Standing proudly in a Botswana square, the trio of massive bronze figures known as the Three Dikgosi forever look out across the country whose independence they helped maintain.
In 1885 three tribal chiefs representing the people of Botswana, Sebele I, Bathoen I, and Khama III, traveled from their African nation to plead with the Queen. At the time Botswana (then the Bechuanaland Protectorate) was in danger of being incorporated in the exploitative British South Africa Company, and the tribal leaders set out to do something about it. Traveling to Britain, they pled their case and the nation was put under the control of the crown. It was not exactly freedom, but it was more appealing than the alternative. However it was this separation that would later keep the country from being included in South African apartheid.
While their role in Botswana’s history is a controversial one, the leaders were commemorated in 2005 with the Three Dikgosi monument. Each of the leaders is depicted in regal bronze, 18 feet tall. Their granite stands bear their names and informational plaques tell of their achievements.
Adding to the controversial legacy of the leaders, the monument also drew criticism for the North Korean labor used in its creation.