Fatshe leno la rona

Fatshe leno la rona is the national anthem of Botswana. Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete composed both the music and lyrics of the national anthem, which was officially adopted upon Botswana’s independence in 1966. Since then, the anthem has been sung on various significant occasions such as Kgotla meetings and independence celebrations. It holds immense respect, with strict protocols observed when it is performed: movements are prohibited, individuals stand at attention, and security personnel, including police and soldiers, salute as a sign of reverence.


During the transition to independence in the 1960s, Bechuanaland, which later became Botswana, faced the challenge of selecting its national anthem. “Fatshe leno la rona,” composed by Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete, emerged as a popular choice despite initial opposition due to Motsete’s political affiliation. Motsete and his colleagues from the Botswana People’s Party (BPP) played a pivotal role in promoting the anthem, which was inspired by liberation songs from Ghana. Civil servants, including Gobe Matenge, lobbied for its adoption, organizing public gatherings and circulating letters of support.

However, George Winstanley disputes this narrative, asserting that the decision to adopt “Fatshe leno la rona” was not due to pressure from junior officials but rather a deliberate choice by Seretse Khama, Botswana’s future president. Khama sought an anthem unique to Botswana and capable of transcending political divides. Despite the controversy, “Fatshe leno la rona” ultimately prevailed over other contenders and was officially adopted in 1966, marking Botswana’s independence from British rule.


English: Blessed Be This Noble Land
National anthem of Botswana
LyricsKgalemang Tumediso Motsete, 1962
MusicKgalemang Tumediso Motsete, 1962

The lyrics of “Fatshe leno la rona” refer to God as the provider of the nation’s land, promoting values such as patriotism and unity among Botswana’s diverse ethnic groups. The author emphasizes that the land is a sacred inheritance from ancestors, urging for its preservation and peace. There’s a call for collective effort from both men and women to contribute to the nation’s development, emphasizing not just cooperation but also dedication. The song also celebrates the beauty of Botswana’s name, attributing it to the country’s unity and stability.

Typically, the anthem includes the first verse followed by the chorus, although the second verse and chorus may also be performed.

Setswana lyrics

Fatshe leno la rona
Ke mpho ya Modimo,
Ke boswa jwa borraetsho;
a le nne ka kagiso.

Tsogang, tsogang! Banna, tsogang!
Emang, basadi, emang, tlhagafalang!
Re kopanele go direla
Lefatshe la rona.

'Ina lentle la tumo
la tšhaba ya Botswana,
Ka kutlwano le kagisano,
e bopagantswe mmogo.


Literal English translation

This land of ours,
Is a gift from God,
An inheritance from our forefathers;
May it always be at peace.

Awake, awake, O men, awake!
Arise, O women, arise! Be energized,
Let us work together to serve,
Our land.

Beautiful name of fame
Of the nation of Botswana
Through harmonious relations and reconciliation
Bound together


Poetic English translation

This land of ours,
It is the gift of God,
It is the inheritance of our fathers;
may he be in peace.

Awake, awake! Men, wake up!
Stand up, women, stand up!
Join us in serving
Our world.

A beautiful name of fame,
of the people of Botswana,
In harmony and peace,
it is woven together.


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