The Bobirwa Sub District in Botswana is an area populated by the Babirwa (Ba-Birwa) people who originate from the Kalanga and the Nyai (Ba-Nyai). The Babirwa as a people are found in Bobirwa in Botswana, in the Bochum District of the Limpopo Province of South Africa and Southern Matebeleland of Zimbabwe around the City of Kwanda. From the above it is clear that the babirwa people originate from the confluence of the Limpopo River and the Shashi River, the area that today includes the Mapungubjwe Ruins. The Babirwa in South Africa Reside in areas north of the Strydberg Mountains south of Polokwane. This area is popularly known as Bokgalaka (Bo- Kakanga) - meaning where the Ba-Kalanga people reside. There are more than 40 Babirwa surnames in South Africa which include Malema, Makhura, Choshi, Seanego, Mmamadi, Legong (Lehong), Mangale, Taueatswala, Molefe, Mogano (Muhanu), Machete, Lehomo, Raphahlelo, Raseokgo (Sebola), Phooko, Ramalepe, Boikanyo, Selema, Morerwa (Murerwa) Makgatho ,Maruatona and many more. The word Bobirwa therefore means the land of (Babirwa) Ba-Birwa people live.

Coordinates: BW 21°58′14″S 28°25′24″E / 21.97043°S 28.423335°E / -21.97043; 28.423335Coordinates: BW 21°58′14″S 28°25′24″E / 21.97043°S 28.423335°E / -21.97043; 28.423335
Country Botswana
District Central District

The Bobirwa Sub District is an administrative region in eastern Botswana, part of the Central District. Bobonong is the largest town and the headquarters of the sub-district. The sub-district is bounded by Zimbabwe to the northeast and South Africa to the southeast. The Limpopo River forms the boundary with South Africa.

The Bobirwa Sub-district has an average annual rainfall of 300 to 400 millimetres (12 to 16 in). Soils are mainly loams to sandy clay loams. Bobirwa is the lowest part of Botswana, varying from 590 to 886 metres (1,936 to 2,907 ft) above sea level. It is intersected by a network of channels that drain into the Limpopo. Villages include Mathathane, Motlhabaneng, Tsetsebjwe, Kobojango, Bobonong, Molalatau, Tobane, Mabolwe, Semolale, Lepokole, Zanzibar and Lentswelemoriti.[1]

The sub-district has been heavily degraded by agricultural activities and is susceptible to drought. Large areas in and around the villages are bare earth, due in part to clearing of grasses to keep away snakes and insects, in part to overgrazing by sheep, goats, donkeys and even cattle kept by the villagers.[1] A study showed a substantial reduction in natural land cover between 1970 and 2010, combined with a significant increase in population.[2] In addition to livestock, the sub-district is home to abundant livestock. In 2000 there was a herd of around 200 elephants.[3]

In 2011 it was reported that the government had approved establishment of service centres in Tsetsebjwe, Mathathane and Gobojango as well as other large infrastructure development projects such as road improvements, bridges and electrification. This followed rapid economic growth in the previous three years. The local people could now shop and bank in Bobonong, rather than having to travel to Selebi-Phikwe, and the new centers were expected to further improve access to services.[4] In 2012 there was a sharp increase in stock theft. This may have been caused in part by drought, which was forcing livestock to travel long distances to find grazing and water, making them vulnerable to rustlers.[5]




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