Sir Seretse Khama Day in Botswana in 2024

Sir Seretse Khama Day in Botswana in 2024
  How long until Sir Seretse Khama Day?
Sir Seretse Khama Day
  Dates of Sir Seretse Khama Day in Botswana
2025 Botswana Tue, Jul 1 National Holiday
2024 Botswana Mon, Jul 1 National Holiday
2023 Botswana Sat, Jul 1 National Holiday
2022 Botswana Fri, Jul 1 National Holiday
2021 Botswana Thu, Jul 1 National Holiday

Seretse Khama founded the Botswana Democratic Party in 1962 and became Prime Minister in 1966

When is Sir Seretse Khama Day?

Sir Seretse Khama Day is a public holiday in Botswana on July 1st each year.

This holiday commemorates the first President of Botswana on the anniversary of his birth on this day in 1921.

History of Sir Seretse Khama Day

Seretse Khama was born on July 1st 1921 at Serowe, the Protectorate of Bechuanaland (now Botswana).  Seretse Khama was the grandson and heir of King Khama III, who died in 1923. The Bangwato family of which Seretse Khama was the heir were hereditary rulers of the Protectorate. In 1925 Seretse Khama was made King, his uncle acting as regent.

Khama was training as a barrister in London after the Second World War, where he met and married Ruth Williams, a white English commoner. The story of Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams was depicted in the 2016 film, 'A United Kingdom'.

His marriage caused great difficulties for him at home and he was exiled in 1951. 

The apartheid government of South Africa put pressure on Britain to remove Khama's chieftainship. A judicial inquiry declared him to be perfectly fit for the job, but this was hushed up to appease the South Africans.

Kahama returned to Bechuanaland in 1956 as a private citizen. Free to enter politics, he formed the Bechuanaland Democratic Party, won the elections and led the way to independence, becoming his country's first President. He remained in the post until his death, aged only 59, in 1980. He created a multiracial democratic society and is considered as one of the great successes of this era of African politics.

His son, Ian Khama, became Botswana's fourth president in 2008, serving for two terms.

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