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Botswana’s family concept on death bed – UB Professor


University of Botswana academic, Professor Thapelo Otlogetswe says there is an urgent need for the Botswana society to introspect and save the nation from a looming dearth of social harmony. In a facebook post he shared on his wall this past May Day holiday, Professor Otlogetswe expresses a dire worry that the family concept as known from the past has gone to the dogs, with children growing from within disintegrated environments, leading to the inevitability of social ills.

Below Pula24 shares the Professor’ take on the declining notion of the family unit:

Professor Otlogetswe:  “In the last 30 years the concept of a family has continued to decline in Botswana. More and more children are born out of wedlock today than at any point in the history of our country. Currently about 73% of children born in Botswana are born to and raised by a single parent. We have undermined the family at all sort of levels. Consequently, we have failed to contain a plethora of social ills which flow out of weak or non-existent family structures. Now children who had never known a father are fumbling through the process of being fathers themselves with tragic consequences. Because of failed family structures, we have failed to pass social and moral principles which for many generations have sustained our forefathers. We have therefore become “us” by name and not by deed. We are strangers to ourselves. 

We find ourselves here now – a generation of Exes, Halves and Steps. Around us lie glaring pieces of evidence of a most violent act of separation. A metaphoric axe has decimated relationships and families leaving behind broken hearts and relationships. Now we are the true Generation-Ex: ex-lovers, ex-wives, ex-husbands – Ex-Hope, ex-happiness.

Because of our life patterns we have produced half-brothers and half-sisters as living, breathing and talking testimonies of failed relationships.

And if we are fortunate later in life to now find one with whom we can carve a future for ourselves and our children, our children now step into “stepdom”. They find themselves with step fathers or step mothers. With some luck this could be a great relief and a source of stability. With misfortune it becomes toxic and violent.

So if you were raised by your mother and father in a married family and you are now raising children as husband and wife you are as rare as an endangered ground pangolin in Botswana. The challenge to restore the family in our country is serious and a threat to national stability and peace. Shall we wake up from our national slumber and deal with it before it becomes irreversible.”

Visit the professor’s facebook account Thapelo Otlogetswe to see how close to 200 people reacted through comments to his observation. The post has over 600 shares and over 1000 reactions


University of Botswana academic Professor Thapelo Otlogetswe blames broken family unit for emerging social ills

PHOTO: facebook/Thapelo Otlogetswe

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