Three Dikgosi Monument

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Three Dikgosi Monument
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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  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 22 June 2012. 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.CS1 maint: others (link)