: Grant-Marshall (S.)

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364pp., illus., paperback, Pretoria, 2018


Ruth Williams Khama (1923-2002) was the wife of Botswana's first president Sir Seretse Khama, the Paramount Chief of the Bamangwato tribe. Born in London, she met Seretse Khama while he was studying law in England. The British government tried unsuccessfully to stop them marrying. After the couple returned to Bechuanaland, then a British protectorate, Seretse was called to London for discussions with British officials, prevented from returning home and told he had to remain in exile. Ruth joined him and they lived as exiles from 1951 until 1956, when were permitted to return. Seretse founded the Bechuanaland Democratic Party and won the 1965 general election. As Prime Minister of Bechuanaland he pushed for independence, which was granted in 1966, when he became the first President of independent Botswana. Lady Khama was first lady during his four consecutive terms, from 1966 to 1980.

"Celebrating a romance that set the British Government on a collision course against the Bamangwato tribe of Bechuanaland - told with compassion, but with a total lack of sentimentality and melodrama." Fred Khumalo, aiuthor of "#ZuptasMustFall and other rants" and "Dancing the Death Drill"

"A beautifully crafted story, at once a homage to the beauty of Botswana and its former first lady." Jenny Crwys-Williams, journalist and radio talk-show host

Journalist Sue Grant-Marshall is the author of "Mind the Gap" and "Mind Over Money". She lives in Johannesburg and writes for Business Day and City Press.