HRM Mmemongolo (Queen Mother) Semane Bonolo Molotlegi was married to the late Kgosi Edward Patrick Lebone Molotlegi of the Bafokeng people, and was mother to Kgosi Leruo Tshekedi Molotlegi, the present King of the Royal Bafokeng Nation.
Her Majesty, both as the Queen, and subsequently as Queen Mother, played an important role in restructuring of the Bafokeng to become Africa’s richest Traditional community. he was an advisor for the Royal Bafokeng Holdings and ensured that the nation’s substantial wealth from mining royalties brought development to the Bafokeng and surrounding communities in the North West province.
In 2003, Her Majesty was awarded the Leading Light Tribute by the International Women’s Forum as an achiever who has enjoyed success, not through privilege, but through resilience and perseverance. She was also conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of the North West, in recognition of her role in Nation Building. The honour was also an appreciation of her courage and determination to serve the Bafokeng people during the dark days of apartheid.
She founded the Bafokeng Women’s club, Thuto Thebe Educational Fund (Education is a shield) assisting indigent learners, and served actively in health advocacy. She also managed several job creation centres, served as the Former Area President for the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) in Southern Africa, and was the Patron of South African Girl Guides, the women’s national football team, Banyana Banyana and National Choral Music Awards (NACMA).
Her Majesty passed away on 30 November 2020, at the age of 77, and will be remember mostly for her passion for education, women empowerment and her role in the fight against HIV/AIDS.