Bakgatla regent, Kgosi Bana Sekai has heaped praises on one of the tribesmen, Molemi Gare, describing him as a “hero” for standing up for the self-exiled Kgosi-kgolo Kgafela II.
Kgosi Sekai made the impromptu announcement on Sunday at the funeral of Molemi’s mother, 92-year old Malepe ‘Lipsticks’ Gare, the first child of Leseba and Motlalepula Mmankgwana Gare of Mapotsane ward. Malepe succumbed to heart failure last week Monday at Deborah Retief Memorial Hospital. The funeral was conducted at her home in Lesetlheng la Mabodisa, otherwise commonly known as ‘Dichibidung’ – because of its reddish soils.However, Kgosana Sebedi Mabodisa used the opportunity to beguile and then disabuse the lot of the mourners gathered of that erroneous sobriquet. The area, he explained, was an extension of Mabodisa ward, where people relocated when the main ward no longer had any carrying capacity for residential plots.
Except for her children, Maifale Thanki, Matlhodi Mmamoshibidu, Ramotsepane Joseph, Kgomotso Ntobi, Saleko and Ntutwane Jacob and their children - Malepe is survived by two of her younger siblings, sister Mmasentho Mooketsi and brother Sentshwe Bosane Gare. Her other siblings, Shakwe, Rauwane and Mmathari are no more.
Earlier in his eulogy before the funeral procession left for the Mabodisa cemeteries, where Malepe’s remains would be interred for eternity, Sekai paid homage to Malepe’s adroitness and industriousness, describing her as a woman of valour. In fact, Sekai was pleasantly surprised to learn that his mother, who was a “good friend” to Malepe, had been a year younger than Malepe.
Sekai told the mourners that he practically grew up in Mapotsane ward, where Malepe’s mother, Motlalepula, raised her grandchildren, among them Joseph Gare, Molemi’s elder brother and Sekai’s age-mate. In a fit of nostalgia, both Joseph and Sekai savoured the fond memories of a time past, when they would after every month wait in anticipation for a delivery truck that would drop boxes of ‘dikwakwala’ – (morsels of leftovers usually comprising slices of bread or crumbs smeared with either jam, margarine or peanut butter and then preserved) - from their mothers who were working as maids in South Africa.
Those were the days, said Joseph Gare, when parents knew and understood the value of food and would not throw away leftovers, but instead preserved them for a rainy day. That ‘rainy day’ was in fact, their children who were toiling back home in Bechaunaland!
When the mourners had returned from the gravesite, Kgosi Sekai, suddenly remembered that he hadn’t mentioned Molemi Gare, whom he said has earned honour and name among the tribespeople through his heroic and valiant deeds to become a worthy member of Mangana regiment, to which Kgosi Kgolo Kgafela II belongs. Kgosi Sekai exalted Molemi’s exemplary “bravery”, which he has shown by loyally clinging to Kgafela II during his trials and tribulations.
“When others were ashamed to be associated with Kgabo, this man, Molemi was too bold and raised his hand to be counted. He has been with Mangana regiment ensuring that all of Kgabo’s cares are provided for, I want to applaud you the people of Mapotsane ward for raising such a valiant soldier in your family,” he said. In a separate interview Kgosi Sekai promised that Kgosi Kgolo Kgafela would be installing a Chief in Moruleng in September and thereafter consider returning home.
Agitated men, some of them members of various tribal regiments, expressed misgivings during the wake as they cooked the next day’s meals at the way things have turned out in Kgatleng since Kgafela went to South Africa. They cried that anarchy was getting entrenched, citing the recent national torch tour’ stopover in Mochudi, where they said organisers had surmounted the audacity to slaughter some cattle sourced from Masama Farm. “Those cattle belong to baKgatla, the farm is baKgatla’s national treasure, who are these people to eat them?” asked an irate mourner whilst minding pots during the all-night vigil. “We want Kgabo to come back to restore law and order,” mused another.