until 1965, when Gaborone was made the capital of what was to become Botswana. Mafeking also briefly served as capital of the Bantustan of Bophuthatswana in the 1970s, before the adjoining town of Mmabatho was established as capital when Bophuthatswana became nominally independent in 1977.
Capital of North-West Province
Following the end of apartheid in 1994, Bophuthatswana was formally reincorporated into South Africa. With that, the merged Mafikeng and Mmabatho became capital of the new North-West Province under the name Mafikeng. In February 2010, Lulu Xingwana, the Minister of Arts and Culture changed the town's name to Mahikeng.
- North-West University
- Mafikeng railway station
- Mmabatho Stadium
- Mafikeng Airport
- Mafikeng Game Reserve (4800 Ha)
- Botsalano Game Reserve (5800 Ha)
- Molemane Eye Nature Reserve
- Ntando Qelo
- Mmabatho Convention Centre
- Lotlamoreng Dam
- Mafikeng Museum
- Cookes Lake Resort
- Scout Centre,Cookes Lake Resort
The town's name was first spelt by British settlers as Mafeking, but the name reverted to Mafikeng in 1980 following its incorporation into Bophuthatswana. In February 2010, Lulu Xingwana, the Minister of Arts and Culture, approved the town's name to be changed again to Mahikeng. Despite this the town's ANC-run local government and most local residents still refer to the town as Mafikeng both informally and formally.
Notable people from Mahikeng
- Judge Yvonne Mokgoro: Former justice at the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
- Credo Mutwa: artist who lived for years in the village of Lotlamoreng outside Mafikeng
- Cassper Nyovest: South African recording artist and producer.
- Shimane Tsholofelo Brown Matsime: former Selimathunzi presenter and Boy Scout Master
- Cebo Clement Manyaapelo: Motsweding FM's presenter and sports commentator
- Mogoeng Reetsang Thomas Mogoeng, Chief Justice of South Africa
- DJ Fistaz
- Marius Gabriel Cipolla, author writing as Marius Gabriel
- Tumelo Kepadisa simply known as Tuks or Tuks Senganga, Motswako rapper born in Mafikeng.
- Jabulani Tsambo, better known by his stage name Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP) and his nickname, "Jabba". He was a South African Motswako rapper, recording artist and producer
- Tseko Mogotsi, Tumbler, Gymnast and CEO of the South African Gymnastics Federation
- Tebogo Kgobokoe, Dancer
- Ruta Monare, Tennis player
- John Qwelane: Prolific Writer, Journalist and Columnist and Former Ambassador to Uganda
- Tebogo Dominic Modise:Professional Tennis Player and Head Women's Tennis Coach,University of Southern Mississippi
- Sylvester "City" Kole, Soccer player, Kaizer Chiefs player
- Tebogo Dominic "Pele" Modise, Tennis player and coach, University of Southern Mississippi
- Norman "Goalpower" Makhetha, Soccer player and Moroka Swallows defender
- Mokone Qobolo: Dancer, New York
- Motlapele (Mo'Molemi Morule, Hip-hop artist
- Dr. Silas Modiri Molema: Medical Doctor
- Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje :intellectual, journalist, linguist, politician, translator and writer. Plaatje was a founder member and first General Secretary of the South African Native National Congress, which became the Africal National Congress
- Andrew Kelehe: Winner of the 2001 Comrades Marathon
- Presley Chweneyagae: Actor and Oscar Award-winner
- Johnny Mokhali, Traditional Setswana Music Artist
- Timothy Thibogang Lesejane, Soccer player, Kaizer Chiefs striker
- Kagiso Marumo: Soccer player, North-West University (NWU) Soccer Institute academic liaison officer and team manager, Platinum Stars Academy Manager
- Bonang Matheba, Television host, radio personality and businesswoman
- Thato Molamu:Generations actor
- Vuyo Dabula: Actor on Generations The Legacy
- Neo Ramitshana, actress in Skeem Saam, seasons 2 and 3
- Zenzo Ngqobe, Actor in Rhythm City, Jozi-H, Hillside, Intersexions, Ga Re Dumele, The Forgotten Kingdom
- Advocate Lesang Cyril Lobakeng - a lawyer and politician born in Magogwe village in Mahikeng. A struggle hero who took part in the liberation of the people of Bophuthatswana.
|Climate data for Mafikeng|
|Record high °C (°F)||40
|Average high °C (°F)||31
|Average low °C (°F)||18
|Record low °C (°F)||8
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||117
|Average precipitation days||13||10||10||7||3||1||1||1||2||6||9||9||72|
|Source: South African Weather Service|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Coats of arms
By 1910, the municipal council had assumed a coat of arms. The arms depicted, from top to bottom, (1) two African heads on a background of wavy silver and blue stripes, (2) two rocks between eight artillery shells on a red background, and (3) a background of wavy silver and blue stripes strewn with diamond-shaped fusils; in the centre was a crowned shield depicting a golden lion with a sword and Union Jack shield between three golden rings. The crest was a similar lion standing on a rock, and the motto was Ne cede.
The arms were: "Per saltire: I, Gules, a fasces fesswise Argent; II and III, barry wavy of eight Argent and Azure; IV, Gules, three annulets Or, placed 1 and 2; the whole within a bordure Argent charged with eight pellets". In layman's terms, the shield was divided in four by two diagonal lines, and displayed (1) a silver fasces on a red background, (2) and (3) eight wavy silver and blue stripes, and (4) three golden rings (one over two) on a red background, all within a silver border charged with eight black discs.
The crest was a red lion standing on a rock and holding a sword. The motto remained Ne cede.
- "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20–26)" (PDF). pp. xlv–lii.
- "Main Place Mahikeng". Census 2011.
- Barolong Boo Ratshidi Archived 2011-01-08 at the Wayback Machine.
- B. Mbenga and A. Manson. "North West History – Tawana Molema". Historical encyclopaedia of South Africa's North-West Province. Department of Economic Affairs & Tourism, North West Province. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- James T. Campbell, Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 254–259
- "History of Mafikeng". Retrieved 2010-02-24.
- "Mafikeng / Mmabatho (South Africa)". Retrieved 2013-05-13.
- jonas (2012-08-23). "The town of Mafeking is officially surrendered by the Republic of South Africa to the Republic of Bophuthatswana, and upon its". South African History Online. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
- John Stander (April 2010). "North West High Court, Mahikeng" (PDF). Advocate. General Council of the Bar of South Africa (GCB). Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- Liou, Jean. "Old South Africa collides with new in city names". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
- Jordan Pendergrass (2016). "Symposium 2015: Judicial Perspectives - Mogoeng Mogoeng, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa". Brigham Young University. International Center for Law and Religion Studies.
- "Hip Hop African". Hip Hop African. Howard University. March 9, 2015.
- "Tseko Mogotsi: New Chief Executive Officer in South Africa". Gymmedia. August 31, 2015.
- Katy Scott (November 29, 2016). "The new 'Girl from Ipanema' following Gisele's footsteps". African Voices. CNN. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Neo Ramitshana". Television South Africa. 2016. Missing or empty
- "About: The Forgotten Kingdom".
- "Climate data for Mmabatho". South African Weather Service. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
- The arms were depicted in an article on 'Municipal Crests of South Africa' in the Cape Times (31 May 1910).
- The arms were depicted on a cigarette card issued in 1931.
- Cape of Good Hope Official Gazette 3469 (2 August 1968).
- http://www.national.archsrch.gov.za[permanent dead link]
- J H Drummond and S M Parnell (1991). "Mafikeng-Mmabatho". In Anthony Lemon. Homes Apart: South Africa's Segregated Cities. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-33321-0.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Mahikeng.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mafikeng.|
- Mafikeng Reflections – A Unique Blog on the Mafikeng NWU Experience
- North-West University Mafikeng Campus
- Mafikeng Local Municipality– www.mafikeng.gov.za
- Mafikeng's Premier Business & Tourism Gateway– www.mafikeng.co.za
- McGonagall on the Relief of Mafeking– William McGonagall's poem and a brief history of the siege.