Sebele I

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Sebele I
A sepia portrait of Sebele I
Portrait of Sebele in his twenties taken by German anthropologist Gustav Fritsch at Ntsweng (nowadays, Old Molepolole) in 1865.[1]
Born Circa 1841
Bechuanaland Protectorate (nowadays, Botswana)
Died January 1911 (aged 70–71)
Bechuanaland Protectorate (nowadays, Botswana)[2]
Title Kgosi of the Kwena
Term 1892 – 1911[3]
Predecessor Sechele I[3]
Successor Sechele II[3]

Sebele I was a chief (kgosi) of the Kwena —a major Tswana tribe (morafe) in modern-day Botswana— who ruled from 1892 until his death in 1911.[4] During his lifetime, he resisted control of his domains by Cecil Rhodes' British South African Company, which was administering, by a royal charter signed in October 1889, his homeland in the Bechuanaland Protectorate and other regions of Central Africa.[5]

With support from Christian missionaries, Sebele traveled to Britain in 1895 along with Bathoem and Khama III to protest a new attempt to incorporate the protectorate into Cape Colony and secured support from Queen Victoria in exchange for an eastern strip of territory.[6] Between 1908 and 1909 he also resisted the incorporation of Bechuanaland into the Union of South Africa.[5]

See also[edit]

  • Chiefs of the Kwena


  1. ^ Dietrich, Keith; Bank, Andrew, eds. (2008). An Eloquent Picture Gallery: The South African Portrait Photographs of Gustav Theodor Fritsch, 1863-1865 (PDF). Auckland Park, South Africa: Jacana Media. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-77009-641-7. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Plaatje, Solomon T. (September 1976). "Reminiscences of Sebele, the Paramount Bechuana". English in Africa. Institute for the Study of English in Africa, Rhodes University. 3 (2): 23–25. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Lipschutz, Mark R. (1989). Dictionary of African Historical Biography. Berkeley, CA, USA: University of California Press. p. 117. ISBN 9780520066113. 
  4. ^ a b Parsons, Neil (1998). King Khama, Emperor Joe, and the Great White Queen: Victorian Britain Through African Eyes. Chicago, USA: University of Chicago Press. pp. 37–42. ISBN 9780226647456. 
  5. ^ a b Schmitt, Deborah (2005). "Botswana (Bechuanaland Protectorate) Colonial Period". In Shillington, Kevin. Encyclopedia of African History, Volume 1. Florence, KY, USA: CRC Press. pp. 285–288. ISBN 9781579582456. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Cyr, Ruth N.; Alward, Edgar C. (2001). Twentieth Century Africa. Bloomington, Indiana, USA: iUniverse. pp. 43–44. ISBN 9781475920802. Retrieved 21 March 2013.