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Botswana: “Traditional and modern side by side”

Botswana: “Traditional and modern side by side”

Kathie Neal reflects on her time spent on location in Botswana for ‘Our Africa’. Here, she explains how the ultra modern co-exists perfectly with ancient traditions and lifestyles.

Botswana Our Africa Kgotla imageTraditional and modern side by side

"What’s remarkable about Botswana is the complete juxtaposition between the primitive and the modern. For example we had to fight our way amongst the free range donkeys on the highway (who have the right of way!)  on our way to the central Mall in Tlokweng with its ultra modern facilities – digital print shops, café’s and themed restaurants. Everyone has a mobile phone and motorbikes are commonplace.

And then just down the road is the ‘Kgotla’ where the local chiefs adjudicate on local issues and conduct weddings in a grass roof mud hut. Judgements and punishments are meted out here regarding personal issues like husband/wife relationships, cattle and other property.

It is really a melee of the old and new. Kumisso, our Chief Reporter said that Botswana works really hard to retain its culture. But it’s true all over Africa – culture is being lost through modern communications."

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