Eulogy by North West Premier, Prof Tebogo Job Mokgoro, at the funeral service of the late Godfrey Baile Mareme

EULOGY BY NORTH WEST PREMIER, PROF TEBOGO JOB MOKGORO, AT THE FUNERAL SERVICE OF THE LATE GODFREY BAILE MAREME AT THE GREAT HALL, NORTH WEST UNIVERSITY, MAHIKENG CAMPUS ON SATURDAY, 14 MARCH 2020

Motsamaisa tiro wa gompieno
Ba lelapa – Bakgatla, amogelang matshidiso a rona
The Vice Chancellor of the North West University, Prof Dan Kgwadi and the senior management of the University
Members of the academic and research fraternity
Baitseanape ba puo ya Setswana bao ba na leng rona ka kwano mo letsatsing leno
Representatives of the Pan South African Languages Board (PANSALB)
The broader community of motorbike riders
Baruti bao ba tlotlegang
Baagi go tswa gaufi le Kgakala; gammogo le baeng botlhe bao ba re rwaletseng ditlhako mo mosong ono

Bagaetsho dumelang.
Ke utlwa ke le motlotlo gore ke be ke eme fano gompieno, ke tla go latlhela la motlapitsong jaaka re felegetsa mongwe ka rona – Godfrey Baile “Lebolobolo” “Bra Lebs” Mareme – go ya kwa legaeng la gagwe la bofelo.

Motsamaisa tiro, ntetlelele ke bue jaana kere “go wele mokaloba; go wele mogale, go wele lekau la marata go lejwa, go wele senatla”; monna yo o neng ikgantsha ebile a le motlotlo ka puo ya borraarona; puo ya Setswana.

Ladies and gentlemen when one of the most respected but yet the humblest of us passes on, one is usually left with little to say from the most that you have come to know about them.

One does not even know where to start when tasked with speaking about a gentle giant of our people – especially at an occasion as august and somber such as this gathering; both young and old are here – from academics to leaders of government to motorcycle enthusiasts.

Such was the character and nature of this leader of society that he had the ability to straddle various strata of society and easily relate to everyone whom he came across; irrespective of that person’s social, political or economic standing.

Ke ka moo gompieno ke tlelwa ke boitumelo go bona lorato leo bagarona ba le supileng ka go tla ema ba lelapa le ditsala tsa ga Bra Lebs – Lebolobolo jaaka a ne ipitsa – le go mo fa tlotla eo e
tshwanetseng motho wa seriti sa gagwe.

Indeed, it is very humbling yet encouraging to see the multitudes of people from various walks of life gathered under one roof to celebrate a life well lived; his contribution to various facets of society is there to see just looking at the people who are here with this morning.

To some of us who are from the academia, we can attest to his immense ability to wax lyrically in his beloved mother tongue while others will praise him for his prowess on the frame of the most powerful, noisiest motorbike.

Monna yo e ne e mokwadi wa dibuka tsa puo ya gaetsho ya Setswana; o ne a ipela ka leleme la Setswana ebile e le moitseanape wa puo le meetlo ya Setswana. Mo go ene, re ne re itse gore re na le petleke ya malemela gotlhe fa go tliwa ka fa tirisong le kgodiso ya puo ya Setswana.Ke ema fano ke ikgantsa gore ke nnile tshono ya go ka mo itse; mme ke santse ke batla mongwe yo o neng a rata ebile a sireletsa puo ya Setswana jaaka Lebolobolo; mo supeng fa e le gore o teng fano.

Those who knew Lebolobolo very well will easily tell you of his humility and his love for the freedom of his people – the passion in which he loved the African National Congress without seeking a position of power in the movement is still a rare quality that is mostly rested in those that belong to his generation.

Over and above, one thing we know is that he was at his happiest on his motorbike – he was one of the most accomplished motorcyclists that I had come to know in my life and he was one of the first black riders that I can confidently say I knew – he made riding a motorcycle fashionable long before it was. In him, the community of Mahikeng, and the academia in particular, has lost a leader of men, a community builder, a patriot, a father figure but over and above, we have lost a repository and custodian of the Setswana language.

However, I am of the strong belief that he would not have departed from these shores without having planted a seed in younger generations to continue the legacy to uphold and promote the use of indigenous languages in everyday life – be it in the business, academic or social environment.

Bagaetsho, Lebolobolo ke Mmekwa wa Mmakgobuwe,
Makgotlo-a-diala, Makgotlo-Matswalla Phofu!!!
Ke Mabia-Makompo, Mabia-a-Boratemana-a-Mmekwa,
Ke Mafika a a Lalang Tladi, Ga nke a lala Sebata!!!
Ke Bana Ba Motlhaba o o Morudu wa go nna ke hula a fetoga Motho!!
Ke Motho wa bo Kgosi Seaparankwe, A bolotsa Ntwa nae le Matebele,
Tladi ya Photlhogoa, Mme Bobedi boo ba tlhatloga Batho Ba Rathinyana a bo Mogale a Ratemana, Mmekwa!!!
Morena Seapara Kgotleng!!!!
Ke Batsididi ba e ileng ba bona lerole le dira ba re “PULA”!!!!
Batsididi weeeeee!!!!!
Mmekwa weeeee!!!!

To the family, friends, colleagues, comrades and fellow riders, Lalang ka ntho madi a tshologe.

On behalf of the people and Government of the North West Province, receive our most sincere condolences and may his dear soul rest in eternal peace.

We should not mourn him but celebrate him; for he would have not wanted us to remember him in sad tones.

Tsamaya ka kagiso Kgabo, ditiro tsa gago ga re kitla re di lebala Lebolobolo.

Ke a leboga.