Regina Thea Maaswai Dambe (31 May 1947-10 August 2002)
She was remembered by her children and grandchildren; friends; representatives of the womenšs movement in Botswana; the Hon Minister of Health; staff from the University of Botswanašs Department of Adult Education where she had briefly worked before her stroke on the 27th of March 1999; other staff from the University who knew her; fellow Tanzanianšs resident in Botswana; and members of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Gaborone.
Testimony to the life of Regina Dambe was provided by her younger brother, Mr Swai. When Regina Dambe visited her home in Tanzania after her stroke she joined his evangelical church. He believed that Regina was ready to die, after three years of slow recovery from her stroke. She was declared clinically dead on the 8th of August but revived to communicate with her loved ones and then died again on the 10th.
Mrs Imelda Molokomme, former Director, Emang Basadi (National Womenšs Organization) gave the other tribute. She said that she felt that Regina could have stayed on this earth longer; that our heroines remain unsung. She thanked Reginašs daughter Saide for all the care and support she had provided since the stroke. She recognized Reginašs commitment to the cause of women both in Botswana and elsewhere, and her research for her masters in adult education among the illiterate San. She will always remember Reginašs goodness and kindness, her sense of dignity and self-respect, her ever ready smile and her little laugh. She called on us to relive Reginašs memory through a song about her.
Regina Dambe attended primary and secondary schools in Tanzania. She earned her bachelors in womenšs studies in Canada in 1993 (her dissertation was a study of a women's shelter), and her masters in 1997 from the University of Botswana.
Regina was the second born of six children of Mr and Mrs William Swai. In Tanzania she married as a Muslim in 1969, and had three children. Her first husband is deceased. In Botswana she was married to Jonathan B. Dambe. She worked as a community development officer in many places from 1967 to 1978. In Botswana she worked as a social welfare officer in Selbi-Phikwe from 1979 to 1986. She then worked for three years as a womenšs trainer, following this with work as a consultant. In 1997 she was the project officer for the evaluation of Tirelo Setshaba. She was also the founding Coordinator for SERVAS in Botswana and hosted SERVAS travellers, plus attended a regional meeting in Livingstone, Zimbabwe. Briefly, before her stroke, she became Deputy Chair of the Kagisano Society, because of her interest in women's shelters.
She is survived by three children and four grandchildren.