‘A United kingdom’ is a film about the romance that transpired between late Tswana president, Sir Seretse Khama and his English wife, Ruth Williams. Their love which became notorious for causing political upheavals between Britain and South Africa at the time is going to be portrayed by British actors, David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike.
At the time, Botswana was a British protectorate called Bechuanaland of which late Seretse Khama was a prince. Seretse was a student of Oxford University, while Ruth a middle-class Londoner was a clerk. The duo met at a London Missionary Society Dance in 1947 , and the rest is history– literally. They both got married at 27 and 24 respectively.
In the usual ancient African fashion, Seretse, who was also chief in waiting of the Bamangwato tribe was meant to marry a woman from his tribe upon graduation. When both families of the couple heard about the union, they were appalled and sought ways to put an end to it. Tshekedi Khama, Seretse’s Uncle who sent him to the UK to study collaborated with the British government to end the union.
The marriage happened at a time when Apartheid was about to be made legal in South Africa. The government of South Africa did not condone the marriage of a white woman to a black man. Britain was not willing to sabotage the relationship they had with South Africa so it pushed to sabotage Seretse and Ruth’s relationship instead.
Meanwhile, Seretse’s uncle was pushing for him to give up his chieftaincy rights because Ruth would not be recognized as a tribal queen. Although Seretse was reluctant, he eventually gave up the rights. As life would have it, he was a candidate of the first democratic elections in Bechuanaland( now Botswana) and became president of the country. In fact, his son Ian Khama is the current president of Botswana.
The storyline is thrilling and captivating, especially with Apartheid South Africa and British colonialism as the backdrop. We can’t wait to watch it as it hits the big screens later this year.
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