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Romela Ditaba

Ditaba Tsa Batlokwa

Major of Molemole

Mr Edward Masilo Paya, incoming mayor of Molemole Local Municipality
Posted by Thetane Lebogang in Mokomene
2016-08-11 10:51:19

Motshekga plans to roll-out technology to public schools

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says government plans to roll-out technology to all public schools in the near future.
Posted by Sam Rabophala in Ga-Ramatjowe
2016-08-11 11:00:37

SANDF in Limpopo honour Madiba

SANDF has appealed to communities around Botlokwa, Elim and Sinthumule outside Makhado in Limpopo not to panic when they see a large number of uniformed soldiers in their villages on Thursday.
Posted by Mpho in Mokomene
2016-08-11 11:01:36

lenaneo theo

Re emetxe siphetogo mmuxong wa Molemole (Mohodi ga- Manthata-Madikana) ka moka re sokola ka meetse le ditirelo txe dingwe
Posted by edward masilo paya in Lebowa
2016-08-25 09:01:01

The Greatest History of Batlokwa

Batlokwa ba tswa kae...?


The term Batlokwa (also baThlokoa, or Badogwa) refers to several Kgatla communities that reside in Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa, comprising both the followings of Tlokwa kings and more particularly members of clans identified as Tlokwa, or individuals who identify themselves as of Tlokwa descent. Most of the Batlokwa clans trace their royal lineages to Kgwadi son of King Tabane, who is the father and founder of the Batlokwa nation, and have the Tlokwe-cat as their original totem which has since become extinct due to over-hunting for its fur, which was used by chiefs.

The Batlokwa kingdom form part of the larger group of Bakgatla people, which itself is one of sub-divisions of the Bantu-speaking peoples. In addition to the Batswana or 'Western Sotho', the Bakgatla group includes baPedi classification of Northern Sotho people. These different groups together are often falsely classified for convenience as 'Sotho-Tswana'. From an early stage of their history, they shared a number of linguistic and cultural characteristics that distinguished them from other Bantu-speakers of southern Africa. Most prominent was mutually intelligible dialects. Other features included totemism, preferential marriage of maternal cousins with the exception to Batlokwa who prefer marrying their paternal cousins, and an architectural style characterised by a round hut with a conical thatch roof supported by wooden pillars on the outside. Other commonalities included a style skin cloaks called Mekgahla, dense and close village settlements larger than those of 'Nguni' peoples, and a tradition of building in stone in less grassy or wooded regions.

The history of the Sotho-Tswana people is one of continual dissension and fission where disputes, sometimes over kingship ascendancy, resulted in a section of the clan breaking away from the main clan, under the leadership of a dissatisfied king's relative, and settling elsewhere. Often the name of the man who led the splinter group was taken as the new tribe's name.

The traditions of the Sotho-Tswana people point to a northward origin, and indicate that their southward movement was part of the great migrations of the Bantu-speaking iron-age peoples. Usually the theory asserts that the Sotho-Tswana separated from other Bantu-speaking peoples in the vicinity of the Great Lakes of East Africa, and that they proceeded downwards along the western part of present-day Zimbabwe

History Of Batlokwa


The traditions of the Barolong kingdoms indicate that at some time in the past they were all under the same ruling line of kings which claim descent from a common ancestor, Masilo. Following the death of Masilo there was a leadership crisis that resulted in the formation of the Hurutshe and Kwena clans. The Batlokwa claim lineage from the Hurutshe clan and trace their early ancestry to Mokgatla (c1430) and Tabane (c1550). Tabane fathered five sons, Diale (Matlaisane), Kgetsi, Kgwadi (moTlokwa), Matsibolo, and Mosia. Each broke away to form Bapedi, Makgolokwe, Batlokwa, Baphuti and Basia respectively. Eight generations later, from Kgwadi, Makoro fathered Mokotjo. Chief Mokotjo the father to Sekonyela died at an early age, so his mother, Manthatisi, was regent during his minority.

King Tsotetsi (ca. 1735) was the paramount king of Batlokwa ba Mokgalong, which was a senior branch of Batlokwa. He took over the reigns after his father, Chief Seboloka son of Mokgalo passed on and he also like most of the earlier chiefs died at an early age, however by then he had already bore 6 sons by his Queen Mamohlahlwe, namely Mohlahlwe (Lebaka), Tsibela, Selemane, Leloka, Sethati and Thai. At the time of his death, his successor Mohlahlwe was still a minor, and Batlokwa made a consensus that Queen Mamohlahlwe becomes regent for his son Lebaka, therefore making her the first queen to act as a regent in the Batlokwa nation. Queen Mamohlahlwe was greatly assisted by her late husband's siblings, namely Kganye son of Thekiso and Motonosi son of Makoro. These chiefs assisted very well in the chieftainship of Batlokwa till Queen Mamohlahlwe gave way to his son Lebaka who then became the paramount king o.

Queen Mantatisi ( 1781 to 1836 ) was one of the best known, and most feared, women military and political leaders of the early 19th century. In the years of the wars related to Zulu expansion and the southern African slave trade, often referred to as the Mfecane or Difaqane, the Tlokwa people were first known in English as the Mantatees, after Manthatisi's name, in the literature of exploration, missions and empire.

Manthatisi, the daughter of Chief Mothaba of the Basia people who were a sibling nation of Batlokwa, in what later became the Harrismith district of the Free State province of South Africa, was reportedly a tall, attractive woman. She married Mokotjo, the chief of the neighboring Batlokwa, in a typical dynastic alliance, and is said to have borne him four sons. Mokotjo died while the heir, Sekonyela, was still too young to assume the chieftaincy, so Manthatisi acted as regent for Sekonyela.

After Mokotjo's death the Batlokwa ba Mokotleng faced military encroachments by the amaHlubi people who were fleeing their homes in neighboring Natal. Made refugees themselves, Manthatisi who was then a Regent for her son Sekonyela commanded the Tlokwa into the Caledon valley, driving out other Sotho communities living there. Her troops seized the crops and cattle of the people they attacked, leaving a trail of destruction and devastation.

Her reign of military conquest extended as far as central modern day Botswana. At the height of her military and political power her army was estimated to contain forty thousand fighters. However, she eventually suffered a series of defeats beginning in Bechuanaland in January 1823. Peter Becker describes the developments during this period when he states that:

Meanwhile Mmanthatisi was approaching with forty thousand men, women and children. It was January 1823, the time of the year crops were ripening and food was usually plentiful. But the Wild Cat People were compelled to live frugally, for so great had been the chaos brought about by lifaqane in general and the plundering of Mmanthatisi, Mpangazita and Matiwane in particular that entire tribes had vanished from their settlements even before they had tilled their fields in preparation for planting. Indeed, the Central Plateau swarmed with hunger-stricken stragglers and small, detached parties of bandits. Apart from roots, bulbs and berries, there was little food to be found in the veld, certainly not enough to feed so large a horde as that of Mmanthatisi.

Nonetheless, the most prosperous of the Bechuana chiefs, Makaba of the Bangwaketsi, made a firm decision not to surrender to Mmanthatisi without a struggle. The same above-mentioned author, Peter Becker, continues by saying that:

Meanwhile, the old Chief had decided not to surrender to Mmanthatisi without a fight. He called up every available warrior, garrisoned every pass leading to his capital, and with the guile for which he was famous, prepared traps into which he planned to lead his aggressors.

Since her flight from the Harrismith district Mmanthatisi had managed to brush aside all opposition in the territories she traversed, but now in the stifling bushveld of Bechuanaland she was to come face to face with a foe whose fighting forces were as numerous as, and also better fed than, those of the Wild Cat People. The vanguard of Mmanthatisi's army strode into ambuscades; large groups of men topped headlong into concealed pitfalls and met their death beneath volleys of barbed javelins. A battle broke out, in the course of which hundreds of the invaders were massacred. Before the situation could develop into a rout Mmanthatisi suddenly disengaged her armies and retreated with her hordes to the east. Thus Makaba became the first Sotho chief to repulse the formidable Wild Cat Army, and to this day he is spoken of as the Man of Conquest.

Because Of Manthatisis notoriety, all Sotho-Tswana raiders became known as boo-Mmanthatisi, or Mantatee Horde by the English. Known also as the Destroyer of Nations, she was only stopped from entering the Cape Colony by British Forces near Aliwal North. Eventually Manthatisi settled her people on the Marabeng Mountains.

Although portrayed as an evil woman by some contemporary Europeans, she was a strong, capable and popular leader, both in war and peace. Her popularity is clearly indicated by the fact that instead of her people being known as Tlokwa, they became known as Manthatisi. Unlike other chiefs who fell victim to the Difaqane wars, she successfully kept her people together in the midst of frequent raids by Nguni groups to the south.

After Mmanthatisis son Sekonyela reached maturity he took control of the baTlokoa social structures and military.

Kgosi Sekonyela was born in 1804 near Harrismith next to the Wilge River. When Kgosi Sekonyela was still a minor, with his mother, Mmathatisi, acting as regency, she sent him away from the Tlokwa to protect him from political rivals. He rejoined the Tlokwa in C1824, after his mother had led the Batlokwa during the early Difaqane wars. Amidst the social and political chaos which gripped the present Free State and Lesotho regions Sekonyela continued to build the Tlokwa into a major military power. When the worst phase of the wars ended in the early 1830s he settled on the naturally fortified mountains near the Caledon River.

Kgosi Sekonyela's major rival for control of northern Lesotho was Moshoeshoe, the founder of the Sotho kingdom. For twenty years the two rivals raided each other and competed for adherents from among the many refugee bands in the region. Moshoeshoe much the better diplomatist-gradually outstripped Sekonyela in numbers of supporters. In November, 1853 Moshoeshoe attacked and defeated Batlokwa ba Mokotleng which Sekonyela fled to Winburg. After this defeat the people under Sekonyela disintegrated, some went to Lesotho where they were absorbed into Moshoeshoes state, others to Eastern Cape with a substation portion fleeing north to present Tshwane region in Gauteng.

Sekonyela later obtained land in the Herschel district of the Eastern Cape where he died in 1856.

Kgosi Sekonyelas downfall is commonly attributed to his personal defects to the love of war by which he alienated his neighbours, and to the rough treatment by which he alienated his own people, Conversely, Moshoeshoes rise to power is commonly attributed to his love of peace and to his benevolence. Basically Sekonyela was not able to become successful as well as Moshoeshoe, because, after 1829, he was poorer than Moshoeshoe. The Tlokwa had to kill and consume many of their cattle during the early years of the difaqane, and it seems that they never fully recovered their former prosperity. Moreover, they suffered further heavy losses in the war with the Korana and their allies in the early 1840s. Sekonyela, therefore, was not in a position to attract and blind thousands of followers to himself by sustaining them. Hence, to a large extent, his raids on his neighbours herds, and his unpopularity among his own people. Moshoeshoe, however, retained most of his cattle during the difaqane, and in 1829 conducted two richly rewarding raids against the Thembu. Thereafter his wealth far surpassed Sekonyelas, and it was mainly because of this that he was able to attract and hold so many followers. The territorial expansion of the Sotho naturally brought them into conflict with the Tlokwa, and in 1853, after the British had indicated that they were not prepared to interfere in this dispute, Sekonyela was overwhelmed by Moshoeshoes superior forces.

The Batlokwa clans reside in Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa; it is not known how many baTlokoa there are as a specific census has not been done.

In South Africa, the Batlokwa are found in significant numbers in the six of the mainland provinces, namely North West, Gauteng, Limpopo and the Free State, Kwazulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.

In the North West the Batlokwa settled in the region called Tlokwe near the Potchefstroom. They are part of the Setswana language grouping portion of the Sotho Tswana. They arrived in the area in 1820s and are not part of the Batlokwa who had been led by Chief Sekonyela, as they had seceded at an earlier period. There is also scattering of the Batlokwa found all over the North West.

In the Limpopo province, they are found in a place called boTlokwa, north of Polokwane. Here the Batlokwa are part of the North Sotho language grouping. They arrived in the region after separating from the Batlokwa who had fled to the Tshwane region after the defeat of Sekonyela by Moshoeshoe. The main Tlokwa clan in the area is the Batlokwa Ba Ga Machaka and Ramokgopa. The two had separated in a quarrel for chieftaincy, with Ramokgopa ultimately residing in the eastern regions called Mokomene, in Limpopo. Another grouping under Kgosi Manthata was moved to Mohodi next to Senwabarwana in 1977 also as a result of chieftaincy quarrels with Batlokwa ba Mphakane under Kgosi Machaka.

These areas produced important people such as:

  • Collins Ramusi
  • Hugh Masekela
  • Tlou Raophala(aka Sam)
  • Gwen Ramokgopa
  • Kgosiyentsho Ramokgopa
  • Matome Zakea Seima, a writer, publisher and lawyer
  • Kgalamadi Ramusi
  • Babsy Selela
  • Mamphela Ramphele, Lehotlo Moshokoa, Caiphus Semenya

Dimelo tsa Batlokwa

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