Motsamai Mpho

National Assembly (Botswana) Ghana Order of the Companions of O. R. Tambo
Motsamai Mpho
Born3 February 1921
Died28 November 2012
Political partyBotswana Independence Party
Spouse(s)Onalepelo Hannah Macheng

Motsamai Keyecwe Mpho (February 3, 1921 – November 28, 2012) was a Motswana activist and politician. He founded Botswana's first political party in 1960, the Botswana People's Party, then known as the Bechualand People's Party, alongside Klaas Motshidisi, Kgalemang Motsete, and Philip Matante. However, due to conflict within the party, Mpho left and founded the Botswana Independence Party in 1964. He also served as a member of the National Assembly.[1] Some historians believe that Mpho was the first to introduce the term 'Botswana' into formal political vocabulary, replacing the colonialist name of Bechuanaland.[2]

He married his wife, Onalepelo Hannah Macheng, on 7 July 1960, whilst incarcerated in Pretoria Prison for treason in South Africa.[3]

Mpho was among the first to sing the Botswana national anthem after returning to Botswana following a pan-Africa conference in Ghana in 1972.[4]

Mpho died at Princes Marina Hospital in Botswana on November 28, 2012.[5]



  1. ^ Morton, Fred; Ramsay, Jeff; Mgadla, Part Themba (2008). Historical Dictionary of Botswana (4th ed.). Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. p. 148. ISBN 0810854678.
  2. ^ "Mmegi Online :: Motsamai Mpho turns 90". Mmegi Online. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  3. ^ "Motsamai Keyecwe Mpho (1921 - ) | The Presidency". www.thepresidency.gov.za. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  4. ^ "MOTSAMAI MPHO DIES | TheVoiceBW". thevoicebw.com. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  5. ^ "Motsamai Mpho Dies". The Voice. 1 December 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2016.