Three Chiefs’ Statues
The Three Dikgosi Monument is a bronze sculpture located in the Central Business District of Gaborone,Botswana. The statues depict three dikgosi (tribal chiefs): Khama III of the Bangwato, Sebele I of the Bakwena, andBathoen I of the Bangwaketse. Events are held at the monument such as the 2008 Miss Independence Botswana. A study conducted between January and August 2007 shows that the monument is the most visited tourist destination in Gaborone.
The monument features 5.4-metre (18 ft) tall bronze statues of three dikgosi, or chiefs, who played important roles in Botswana’s independence: Khama III, Sebele I, and Bathoen I The three chiefs traveled to Great Britain in 1895 to ask Joseph Chamberlain, Secretary of State for the Colonies, and Queen Victoria to separate the Bechuanaland Protectorate from Cecil Rhodes‘s British South Africa Company and Southern Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe). Permission was granted, and meant that the Batswana remained under direct British rule until independence in the 1960s.
Six plinths at the feet of the statues give descriptions of the three chiefs.
The monument was inaugurated on 29 September 2005 by Festus Mogae, the president of Botswana at the time. The monument received 800 visitors a day when it first opened.
There are objections to the monument. There was controversy about giving the project to North Korean company Mansudae Overseas Projects instead of a local Botswana construction company. Some ethnic groups in Botswana see the construction of this monument as a proclamation of Tswana people dominance of other groups.
The Adopt a Monument campaign attracted two private companies, GH Holdings and Komatsu Botswana, to help the Botswana National Museum manage the property. The business will provide new rest shelters and signage for the monument.