Amid the ongoing tributes to the late Bafokeng Royal Nation’s Queen Mother, Mmemogolo Semane Molotlegi, the Royal Family has issued a call to ensure that her legacy is sustained and preserved. Many local villagers say the Queen Mother played a pivotal role in helping the Bafokeng Nation to become the community it is today.
The Queen Mother died last week at the age of 77 after a long illness.
The Queen Mother was seen as a leader and a unifier – and her passing is a great loss to the nation. Mmemogolo Semane Molotlegi was originally from Botswana and was married to the wealthiest Bafokeng King, Kgosi Edward Lebone Molotlegi. She was a strong advocate for women and children’s rights, who was also involved in charities.
Molotlegi also received an honorary doctorate from the North West University in recognition of her role in nation-building. Many remember her at the time she lead the Bafokeng following her husband’s exile in Botswana in the 1980s.
Many paid tribute to her as a woman devoted to her people until the very end.
“Our mother left a good legacy in building and unifying women. She also developed a lot of women that is what we will miss,” says a villager.
“We have lost a good person. She was a peacemaker and she wanted us to work together. She loved education. She left us in peace. Even now we are a united nation,” adds another villager.
“She left us unexpected. She did good things for her community. Even now, many are employed here,” says another villager.
“She loved young children a lot. She took their education very seriously,” a villager adds.
In 1995, Mmemogolo led a group of Bafokeng women to the United Nations Conference in Beijing. The conference discussed the empowerment of women, their development and the challenges they are facing. Grandmother Mmabolowana Mgidi is one of those who accompanied her to Beijing. Now she wants to see that the Queen Mother’s legacy is preserved.
“She was a leader. She was always in the executive. She had her delegates as we were. We had a lot of these things, as it is now I want to tell you I always do for myself because I have seen with my eyes and I have heard with my ears what this woman has done to us. When I remember our trips together, when I remember everything we did, I really feel proud and my wish is to see her children following her steps and do great and good things like their mother. They must love their people more,” Mgidi adds.
Mmemogolo was highly regarded and recognised both locally and internationally. She was regarded as the person that held the Bafokeng Nation together. She will be laid to rest in Phokeng on Saturday.
The Queen Mother remembered: