A United Kingdom Is an Excellent Story of the Tension Between Economic Prosperity and Interracial Love


Good Evening Charles,
Thanks for your insights regarding this film. It initially intrigued me. Now I shall view it.

One question. You write in your post of a "fictional Khama". Was not Seretse Khama a real human figure in the history of Bechualand/Botswana?

Your posts are always interesting, Charles, but when you write about your family, or your past, your work is particularly lyrical, in a way I often find moving. Beyond that, I've often wondered, what is it that Botswana got right, that Zimbabwe and Nigeria got so wrong? Is it just historical contingency? the right, or the wrong, man at the right or wrong time? I'll admit, I've never heard of "kgotla", but I'm intrigued.
I have to admit that I too often think about Africa as undifferentiated or falling into very broad regions, so thanks for the bits of education. And I also really like what you do autobiographically, Charles.
I spent the summer of 1968 in Botswana (right out of high school), hanging out with various Peace Corps volunteers and traveling around the county. It was wonderful. I remember a group of visiting (white) South African teenagers at the Chobe lodge, discussing where their country was going with Apartheid. Basically a heated verlichte vs. verkrampte argument. Enlightening for me!

Thanks for the review; now I've got to see that film.
I thought only socialism led to economic prosperity?
Botswana's democracy only tangentially comes from the kgotla. The rules of the kgotla allowed Tswana males (no women or minorities) over thirty to voice their opinions on the chief's proposals. However, no vote was taken. The chief announced the kgotla consensus, which may or may not have been a consensus. Khama by his behavior and attitudes was very important in both encouraging a democratic system, encouraging a efficient economy, and minimizing tribalism and corruption. Like the chiefs he tended to promote these goals in a fairly authoritarian manner.