Memories of Maun village life as it was in 1960s Botswana

This week we bring you images and a video depicting various scenes in and around Maun in 1960s Botswana. All these images will have been taken with consent. While Ian Brooks, who generously shared  all the material with YourBotswana does not recall any detail associated with these, they are typical of life in those days. 

Ian Brook’s comments on the various images

  • Image 15; it was common to see the Bamangwato out hunting very close to Maun. There is a wonderful contrast in lifestyle, with the 3 hunters in the foreground and my mother and myself at the back of the van preparing some UK-style food.
  • Image 16; houses where the police used to stay. These areas were kept immaculately clean, to the extent of sweeping loose sand off the parade ground in front.
  • Image 66; a Bamangwato hunter
  • Image 209; a Bamangwato elder
  • Image 211; the damage to the gentleman’s face was caused by a local parasite. While we have no images, we were frequently visited by people suffering from ’sleeping sickness’ requesting some help.
  • Image 212 to 214; views of village people. In image 214, there appears to be a sable in the background – this group appears on the cine film we have, and the antelope can be seen walking in the background.

These are images we have showing typical life in Ngamiland as it was then. It will be fascinating to compare these with the current standard of living, and the benefit to society of development.

Written by Ian Brooks

Ian is Donald Brooks’ son. His father arrived in Maun in early 1962, leaving four years later in 1966. He was a police officer, trained in the UK, but working in the Colonial Service. His brief on being transferred to Maun was to sort out the ‘w’ element; there was a perception that there was insufficient regulation, particularly the hunting of the wild animals, and his task was to bring this under control.

Ian and his siblings were children while in Bechuanaland Protectorate/ Botswana; the younger 3 children were born in Bechuanaland Protectorate. The context is a combination of his own memory of life in Maun as a child, as well as various conversations with his parents over the years about the photographs and life in Botswana while they were there (1958 to 1968).

3 months ago

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