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The School Library Journal on Alexander Mc Call Smith and Mma Ramotswe in Botswana

Updated on March 23, 2013

The Committee for school library journal on Alexander McCall Smith and Botswana -- Mma Ramotswe missing altogether

I used to feel important as a member in the Committee for the school library journal in Gaborone city, the capital of Botswana The same as Alexander Mc Call Smith, I lived for a while in Botswana, the country of Mma Ramotswe, working on a contract to teach art and crafts.

The Committee for the school library journal used to be very active. We met and made a review of book lists, decided on which books to buy for the school's Library. The children then were encouraged to borrow the books and read, after school, at home, as to be prevented from other, maybe bad, activities. I guess Precious Ramotswe, provided she would have been once a real child, would have liked to borrow books from such a library.

As an ordinary member in the Committee for the school library journal, and treated with utmost respect, I was someone though that could not always be trusted when proposing books to be bought. It was known that Art Teachers, although responsible teachers teaching an important subject in all the schools in Botswana, were tempted to order big quantities of Art albums which are expensive books because of the quality paper that they are printed onto. Mr. Motswaledi was the Chairman of the LIbrary Committee.

An important meeting about books was taking place in Gaborone, Botswana


This meeting was taking place in a hot afternoon. It was about deciding on a lot of good books to be bought for the children, other than Art albums. Good books about Mathematics, Science books especially, as Mr. Motswaledi was a Mathematics and Science teacher and he knew only too well what was needed. It was a hot hot Summer afternoon, after lessons, after lunch.

The other members were trying to catch the mildly cooler breeze that the Library's ceiling fan was mercifully pushing onto the team of hard working teachers' heads. Mr. Motswaledi was proposing titles, we were motioning our heads in agreement and we were almost there, at the end that everybody was visibly looking forward to, except Mr. Motswaledi, the Chairman.

art teacher
art teacher

Should we order Alexander Smith's books?

Alexander Smith wrote about Precious Ramotswe, the no 1 lady detective

Wait, I said, stopping the closing remarks for the school library journal, and what about ordering the books of Alexander Smith, for the students, they can then read them.

Alexander McCall Smith's books about Mma Ramotswe have a great success all over the world

batswana kids
batswana kids

The books written by Alexander McCall Smith about Precious Ramotswe the no 1 lady detective have a great success worldwide. Living only in Gaborone, Botswana, I would have not known just how great the success was, if I didn't find a couple of tourists from Australia buying up the whole stock of 15 books from the bookstore next to the coffee shop in Kgale View mall. Why are you buying so many of these same books I asked them good natured and always curious to see what's going on in the world?

Why, they said, there is a waiting list of six weeks in our town's library for these books of Alexander McCall Smith. We take this ones to make our friends extremely happy. They all like to read about Mma Ramotswe the Lady Detective, very much.

I liked the No I Ladies' Detective myself very much, before I ever knew of Alexander McCall Smith's worldwide success, but the Australian tourists' interest and indeed their community's from their home made me very proud of Mma Ramotswe and all of the Batswana.

The meeting coming to an end and the school library journal was almost closed - all the books have been ordered -- the school library journal was to be closed


So, I said now for the school library journal, at that Committee meeting, suddenly remembering this issue of Alexander McCall Smith and Mma Ramotswe, let's buy these books. They are about Botswana. Let them kids read about their own country -- when they finish all the Maths books, I added quickly with an instant wisdom.

Mr. Motswaledi looked at me confused : what books Mma Fofescu, who is the author of these books he asked, concerned that the students might get to read something not suitable for their best interest..

The books of Alexander McCall Smith -- he is living in Scotland now, the whole world likes them -- I said. They have a great success all over the world, It is said that Mrs. Laura Bush liked them too!

We cannot take those books Mma Fofescu, made up his mind Mr. Motswaledi after a minute or two of thinking, we like to take only books from authors that we know.

And so it was decided, I was the only one to vote for, the others voted against as my collegues were all young teachers, too young to have met and get to know Alexander McCall Smith when he lived in Botswana, before he wrote the books of his tender love for all the Batswana..

The movie about Mma Ramotswe was produced in Botswana - based on Alexander McCall Smith's books

mc call smith
mc call smith

Alexander McCall Smith has an amazing understanding of the people of Botswana. His perspective is unique, his view is panoramic. He seems to observe his characters from a point of view that is moving all along together with them in their undertakings.

Batswana don't understand why the fuss. They think of their own ways as something that its just the way it should be, nothing special.

Alexander McCall Smith, the Edinbourgh based lawyer has lived for a number of years in Southern Africa - Rhodesia and Botswana. It is from that personal experience that he gained the emotional charge that blends so well into the fabric of the storyline about Mma Ramotswe and her activity as the No 1 Lady Detective of Botswana. The movie is following in the footsteps of Mma Ramotswe and the image of a country hardly known to the world is emerging to show the people of Botswana as they are: gentle, tolerant, tender, mindful of others, the way we all were meant to be by God.

Alexander McCall Smith and Mma Ramotswe on Amazon -- for another school library journal in the world - the books and the movie should be in the school library j

When I first heard that a movie is going to be made after the No 1 Lady Detective, I did not know how it is going to be possible. The gentle charm and subtle inteligence that underlines the character description in the written form of art seemed to be difficult to suit the different media of cinematography.

At the end, the movie proved once again that it takes only the will and the talent and it is all possible. The movie is a match to the books without being a mere copy of them. I sincerely hope that in the next school library journal the books and the movies will be written as items to be purchased.

There are people in Botswana who are not aware of books being written about their country - they do things that they do not learn in schools or from books

For the keen reader and in attention of the school library journal - from the series of Alexander McCall Smith's books featuring Mma Ramotswe -- attention schoo

Every school library journal can make a mention of these books for the list to be purchased on the next occasion.

Music of the Botswana Bushmen as it can be heard in the Kalahari

The Bushmen are one of the oldest tribes of Africa. They live mainly in the Kalahari nowadays and have a traditional way of life that sets them into a different world of values.

Bushmen of the Kalahari
Bushmen of the Kalahari

This tunes relate to the primitive hunter-gatherer existence and the holistic environmental approach to life of the Bushmen. Their instruments are fairly basic and portable: ankle shakers, drums, flute, bow with resonator, and thumb piano. The 35 short tracks, total of 72 minutes, become an enchanting suite.of the sounds of the traditional songs of the Bushmen -- as they are heard in the Kalahari even today.


Did you like the books of Alexander McCall Smith about Mma Ramotswe?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is my first introduction to the books of Alexander McCall Smith and you make them sound very inviting, I love your enthusiasm!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      A library needs a good collection of books both modern and old classics, good that you were able to contribute by persuading your colleagues. Life must be interesting at Botswana, a place with helpful people.

    • viscri8 profile image

      viscri8 6 years ago

      @anansigirls lm: The school's address is: Botswana Gaborone, Samora Machel Drive, Bokamoso CJSS.

    • viscri8 profile image

      viscri8 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, KC, explore it, -- you will love our world a bit more if you get to know it. And also visit Botswana if you can -- it will be a beautiful experience for your mind and soul. Keep well!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Sadly, I have not read any of Mr. Smith's books, but I love your narrative about his work. Tempted to explore his work now! :)

    • anansigirls lm profile image

      anansigirls lm 6 years ago

      I am quite upset about the decision not to take the books. I would like to donate my collection, if that is ok? But that means I need an address to your school.

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

      Sorry - I have not YET read these books. But I DO HAVE a lens about Miriam Makeba =D