Mosadi Muriel Seboko
|Kgosikgolo of the Balete|
7 January 2002
|Preceded by||Tumelo Seboko|
|12th Chairperson of the Ntlo ya Dikgosi|
28 February 2002 – 28 January 2004
|Preceded by||Tawana II|
|Succeeded by||Orabile N. Kalaben|
7 June 1950 |
|Alma mater||Moeding College|
Mosadi Seboko was born on 7 June 1950 in Ramotswa, 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Gaborone. Her name Mosadi literally means "woman" in Setswana, and she was given the English name "Muriel". Her father, Mokgosi II, expected a boy to be his oldest child, but upon seeing his daughter, he said, "Well, it's a woman. What can I do? It's my child." In 1969, she graduated from Moeding College. Two years later, she became the department administrator at Barclay's Bank. She ended her six-year marriage with her abusive husband in 1978.
Mosadi Seboko's brother was kgosikgolo from 1 June 1996 to 17 June 2001 when he died from an illness. Tumelo Seboko, an uncle of Mosadi, became acting kgosikgolo from 21 June 2001 to 7 January 2002. Mosadi's mother and sisters pushed her to become the next kgosikgolo during this time, which would break a history of solely male dikgosikgolo.[b] At the time of the installation, she worked as a floor manager at Century Office Supplies in Broadhurst. Mosadi based her claim for bogosi[c] on the "birthright equity"; since she was the first born, she should have precedence in becoming kgosikgolo.
Seboko had many critics because she was a woman. Her uncle Tumelo wanted Tsmiane Mokgosi, a cousin of Mosadi, to become kgosikgolo instead, and other members of the kgotla tried to delay her installation by saying that she did not have the skills to lead the traditional leopard hunt or to engage in the "rainmaking" ritual, both of which were necessary to prove a kgosikgolo's legitimacy. Mosadi rebutted the arguments, saying that many of those traditions fell into disuse when Christianity came to Botswana.
Her ascension was revolutionary in that it overthrew a tradition where women were only allowed in the kgotla (village meeting) if they were invited by a male. She assumed office on 7 January 2002 and became chairperson of the Ntlo ya Dikgosi on 28 February 2002. She was crowned on 30 August 2003 and received the traditional gift of cattle, and a Toyota pickup truck, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, computer, and printer. During her coronation, she noted the changing dynamics of her tribe:
You were able to transcend the gender imbalance that many are still grappling with, and installed me not because I am a woman, but rather on the basis of birthright equity.
Her leadership style is unconventional compared to her male predecessors: she openly talks about her abusive husband, sexual rights for women, and the growing HIV/AIDS problem. Critics have accused her of "defending women", but Mosadi Seboko responded that she is instead "angry at women [...] for failing to exert more control over their own circumstances".
- BBC (31 August 2003). "Botswana gets first female chief". BBC News. Archived from the original on 13 August 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- IRIN (3 September 2003). "BOTSWANA: First female paramount chief welcomed". Gaborone. Archived from the original on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- LaFraniere, Sharon (11 December 2004). "A Tribe in Botswana Follows a Leader Called Woman". The New York Times. Ramotswa. Archived from the original on 11 August 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- Nyamnjoh, Francis B. (14 November 2004). "'Our Traditions are Modern, Our Modernities Traditional': Chieftaincy and Democracy in Contemporary Africa". Dakar: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. p. 28. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012. Lay summary.
- Soszynski, Henry (12 June 2002). "bamaLETE (Tribe)". ROYALTY and NOBILITY from around the world. Australia. Archived from the original on 11 August 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- Zips, Werner; Weilenmann, Markus (30 June 2012). "Fashion Designs under a Leopard's Skin: Emerging Forms of Complementary Governance in Botswana". The Governance of Legal Pluralism: Empirical Studies from Africa and Beyond. Ethnologie: Forschung und Wissenschaft. 12. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 304. ISBN 9783825898229.
|Kgosikgolo of the Balete