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President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana.

Botswana Passes Law For Women to Own Land

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has passed long-overdue law that will allow married women to own land.

Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi has reportedly passed a law that will allow married women to be eligible to own land independent of their husbands. The new law is an amendment to Botswana's Land Policy of 2015 which prevented married women, widows and orphans from inheriting land or acquiring new land entirely.


President Masisi shared the news on Twitter and started off by saying that he was fulfilling the commitment he made during Botswana's Democratic Party campaigns last year.

Historically, land that belonged to husbands followed patriarchal traditions of inheritance. Reuters reports that Tshegofatso Mokibelo, a widowed financial analyst, was rejected for a residential plot because her late husband owned land and his family had claimed it.

The new law is welcomed by her and many other women as it acknowledges women's rights independent of their marital status. Patriarchy historically sees women as possessions of men and therefore doesn't allow them ownership independent of men. These outdated societal norms are still prevalent in 2020.

Botswana Twitter responded with mixed reactions to the news, most users asked Masisi to prioritise the youth when it comes to land ownership.



Only about 15 percent of global farmlands are owned by women even though they contribute more than 51 percent to agriculture. Botswana's revised Land Policy now allows equal eligibility to own a residential plot on both state and tribal land. According to Botswana's land audits reports, more than half of the people awaiting to have land allocated to them are women.

In 2015, the African Union addressed gender inequality as it pertains to land rights and stipulated that women should be allocated 30 percent of land across Africa. However, even this meagre percentage has yet to be achieved. Zambia, Ethiopia and Uganda are a few of many African countries where land rights are still not afforded to married women.

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Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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