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Roy Sesana

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Subject: San people, Indigenous activists of Africa, Davi Kopenawa Yanomami
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Roy Sesana

Roy Sesana
Born c. 1950
Molapo, Bechuanaland Protectorate (now Botswana)
Fields Traditional medicine man
Human rights
Institutions First People of the Kalahari
Known for Human rights defender

Roy Sesana (born c. 1950) is a San activist who worked together with the First People of the Kalahari for the rights of his tribe.


  • Biography 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Sesana lives in New Xade in the central Kalahari and works as a traditional medicine man. He moved to South Africa for a couple of years, but returned to his people in 1971 in order to live together with them in the desert. In 1991, he co-founded the First People of Kalahari (FPK) together with John Hardbattle, which intensively promotes the traditional way of life, protecting the nature. In 1997, a small group of Bushmen still living in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve were resettled to the new built town of New Xade. The government claimed that this was a result of a mutual understanding that the continued presence of the group within the reserve was in conflict with the preservation of the game reserve. The government also claimed that it could not provide the group with basic infrastructure and services while they were within the reserve for the same reasons. A group of Bushmen represented by First People of the Kalahari refused to move, citing difficult conditions in the new settlement, the unfamiliar way of life they had to adjust to and many new social ills such as unemployment, alcoholism and diseases, especially HIV-AIDS.

In 2002, the First People of the Kalahari took the Government of Botswana to court to seek the right for the relocated people to return to the reserve. The protracted court case attracted substantial international attention. On December 13, 2006, Botswana's High Court ruled in the Bushmen's favour, stating that the evictions were unlawful and unconstitutional.[1]

In September 2005, Sesana was arrested for "rioting" and attempting to "forcibly enter the Central Kalahari Game Reserve", but was released a couple of days later.[2] In December 2005, he received the Right Livelihood Award for "resolute resistance against eviction from their ancestral lands, and for upholding the right to their traditional way of life."

See also


  1. ^ "Court calls for CKGR talks". Botswana Press Agency (BOPA). Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  2. ^ "Sesana in custody". Botswana Press Agency (BOPA). Retrieved 2007-12-12. 

External links

  • I want 2 go home – Kgeikani Kweni (First People of the Kalahari)
  • The Right Livelihood Award – First People of the Kalahari / Roy Sesana (Botswana)
  • Right Livelihood Award Acceptance Speech by Roy Sesana
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