Another bridge was built in Bophuthatswana – not of concrete slabs and steel pylons, but from people’s skills for the development of the nation – taking people from where they were to what they could become.
Several Mmabana Cultural Centres, which nurtured people by developing their talents and encouraging their growth, were established throughout the country.
Mmabana, meaning Mother of the Children, was Kgosi Lucas Manyane Mangope’s vision. He felt this unique and ambitious project was crucial for the success of a society, which was not only measured by the level of nutrition and employment, but also by the level of creativity.
These centres housed facilities for learning and experiencing the arts including:
These centres also provided basic medical facilities and Early Learning Centres where three to six-year-olds were given a better chance of succeeding at school and so at life.
The country’s national handicraft project, which was also conceived by Kgosi Lucas Manyane Mangope, trained students in traditional or new handicraft which they then passed on to their rural communities to generate income and to stimulate the tourist market.
Students enrolled on a two-year contract basis during which they were not paid but housed and fed at government’s expense. Trainees were taught by experts to make jewellery, ceramics, carpets, and other textile products.
The living museum at Lotlamoreng dam attracted many tourists to the region and generated income.
Government believed the pleasure of sport was to be experienced by a greater number of Batswana – both as spectators and players.
Kgosi Lucas Manyane Mangope also commented that sport was one of the great vehicles for character development, especially where teamwork was required such as football.