|Sir Seretse Khama and Lady Ruth Williams|
I stopped going to the cinema about 10-15 years ago. One day I woke up and found that I just couldn’t stomach all this blatant, in your face, politically correct bullshit anymore. At the time the best movies on the circuit were animated ones and that says a lot about the quality of the crap that flowed from Hollywood.
Nevertheless, a while ago a read an article about a new film supposed to be released later this year about the love story of Botswana’s first president Sir Seretsi Khama and his white English wife Ruth Williams.
The film will be called “A United Kingdom” and Seretse Khama will be played by British Actor, David Oyelowo, and Ruth Williams will be played by Rosamunde Pike. The director is Amma Asante, the black British screenwriter, and director.
I have not seen the movie yet, but judging from the write-up that it got it is going to be a major hit and they are already polishing several Oscars for it.
Problem is that every good story needs a villain and when there is none, well you just invent one.
And so it is in the case of the movie about Sir Seretse Khama and his wife Lady Ruth Williams.
The movie makers had to first find a villain and secondly find a way to take a slap at whites like they always do. They didn’t have to look very far or for very long, because of course, right next door to Botswana was the evil empire of the White Apartheid regime…So evil was it that at the time of Botswana’s independence in 1966 more Tswanas were living and working in South Africa (800,000) than living and working in Botswana itself (500,000).
Nevertheless, the movie makes it out as if the white South African regime was about to launch Apartheid at the time, when in fact, it was already instituted by the British who also created the three black homelands of Betschuanaland, Lesotho, and Swaziland.
…And, of course, these evil white Afrikaners did not want a black guy married to a white woman living just across the border from them. Bad PR for their crap ideology of Apartheid, see? So it caused a diplomatic crisis….whoooo!
Now get this. The NP of South Africa came to power in June 1948 winning the elections with a slight majority after a coalition with the Afrikaner Party. Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams met a year earlier in 1947 and got married in September of 1948.
So they, the evil white Afrikaans bastards of little South Africa who just came to power, pressured the Mighty British Empire to break up the relationship between Seretse and his wife to be.
Sorry, but the word “Bullshit” seems to drift past my brain.
Nevertheless, the storytellers want us to believe that…Not Seretse’s uncle or his own protesting family and tribe of the Bamangwato people who ostracized him; not the British who banned him from his own country for five years (changed to “indefinitely” after the Tories returned to power) and forced him to give up his claim as prince of his tribe. Not the Bishop of London, Dr William Wand, who refused to marry them and instructed the whole Anglican Church to do the same; Not her father George who threw Ruth out of the house for wanting to marry a black dude; Not her boss at Lloyds of London who offered her a transfer to New York or be sacked (which she took)…
…No…White Afrikaans South Africa, and of course evil Apartheid were the pigs in the story and are to blame.
Even the liberal darling, Trevor Huddleston, later the archbishop of the Indian Ocean and a sainted opponent of apartheid, advised Sir Evelyn Baring, the High Commissioner to South Africa as well as Bechuanaland, against recognizing Seretse Khama as chief of the Bamangwato; though he later regretted it…
Funny enough, at the time of independence, one could see how well Britain looked after Botswana and how logically they administered it.
Botswana, that should have been part of the Union of South Africa in 1910 and the Homeland of the Tswana people, had its capital city, Mafikeng, outside of the country in the Cape Province of South Africa up until 1965.
At the time of independence, enrollment of school children in Botswana was only half that of Lesotho and only one-fifth that of South Africa. Its pupil-teacher ratio in secondary education was 11:1, primarily because of the small number of schoolchildren in this grade.
In 1961, UNESCO reported that there were only 30 teachers employed at secondary education so that the number of children in secondary schools at the time was a mere 330 in the entire country. By 1966 it rose to a wonderful 1,409.
Of course, Botswana had no university of its own. The first one, the University of Botswana was established in 1982. So poor Sir Seretse Khama had to go and study at Fort Hare in the evil White South Africa (horror of horrors) and at Oxford in England, where he met his wife.
Of course, at the same time, the evil, bad, Apartheid, South Africa was producing thousands of highly skilled black teachers every year, from ten black universities (five in SA, five in the homelands), many of whom were Tswana speaking.
The money the 37,000 Tswana mine workers in SA sent home was the bread and butter of their country and before the Pula was introduced in 1976, Botswana used the South African Rand as its currency. A Rand was worth more than the US dollar, in fact, one Rand was worth US$1.40 from the time of its inception in 1961 until 1982 when mounting political pressure combined with sanctions placed against the country due to apartheid started to erode its value.
Britain developed Botswana so well that at independence in 1966 it had no industries of any importance and about 98% of the people made a living through raising cattle. The amount of people earning regular salaries were less than 13,800 and almost all employed by the government. Botswana’s only railway line was the was the South Africa-Rhodesia line which ran from Mafikeng in the Cape to Bulawayo in Rhodesia and was operated by Rhodesia Railways. This line carried all of Botswana’s imports and exports. South Africa was the market for 40% of all Botswana’s exports.
At Botswana’s Independence Day celebrations, South Africa’s minister of foreign affairs, (one of those evil stupid ignorant, Apartheid “Dutchmen”) Dr Hilgard Müller, a Rhodes Scholar who earned a doctorate in law from Oxford, was an honorary guest of President Khama and the furniture in the office of Botswana’s president was a gift from the evil whites of Apartheid South Africa.
Incidentally in the other British protectorate of Lesotho, the Speaker of the House of Assembly also sits on an elaborately carved stinkwood chair – also a gift from the evil, bad, white scum regime of the former Apartheid South Africa.
Nevertheless, Sir Seretse Khama and his governing Democratic Party was so in love with the liberation movements that in early 1966 he published a document which not only attacked the opposition Botswana National Front as a “Communist front organization”, but rejected out of hand any O.A.U. proposal which smacked of “liberation movements” or which could bring Botswana into any kind of confrontation with White South Africa.
Whereas Britain, in the last five years of administration, gave anti-South African terrorist elements like the ANC and SWAPO free rein in Botswana, the new President, Sir Seretse Khama was cracking down on them, banning several members of the ANC leadership and eight members of the SWAPO leadership. The leader of SWAPO, Sam Nujoma, was declared a prohibited immigrant and had to move his base to Tanzania.
Of course, there will always be those who say that the Apartheid government coerced their neighbors, threatened them and destabilized them, but this is very far from the truth.
In 1964, Sir Seretse Khama told reporters in New York,
“I think South Africa knows very well they stand for one thing – Apartheid – while we stand for the exact opposite, therefore we can never agree on ideology. But they have not tried to intervene in our affairs or to influence us in any way, and we have no reason to expect that they will try to do so in the future”.
So the mind boggles…if Apartheid South Africa tried so hard to break up the relationship between Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, then why was he so friendly towards South Africa?
Of course, we cannot allow facts, truth, and uncomfortable questions to come in the way of a good story now, can we?
Nevertheless, after Seretse’s death, Ruth stayed on in Botswana and did charity work for the Red Cross. Her eldest son Ian Khama became the current president of Botswana in 2008, 28 years after his father’s death.
Ironically, there was a ripple of surprise in 1990 when her other son, “Tony”, one of the twins Tsekedi and Anthony, announced that he wanted to marry a South African white girl, an Afrikaner girl ‘nogal’, from the rural Afrikaner stronghold of Rustenberg across the border.
Funny how history has a tendency to repeat itself.
Lady Khama warned that there might be some trouble with conservative tribal elders. Funny enough, there were no objections from any of the white Afrikaners.
Of course, Tsekedi, the other twin, is married to an Israeli, Thea…but that is a story for another day.
By Mike Smith
Main source: “The Third Africa”, Dr. Eschel Rhoodie.