As son of the late Bangwaketse kgosikgolo, Kgosi Seepapitso IV and mohumagadi Retse Gaseitsiwe, Malope II admits that being a tribal leader comes with a lot of responsibilities, as he is the bearer of his community’s burdens, joys and roles.
Before he was ordained Kgosikgolo, his name was Malope Tshekedi Gaseitsiwe, but royalty had to change all that. He was born 49 years ago in Kanye but grew up in Gaborone. During his youthful days, he delighted in retreating to the village during school breaks where he would play plastic soccer with his friends. Unlike in Gaborone, his colleagues in Kanye were conscious of him as a prince. Coupled with the fact that his father was a well-known no-nonsense man, Kgosi Malope II says he never in his life wanted special treatment from people.
“Being a prince meant nothing to me, that’s why I didn’t grow up like one,” says Kgosi Malope, who is also the brother to the late Kgosi Leema Kwena Gaseitsiwe. He is now left with one sister. The father of two regrets that his marriage did not work out but cherishes every moment with his son and daughter. His father was his role model and even though he agrees that he was a strict man, he says he never used corporal punishment, contrary to popular belief.
He recalls a day when he went fishing with friends without permission and upon return, his parents had gone berserk and warned them that they would be kidnapped by monsters believed to be lurking at Gaborone dam. As a teenager he enjoyed partying with the boys.
The leader stays in Kanye where he unwinds by watching mostly football and could not hide his undying love for Gaborone United and Liverpool. He enjoys the sounds of jazz music and recalls that that the last festival he attended was when Jonas Gwangwa’s played in Palapye last year. But he also listens to other genres. No week passes without reading newspapers for the Bangwaketsi kgosikgolo, but delights in killing off time in Swakopmund in Namibia and enjoys beef with pap and a glass of orange juice. A firm believer in God, he says that he would like to be remembered for who he truly is and that he believes people are watching him.
But above all, he wants to ensure that his children are well-grounded. He states that on the day he was enthroned, the tribe reminded his eldest son of his responsibility as a future Kgosikgolo. The son is currently studying at Rainbow School in Gaborone.
“I want Setso and Katlego to see themselves as normal children with the dreams of being a medical doctor and so forth,” he concludes.