My impression is that few people in the US know much about Botswana, and if they are familiar with it at all it is probably because of the #1 Ladies Detective books and TV show. Or Animal Planet shows about the Okavango Delta. Neither of which is a realistic representation of this funky little landlocked nation. The Ladies Detective thing is cutesy and quaint, but it is as realistic a representation of life in Gaborone as the TV show Northern Exposure was of life in Alaska. In other words, not very.
Botswana is much more complex and interesting than the stereotypes and caricatures would have us believe.
Here’s a really cool time lapse sequence of the Gaborone Central Business District at night. Not quite Mma Ramotswe, eh?
Here’s another cool time lapse. I can’t picture Mma Ramotswe driving a BMW in the city center, shopping at malls and eating at fancy restaurants.
Would you have believed that skateboarding is a thing in Botswana? Kinda blows up the stereotype of “Africa” in a lot of people’s minds, huh?
Or would you have thought that poetry is a big deal here?
While we’re dispelling myths and blowing up stereotypes, who’d have thought that there’s a thriving heavy metal subculture in Botswana? With their own unique fashion which is a combo of leather, biker and cowboy. Sort of like a mashup of all of the Village People into one. I admit I’m not a fan of the genre, but it’s certainly unique.
Here’s one of the home grown metal bands in action:
At the other end of the spectrum, who’d have thought that fishing for largemouth bass is a thing in Botswana? Looks just like a lot of lakes in the American south.
This is only scratching the surface at the depth of culture this small country of only 2 million has to offer. I’m looking forward to learning more in the years to come. And every day when I go to work in Kgale View I keep an eye out for a certain lady detective of traditional build.