Her Majesty, the Queen Mother Semane Molotlegi, is a member of the Royal Family of the 300 000-strong Royal Bafokeng Nation, a forward-thinking traditional community in South Africa’s North West Province. Her Majesty was blessed with six children. After the loss of her husband and her first two sons, Kgosi Leruo Tshekedi Molotlegi is the present King of the Royal Bafokeng Nation.
Her Majesty, as the Queen, and subsequently as Queen Mother, has played a pivotal role in helping the Bafokeng to become the model traditional community it is today. The Queen Mother founded, among others, the Bafokeng Women’s Club and served actively in health advocacy. She has managed several job creation centres, serves on several boards and is the Area President for the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) in Southern Africa. Among others, she is a Patron of the World’s Children’s Prize, South African Girl Guide, Banyana Banyana (South Africa’s national women football team) and the National Choral Music Awards.
Her Majesty has a history of speaking against oppression, poor educational opportunities and regional neglect of rural developments.
In February 2003, Her Majesty was awarded the Leading Light Tribute by the International Women’s Forum as an achiever who has enjoyed success, not through privilege, but through resilience and perseverance. She was also conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of the North West, in recognition of her role in nation-building. The honour was also an appreciation of her courage and determination to serve the Bafokeng people during the dark days of apartheid despite the price she had to pay on many occasions.
As a peace-loving person, she is renowned for settling disputes positively, which is one of her Royal roles in the community. Humourous, compassionate and with a razor-sharp wit, Mmemogolo (“Our Great Mother” as she is affectionately called) is an emblem of much that is right with Africa today.