In Morafe, Khumisho Moguerane has written a luminous exploration of two generations of the prominent Molema family. They were ‘border people’, who straddled what would become present-day South Africa and Botswana.

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Beginning in the 188os at the frontier of the new British territories of British Bechuanaland (North West and Northern Cape provinces) and the Bechuanaland Protectorate (Botswana), where the political boundary between these two territories is negligible and where skin colouring did not yet necessarily connect with a particular social or political status, nor did it yet really affect economic opportunity. Morafe ends in the 195os, where the political boundary matters profoundly, dividing two very different colonial dispensations of colonial racial ordering and classification, and two separate traditions of nationalist politics. With this landmark publication, Moguerane reveals that the ‘nation’ is less ‘out there’ in public institutions and political struggles, but ‘in here’, in the everyday drama of personal and ordinary lives.

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