… as she celebrates 100 years tomorrow
Dr. Gaositwe Keagakwa Tibe Chiepe, who was born in Serowe on the 20th October 1922, celebrates her iconic 100th birthday tomorrow. She started her primary schooling in Serowe, before proceeding to Tigerkloof for her secondary education in 1939 alongside Botswana’s first president, Sir Seretse Khama, where she became the school’s best student.
In 1947 she completed a Bachelor of Science Degree and Post Graduate Diploma in Education at Fort Hare, thus becoming the first woman Degree holder in Botswana. In 1959, she attained a Masters of Arts at the University of Bristol (England). Dr Chiepe holds a number of honorary Doctorate degrees from various institutions, including Fort Hare and the University of Chicago.
A woman of many firsts, Dr Chiepe was the first woman education officer in Botswana from 1948 to 1953, as well as the first woman to be appointed a cabinet minister. She was instrumental in developing Botswana’s education system and is known to many as the woman who fought for free education in Botswana.
From 1970 she served as Botswana’s High Commissioner in London. Having become a
Specially Elected MP in 1974 she became Botswana’s first female member of Cabinet.
In 1979 she was elected to represent the Serowe South constituency. As Minister of Trade and Industry and subsequently Mineral Resources and Water Affairs, Dr. Chiepe played a key role during the crucial Debswana negotiations which saw the Botswana Government become a major player in the global diamond industry. From 1984 to 1994 she served as Foreign Minister, before retiring in 1999 as Minister of Education.
Dr Chiepe is a recipient of the Presidential Order of Honour and Golden Jubilee Medal as well as numerous international awards including royal honours of Japan and Sweden.
𝘗𝘪𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘊𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘵: 𝘉𝘰𝘵𝘴𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘢 𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘈𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 & 𝘙𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘚𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴…