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Mma Chiepe’s life story told on stage

LEGENDARY: Dr Chiepe, a woman of many firsts
LEGENDARY: Dr Chiepe, a woman of many firsts

Written and acted out by her 27-year-old granddaughter, the story of Mma Chiepe, one of Botswana’s most celebrated woman returns to the Maitisong festival this month.

The hour-long play chronicles the life of Dr Gaositwe Chiepe, from her humble childhood as a young Motswana girl growing up in Serowe.
Titled ‘A Woman of many Firsts’ the play tracks Dr Chiepe’s education path through Secondary School to College in South Africa during the apartheid era.

The inspirational lady’s thirst for knowledge then took her to the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, where she would eventually emerge with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology and Botany becoming the first black African female to achieve such an honour.

The play touches on Chiepe’s illustrious career in education, administration, diplomatic service and politics, spanning over five decades from 1948 to 1999.

Amongst her many feats, Chiepe was the first Motswana female Education Officer and climbed the ranks until she became the first female Director of Education.

She was also the first female African High Commissioner to the United Kingdom after Botswana’s independence.

For a long time, Dr Chiepe was the only female in the Botswana Cabinet, first as a specially elected Member of Parliament (MP) and later as an elected MP for Serowe South.

Speaking to Voice Entertainment this week, Chiepe’s granddaughter and the star of the show, Moduduetso Lecoge said, “During her life she achieved a lot of firsts as a young girl, as a working woman and in politics, hence the title of the play.

“When I was growing up she used to tell all of her stories and all she went through as a black female leader. Her stories inspired me to write and act out her life story. With the play I hope other women will be inspired to believe in themselves.”

Asked what her grandmother thinks about the play, Lecoge proudly replied, “First thing when I got off stage she whispered into my ear that she was proud and content with the play; she said I did her story justice.”

The play will be showing at the Maitisong festival on the 13th of April at 8.30pm, the 14th at 6pm and the 15th at 4pm.