The history of any country is seen as very important, it ties every individual together in a way that almost nothing can. It is so crucial that they pass it down from generation to generation through teachings in schools, books, songs and movies. Talking about history also means talking about the men and women who played active roles in creating that history. I recently saw a movie, though it was released in 2016, it’s a movie I recommend for everyone. Tilted: A United Kingdom, the movie tells the true story of the marriage between Seretse Khama (played by our very own David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (played by Rosamund Pike) and the many challenges they faced because of their decision to be together.
Seretse Khama was the president of Botswana from 1966 to 1980 with his wife Ruth Williams Khama as the first lady. Before becoming president and even getting married, Seretse was the crown prince and soon to be king of Bechuanaland, now known as Botswana. Seretse traveled to England to study law and there he met Ruth Williams, a white woman; they both fell in love and got married but this did not go down well with not just their families but their governments as well. Seretse Uncle Tshekedi Khama who was acting as a regent vehemently objected to the union, he tried to stop it but he couldn’t so he ordered his nephew to return home. Their marriage sparked international uproar especially in South Africa who at the time just enacted Apartheid and banned interracial marriage, they were angered because they couldn’t have an interracial couple ruling just north of their border so they banned Seretse and Ruth from entering South Africa.
For a long time Seretse and Ruth faced so many hurdles, he was also exiled to England for some time but in all, they both stood strong and overcame their adversities. Although Seretse renounced his throne, just so he could be allowed back into Bechuanaland, he fought for independence for his people. He found the Botswana Democratic Party in 1962 and became Prime Minister in 1965. Botswana gained independence in 1966 and Seretse Khama became its first president. His son Ian later became president in 2008.
The movie was an eye opener for me, there’s so much history about great men and women in Africa that haven’t been told. We need to start telling the stories of our heroes, and I believe our filmmakers are up to the task. Nigeria for one has a lot to tell, great leaders like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and the likes need to come alive again on the big screen. Although there have been significant strides too, movies like Half of a Yellow Sun (the Biafran story), Amina (the queen Amina story), 76 (a story about the 1976 coup, told from two points of views) and a few. But we need more, our scriptwriters should get to work, introduce the world to our own superheroes from way back and let them know we have a rich and amazing history.
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- Ose is a cartoon enthusiast sugar junkie. He loves to travel, make new friends and he never gets tired of spaghetti and plantain.