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 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 Batswana 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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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.

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Khama III King (Kgosi) of the Bangwato people of central Botswana (r. 1875–1923)

Khama III (1837?–1923), referred to by missionaries as Khama the Good also called Khama the Great, was the Kgosi of the Bangwato people.

Tswana people Bantu ethnic group in Southern Africa

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Seretse Khama First President of Botswana from 1966 to 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.

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Ruth Williams Khama First Lady of Botswana from 1966 to 1980

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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.

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Ian Khama Fourth president of Botswana from 2008 to 2018

Seretse Khama Ian Khama is a Motswana politician and former military officer who was the fourth President of the Republic of Botswana from 1 April 2008 to 1 April 2018. After serving as Commander of the Botswana Defence Force, he entered politics and was Vice-President of Botswana from 1998 to 2008, then succeeded Festus Mogae as President on 1 April 2008. He won a full term in the 2009 election and was re-elected in October 2014.

Mansudae Art Studio North Korean art studio

The Mansudae Art Studio is an art studio in Pyeongcheon District, Pyongyang, North Korea. It was founded in 1959, and it is one of the largest centers of art production in the world, at an area of over 120,000 square meters. The studio employs around 4,000 people, 1,000 of whom are artists picked from the best academies in North Korea. Most of its artists are graduates of Pyongyang University. The studio consists of 13 groups, including those for woodcuts, charcoal drawings, ceramics, embroidery and jewel paintings, among other things.

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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.

Botswana–North Korea relations Bilateral relations

Botswana–North Korea relations(Korean: 보쯔와나공화국-조선민주주의인민공화국 관계) 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.

Semane Setlhoko Khama Mohumagadi (queen or queen mother) of the BaNgwato of the Bechuanaland Protectorate

Semane Setlhoko Khama (1881–1937) was a mohumagadi of the BaNgwato chieftaincy 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.


  1. "Botswana celebrates 42". Daily News. 2 October 2008. Archived from the original on 23 June 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 June 2012. 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.
  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 23 June 2012. 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: others (link)