Botswana: A United Kingdom

A United Kingdomby Mary Jo

Apart from a vague recollection of the British protectorate called Bechuanaland becoming the independent nation of Botswana, the country never registered with me until I read the first #1 Ladies Detective Agency book by Alexander McCall Smith. The protagonist, Precious Ramotse, is a mature, "traditionally built" woman with a lot of common sense who solves small mysteries through her understanding of human nature. The series is now up to 18 books.

 

Baobab trees

More recently, Botswana has been mentioned in connection with Prince Harry of Wales , who loves the place, and reportedly it was where he and Meghan Markle fell in love.

For all these reasons, as soon as I heard about the movie A United Kingdom, I  wanted to see it because it's the true story of Sir Seretse Khama , a hereditary king, leader of the independence movement, and the first elected president of Girafes in the shadeBotswana. He had a great deal to do with establishing the country's stable democracy–and the movie is also a wonderful true romance. Here's a trailer.

As African royalty, Seretse Khama studied in South Africa before going to Oxford and then studying law at the Inner Temple in London. It was there he met Ruth Williams and they fell deeply in love. They married in 1948 against the advice of just about everyone.

Their marriage had major political repercussions. Neighboring South Africa was in the process of creating apartheid, the evil segregation system, and the last thing they wanted was a next door neighbor with an interracial marriage at the top. Pressure was brought on the Khamas, and Seretse was exiled to England for five years, after which he and Ruth were allowed to return as civilians with his rank stripped.

The movie shows not only the Khamas' marriage, SirSeretseKhamaBotswana's struggle for independence and ultimate triumph. The leads, played by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, are excellent, and the story is powerful and uplifting. I strongly recommend it. And if you have a chance to visit Botswana–grab it!

Mary Jo, who would love to go back.

80 thoughts on “Botswana: A United Kingdom”

  1. I will definitely see this movie, Mary Jo…
    Sorry I didn’t comment sooner. For some reason, the email of this Word Wench column never made it to my inbox.
    Cheers & very much looking forward to seeing Oyelowo and Pike in A United Kingdom.
    Cheers, Faith

    Reply
  2. I will definitely see this movie, Mary Jo…
    Sorry I didn’t comment sooner. For some reason, the email of this Word Wench column never made it to my inbox.
    Cheers & very much looking forward to seeing Oyelowo and Pike in A United Kingdom.
    Cheers, Faith

    Reply
  3. I will definitely see this movie, Mary Jo…
    Sorry I didn’t comment sooner. For some reason, the email of this Word Wench column never made it to my inbox.
    Cheers & very much looking forward to seeing Oyelowo and Pike in A United Kingdom.
    Cheers, Faith

    Reply
  4. I will definitely see this movie, Mary Jo…
    Sorry I didn’t comment sooner. For some reason, the email of this Word Wench column never made it to my inbox.
    Cheers & very much looking forward to seeing Oyelowo and Pike in A United Kingdom.
    Cheers, Faith

    Reply
  5. I will definitely see this movie, Mary Jo…
    Sorry I didn’t comment sooner. For some reason, the email of this Word Wench column never made it to my inbox.
    Cheers & very much looking forward to seeing Oyelowo and Pike in A United Kingdom.
    Cheers, Faith

    Reply
  6. I saw this movie several months ago and I loved it. Fell in love with this remarkable couple who are so inspiring, even though they are no longer living. Botswana was lucky to have them and I would love to visit that country.

    Reply
  7. I saw this movie several months ago and I loved it. Fell in love with this remarkable couple who are so inspiring, even though they are no longer living. Botswana was lucky to have them and I would love to visit that country.

    Reply
  8. I saw this movie several months ago and I loved it. Fell in love with this remarkable couple who are so inspiring, even though they are no longer living. Botswana was lucky to have them and I would love to visit that country.

    Reply
  9. I saw this movie several months ago and I loved it. Fell in love with this remarkable couple who are so inspiring, even though they are no longer living. Botswana was lucky to have them and I would love to visit that country.

    Reply
  10. I saw this movie several months ago and I loved it. Fell in love with this remarkable couple who are so inspiring, even though they are no longer living. Botswana was lucky to have them and I would love to visit that country.

    Reply
  11. It sounds like a very interesting move. I’m mentioning it to my husband (the movie fan in this household).

    Reply
  12. It sounds like a very interesting move. I’m mentioning it to my husband (the movie fan in this household).

    Reply
  13. It sounds like a very interesting move. I’m mentioning it to my husband (the movie fan in this household).

    Reply
  14. It sounds like a very interesting move. I’m mentioning it to my husband (the movie fan in this household).

    Reply
  15. It sounds like a very interesting move. I’m mentioning it to my husband (the movie fan in this household).

    Reply
  16. Helen, A UNITED KINGDOM was released in 2017 and had only a limited run in theaters, though it was very well reviewed. You’d probably need to look for it through a streaming or DVD rental service. It’s worth the effort, though.

    Reply
  17. Helen, A UNITED KINGDOM was released in 2017 and had only a limited run in theaters, though it was very well reviewed. You’d probably need to look for it through a streaming or DVD rental service. It’s worth the effort, though.

    Reply
  18. Helen, A UNITED KINGDOM was released in 2017 and had only a limited run in theaters, though it was very well reviewed. You’d probably need to look for it through a streaming or DVD rental service. It’s worth the effort, though.

    Reply
  19. Helen, A UNITED KINGDOM was released in 2017 and had only a limited run in theaters, though it was very well reviewed. You’d probably need to look for it through a streaming or DVD rental service. It’s worth the effort, though.

    Reply
  20. Helen, A UNITED KINGDOM was released in 2017 and had only a limited run in theaters, though it was very well reviewed. You’d probably need to look for it through a streaming or DVD rental service. It’s worth the effort, though.

    Reply
  21. When I looked at the trailer, the next thing that came up on You Tube was the full movie. I have bookmarked it and will return when I have time to see the full film. Thank you so much for this introduction.

    Reply
  22. When I looked at the trailer, the next thing that came up on You Tube was the full movie. I have bookmarked it and will return when I have time to see the full film. Thank you so much for this introduction.

    Reply
  23. When I looked at the trailer, the next thing that came up on You Tube was the full movie. I have bookmarked it and will return when I have time to see the full film. Thank you so much for this introduction.

    Reply
  24. When I looked at the trailer, the next thing that came up on You Tube was the full movie. I have bookmarked it and will return when I have time to see the full film. Thank you so much for this introduction.

    Reply
  25. When I looked at the trailer, the next thing that came up on You Tube was the full movie. I have bookmarked it and will return when I have time to see the full film. Thank you so much for this introduction.

    Reply

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