Botswana People

Ethnicity of the People of Botswana

At first glance Botswana people may seem like people of the same culture, belief and ethnicity, however if you spend enough time in Botswana you will begin to realize that this is only partially correct.

Why? ...We are all Batswana (people of Botswana), however...we also originate from many different sub Botswana tribes.

Each tribe has a special culture of its own that has been adopted many decades/centuries ago. Each tribal culture plays an important role in the overall Botswana culture as it contributes something special to the culture of Batswana.

This may not be evident to you when you visit because even though we may be divided into different tribes , we all get along well , speak the same language, have adopted the same beliefs and we all consider ourselves as Batswana.

With that said, check out the different ethnic tribes in Botswana below.

Botswana Ethinic Groups

  1. Basarwa - Believed to be the first inhabitants of Botswana.
  2. Kalanga - This my tribe, :-).
  3. Bakwena
  4. Bamangwato
  5. Batlokwa
  6. Bakgatla
  7. Barolong
  8. Bamalete
  9. Batawana
  10. Bangwaketsi
  11. Bayei
  12. Bakgalagadi
  13. Basubiya
  14. Baherero
  15. Bambukushu
  16. Batswapong

The above are indegenious ethnic groups, however it is important to keep in mind that among the people of Botswana are also Indian as well as white Batswana.

Just like the above indigenous groups, the white and indian Botswana people are also citizens of Botswana and are as much Batswana as i am.

In fact, i have a lot of Indian Batswana friends who speak fluent Setswana!

You may be wondering how this is possible...right? Their parents, grandparents or great grandparents settled in Botswana many years ago. And over the years gained citizenship.

So they were born and raised as citizens of Botswana.

The importance of Ethnicity in Botswana

In modern Botswana tribalism plays a smaller role than it did 50 years ago. Urbanization has resulted in people relocating to the larger towns and cities in search of jobs and education.

This resulted in inter-tribal marriages and over many years the formation of a more multi-tribal nation.

For instance, i have many friends who have parents from two different tribes.

My thoughts...

My personal opinion is that tribalism is important, but only to some extent.

It is important to know about your tribe, its culture and history ...etc

However what i consider more important is to respect other tribes and realize that at the end of the day what really matters is that we are all Botswana people.

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