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Public Lecture:'A Nation without a Past is a lost Nation' - Sir Seretse Khama's Vision of Botswana's Development

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August 17, 2017

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“We were taught, sometimes in a very positive way, to despise ourselves and our ways
of life. We were made to believe that we had no past to speak of, no history to boast of.
The past, so far as we were concerned, was just a blank and nothing more. Only the
present mattered and we had very little control over it. It seemed we were in for a definite
period of foreign tutelage, without any hope of our ever again becoming our own masters.
The end result of all this was that our self-pride and our self-confidence were badly
undermined.
 
It should now be our intention to try to retrieve what we can of our past. We should write
our own history books to prove that we did have a past, and that it was a past that was
 just as worth writing and learning about as any other. We must do this for the simple
 reason that a nation without a past is a lost nation, and a people without a past is a people
without a soul.”                   
 Seretse Khama, UBLS Graduation Ceremony - May 19, 1970
 
Synopsis: The lecture, hosted by the University of Botswana, through the Department of History, will draw on Botswana’s founding President, Sir Seretse Khama’s appeal for Africans to break-away from the shackles of mental oppression, and become masters of their own destiny by writing their own history. It will interrogate this famous speech, and how it was subsequently misread or misunderstood, in order to be able to explain Sir Seretse Khama’s vision of Botswana’s development with the country’s history as a cardinal aspect of nation-building.
 
Guest Speaker: Hon. David Ntsimele Magang – retired Member or Parliament, former Assistant Minister of Finance & Development Planning; former Minister of Works, Transport & Communications; former Minister of Minerals Resources and Water Affairs; Barrister, author, and first citizen township developer (Phakalane Estates).
 
Discussant:     Prof. Christian John Makgala, Full Professor in the Department of History.
 
Date:               August 17, 2017
 
Time:               18:00Hrs
 
Venue:            University of Botswana Conference Centre
Contact Details :
4775 Notwane Rd. Gaborone, Botswana Private Bag UB 0022. Tel: +(267) 355 0000 Gaborone, Botswana