Dr. Kgosietsile Velempini

The role of indigenious knowlegde (award 2005)
IKC, South Africa


I was tapped for KSAL in 2005. The opportunity came at a time when I needed it. I had just quit teaching in a secondary school in the Ngamiland district of Botswana. I was in the second year of my Master’s degree research project titled “The role of Indigenous technical knowledge and community based management in Dryland ecosystem of Kgalagadi south, Botswana.” At the same time, I was volunteering at the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Gaborone, Botswana, under the Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) program. The funding from Kellogg enabled me to reach out to, collect data from, and live with the people in the two communities of Struizendam and Khawa, in Kgalagadi south district of Botswana that were the focus of my research. Additionally, living with the local people enabled me to learn some basic Afrikaans language. The workshops that were facilitated by the African Intellectual Resources (AIR) in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa really made a significant difference. I now have a network of colleagues all over the world—mainly from the Southern Africa region—who share research interests. The workshops taught me how to grow being a leader and make change in the lives of the people. I am now able to think globally, as a leader in my community, country, and wherever I travel all over the world. It is through the support from KSAL that part of my project research got published in the Journal of Botswana Notes and Records. I am glad that people can now read my academic work. A copy of my thesis was also submitted to interested government departments such as the Department of Forestry and Range-land Resources (DFFR). I also did ploughback activities in Struizendam and Khawa, sharing my research with people there. I am now a 'thought leader'. I can now develop project proposals for my communities in Botswana. I quite often liaise with local community groups for initiatives that they plan in Struizendam and Khawa. Since the KSAL programme, I continue having a research and project agenda in my schedule.