Sir Seretse Khama, KBE was a statesman from Botswana. Born into one of the more powerful of the royal families of what was then the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland, and educated abroad in neighbouring South Africa and in the United Kingdom, he returned home—with a popular but controversial bride—to lead his country’s independence movement.
He founded the Botswana Democratic Party in 1962 and became Prime Minister in 1965. In 1966, Botswana gained independence and Khama became its 1st president. During his presidency, the country underwent rapid economic and social progress.
Khama remained president until his death on July 13, 1980, when he was succeeded by Vice President Quett Masire. Over 40,000 people paid their respects while his body lay in state in Gaborone. He was buried in the Royal Cemetery on a hill in Serowe, Central District.
● A Statue of Khama stands outside the Botswana Parliament building.
● Sir Seretse Khama International Airport -Gaborone opened in 1984.
●28 years after Khama’s death, his son Ian succeeded Festus Mogae as the fourth President of Botswana; in the 2009 general election he won a landslide victory in which a younger son, Tshekedi Khama, was elected as a parliamentarian from Serowe North West.