The University of Botswana on June 4, 2021 held a memorial service in honour of its late Chancellor, Ms Linah Kelebogile Mohohlo, who passed on at the Bokamoso Private Hospital on June 3, 2021. It was a sombre moment as speaker after speaker described Ms Mohohlo as a trailblazer and professional par excellence.
UB Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, paid glowing tribute to Ms Mohohlo, saying she was a talented hard worker who combined her unique leadership skills and determination to execute her national duties. Professor Norris could not help describing Ms Mohohlo as a great and self-made woman who was always determined to reach greater heights. He said Ms Mohohlo overcame challenges through education and hard work in that the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, felt it fit to appoint her University of Botswana Chancellor.
Ms Mohohlo was appointed Chancellor in 2018, making her the first woman to hold the position and fifth UB Chancellor since its establishment in 1982. Professor Norris said as Chancellor, Ms Mohohlo led with distinction, vigour and astuteness as she brought special talent and great energy to the university, especially when she presided over graduation convocations where she conferred degrees and diplomas.
Professor Norris said she was also a strong communicator and visionary with unique problem-solving skills that she coupled with passion in everything she put her mind to. He said it was unfortunate that she left at a time when UB was at a critical stage of transforming itself into an epicentre of Botswana’s developmental efforts.
UB Foundation Board Chairperson, Mr Satar Dada, said his affiliation with Ms Mohohlo dated back to the late 1970’s as colleagues at Motor-Centre Botswana. “We worked together until she left the organisation to join the government, and we continued to work together in different platforms, and our professional relationship remained strong until her demise,” he said.
Mr Dada said Ms Mohohlo was one of the founding trustees of the UB Foundation where she was deputy chairperson. He said over the years Ms Mohohlo played a strategic role and contributed immensely to the Foundation’s vision and mission. Further, Mr Dada said she was instrumental in sourcing and raising funds for the Foundation, which have so far benefitted pots graduate 242 students at the University of Botswana. In addition, He said her critical role in the UB Foundation was key in the establishment of the Northern Trust Bank of Botswana scholarship fund.
Mr Dada said as part of ongoing community development initiatives, the former Bank of Botswana governor approached Northern Trust to consider sponsoring Batswana students for their Master’s Degree programme at UB. About 20 students have since benefited from the First-in-the-Family Graduate Scholarship Programme in areas of Economics, Finance, Business and related disciplines at Masters degree level.
Bank of Botswana Governor, Mr Moses Pelaelo said Ms Mohohlo was a homegrown central banker who made a sterling contribution in various roles and ways to the development of the bank. Mr Pelaelo said she also inculcated a culture of discipline, hard work and excellence, hence the banks reputation and its stature. He said Ms Mohohlo was a professional who served the bank for which she was one of the founding architects with distinction.
Ms Mohohlo’s friend and former Cabinet Minister, Ms Margaret Nash, described her friend of 52 years as a go-getter who saw no glass ceiling in whatever she was engaged in. Ms Nasha said Ms Mohohlo was a trailblazer who loved the finer things of life but above all a believer in education.