Three Dikgosi Monument

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Three Dikgosi Monument
Botswana, Gaborone 3 Dikgosi Monument.jpg
Year29 September 2005 (2005-09-29)
Type statue
Medium bronze
Dimensions5.4 m(18 ft)
Location Gaborone
Coordinates 24°38′41″S25°54′26″E / 24.64486°S 25.90735°E / -24.64486; 25.90735

The Three Dikgosi Monument is a bronze sculpture located in the Central Business District of Gaborone, Botswana. The statues depict three dikgosi (tribal chiefs): Khama III of the Bangwato, Sebele I of the Bakwena, and Bathoen I of the Bangwaketse. Events are held at the monument such as the 2008 Miss Independence Botswana. [1] A study conducted between January and August 2007 shows that the monument is the most visited tourist destination in Gaborone. [2]



The monument features 5.4-metre (18 ft) tall bronze statues of three dikgosi, or chiefs, who played important roles in Botswana's independence: Khama III, Sebele I, and Bathoen I [3] The three chiefs traveled to Great Britain in 1895 to ask Joseph Chamberlain, Secretary of State for the Colonies, and Queen Victoria to separate the Bechuanaland Protectorate from Cecil Rhodes 's British South Africa Company and Southern Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe). Permission was granted, and meant that the Botswana remained under direct British rule until independence in the 1960s. [4]

Six plinths at the feet of the statues give descriptions of the three chiefs. [3]


The monument was inaugurated on 29 September 2005 by Festus Mogae, the president of Botswana at the time. The monument received 800 visitors a day when it first opened. [3]

There are objections to the monument. There was controversy about giving the project to North Korean company Mansudae Overseas Projects instead of a local Botswana construction company. [3] Some ethnic groups in Botswana see the construction of this monument as a proclamation of Tswana people dominance of other groups. [5]

The Adopt a Monument campaign attracted two private companies, GH Holdings and Komatsu Botswana, to help the Botswana National Museum manage the property. The business will provide new rest shelters and signage for the monument. [6]

North Korea in Botswana

North Korea, known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), were in support of most African nationalist movements post World War 2, in an attempt to secure more alliances after the Korean War. The first president of Botswana, Seretse Khama, visited Pyongyang ten years after the start of diplomatic ties in 1976. 15 African countries including Botswana have given projects to Mansudae Overseas Projects which is the internation subdivision of a Pyongyang art institute. Such a contract was proposed to Mansudae for the construction of the Three Dikgosi Monument. [7]

See also

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Botswana</span> Country in southern Africa

Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Botswana is topographically flat, with approximately 70 percent of its territory being the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. It is connected by the Kazungula Bridge to Zambia, across the world's 2nd shortest border between two countries.

The Batswana, a term also used to denote all citizens of Botswana, refers to the country's major ethnic group. Prior to European contact, the Batswana lived as herders and farmers under tribal rule.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Politics of Botswana</span> Political system of Botswana

Botswana is a parliamentary republic in which the President of Botswana is both head of state and head of government. The nation's politics are based heavily on British parliamentary politics and on traditional Batswana chiefdom. The legislature is made up of the unicameral National Assembly and the advisory body of tribal chiefs, the Ntlo ya Dikgosi. The National Assembly chooses the president, but once in office the president has significant authority over the legislature with only limited separation of powers. The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) rules as a dominant party; while elections are considered free and fair by observers, the BDP has controlled the National Assembly since independence. Political opposition often exists between factions in the BDP rather than through separate parties, though several opposition parties exist and regularly hold a small number of seats in the National Assembly.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Foreign relations of Botswana</span>

Botswana has put a premium on economic and political integration in southern Africa. It has sought to make the Southern African Development Community (SADC) a working vehicle for economic development, and it has promoted efforts to make the region self-policing in terms of preventive diplomacy, conflict resolution, and good governance.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gaborone</span> Capital and the largest city of Botswana

Gaborone is the capital and largest city of Botswana with a population of 246,325 based on the 2022 census, about 10% of the total population of Botswana. Its agglomeration is home to 421,907 inhabitants at the 2011 census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Khama III</span> King (Kgosi) of the Bangwato people of central Botswana (r. 1875–1923)

Khama III, referred to by missionaries as Khama the Good also called Khama the Great, was the Kgosi of the Bangwato people.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tswana people</span> Bantu ethnic group in Southern Africa

The Tswana are a Bantu ethnic group native to Southern Africa. Ethnic Tswana made up approximately 85% of the population of Botswana in 2011.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Seretse Khama</span> First President of Botswana (1921–1980)

Sir Seretse Goitsebeng Maphiri Khama, GCB, KBE was a Botswana politician who served as the first President of Botswana, a post he held from 1966 to his death in 1980.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bechuanaland Protectorate</span> British protectorate in southern Africa; became Botswana in 1966

The Bechuanaland Protectorate was a protectorate established on 31 March 1885 in Southern Africa by the United Kingdom. It became the Republic of Botswana on 30 September 1966.

Mansudae Overseas Projects is a construction company based in Jongphyong-dong, Phyongchon District, Pyongyang, North Korea. It is the international commercial division of the Mansudae Art Studio. As of August 2011, it had earned an estimated US$160 million overseas building monuments and memorials. As of 2015, Mansudae projects have been built in 17 countries: Angola, Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Cambodia, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Germany, Malaysia, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Togo and Zimbabwe. The company uses North Korean artists, engineers, and construction workers rather than those of the local artists and workers. Sculptures, monuments, and buildings are in the style of North Korean socialist realism.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sotho-Tswana peoples</span> Meta-ethnicity of southern Africa

The Sotho-Tswana, also known as the Sotho or Basotho, although the term is now closely associated with the Southern Sotho peoples are a meta-ethnicity of Southern Africa. They are a large and diverse group of people who speak Sotho-Tswana languages. The group is predominantly found in Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, and the western part of Zambia. Smaller groups can also be found in Namibia and Zimbabwe.

The history of Gaborone began with archaeological evidence in the area around Gaborone dating back to 400 BCE, and the first written accounts of Gaborone are from the earliest European settlers in the 19th century. Since the 1960s, when Botswana gained its independence from Britain and Gaborone became the capital, the city has grown from a small village in the Botswana scrubland to a major center in southern Africa.

The Battle of Dimawe was fought between several Batswana tribes and the Boers in August 1852. Under the command of Kgosi Setshele I of the Bakwena tribe, the Batswana were victorious at Dimawe Hill.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Botswana–North Korea relations</span> Bilateral relations

Botswana–North Korea relations refers to the current and historical relationship between Botswana and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), commonly known as North Korea. The two countries never maintained an embassy in their respective capitals since the suspension of diplomatic relations in February 2014.

Bathoen I was a kgosi of the Ngwaketse people (1889-1910). Together with Khama III and Sebele I he is credited with saving the young British Bechuanaland Protectorate, a predecessor of Botswana, from being absorbed by expansionist forces in the 1890s.

The history of the Cinema of Botswana comprises film-making in the Southern African country of Botswana, both before and after Botswana's independence. The cinema of Botswana is one of a number of African national cinemas that also includes the national cinemas of Benin, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, among others.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Semane Setlhoko Khama</span> Mohumagadi (queen or queen mother) of the BaNgwato of the Bechuanaland Protectorate

Semane Setlhoko Khama (1881–1937) was a mohumagadi of the BaNgwato Kingdom in the Bechuanaland Protectorate. Educated in a missionary school, she became a teacher and upon her marriage to Khama III continued to press for education for the BaNgwato. A proponent of modern medicine, she was influential in bringing modern midwifery to the area. As a devout Christian, she encouraged women's involvement in the church and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

The History of Botswana includes its pre-state history, its colonial period as the Bechuanaland Protectorate, and its modern history as a sovereign state.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sebele II</span> Kwena chief (1892–1939)

Kelebantse Sebele II was kgosi of the Kwena tribe in the Bechuanaland Protectorate. He succeeded his father, Sechele II, in 1918. Sebele quickly came into conflict with other members of his family and with the British colonial administration, which deemed him uncooperative and unstable.


  1. "Botswana celebrates 42". Daily News. 2 October 2008. Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  2. "Cashing In On The 3 Dikgosi Statues?". The Botswana Gazette. 21 October 2007. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Seretse, Gasebalwe (17 October 2008). "Monuments worth visiting". Mmegi. Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  4. Parsons, Neil (1998). King Khama, Emperor Joe and the Great White Queen: Victorian Britain through African Eyes . University of Chicago Press. ISBN   9780226647456.
  5. Gulbrandsen, Ørnulf (March 2012). "Chapter 1: The Development of Tswana Merafe and the Arrival of Christianity and Colonialism". The State and the Social: State Formation in Botswana and Its Pre-Colonial and Colonial Genealogies. New York City: Berghahn Books. p. 29. ISBN   9780857452979. LCCN   2011037469 . Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  6. Molefe, Thato (1 March 2009). "Private sector responding to the Adopt a Monument campaign". Sunday Standard. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  7. People for profit : North Korean forced labour on a global scale / edited by Remco E. Breuker & Imke B.L.H. van Gardingen; contributors Jan Blinka, Britt C.H. Blom, Marte C.H. Boonen, Klara Boonstra, Rosa Brandse, Remco E. Breuker, Imke B.L.H. van Gardingen, Larissa van den Herik, Tycho A. van der Hoog, Marieke P. Meurs, Cedric Ryngaert, Shannon R. Stewart, Anoma P. van der Veere. Remco E. Breuker, Imke B. L. H. van Gardingen, Jan Blinka, Britt C. H. Blom, Marte C. H. Boonen, Klara Boonstra. Leiden, The Netherlands. 2018. ISBN   978-90-826167-1-2. OCLC   1051240896.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link)