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From bleak future to world stage

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July 11, 1979, a tiny sickly infant breathes its first. 

Under Dr Alfred Merryweather’s medical care, it is immediately whisked away and frantically placed into an incubator. 

Its future uncertain. 

In the evening, Dr Merryweather, a doctor at Scottish Livingstone Memorial Hospital would narrate to his wife, Mary, a sad story about this little precious life. 

Overcome by emotions, the British natives then agree on adoption, but on one condition – that its mother gives the couple full custody of her little princess. 

The following morning Dr Merryweather would break the news to the nursing mother. 

Hapless and still trapped in wild thoughts, unsure whether her little princess would make it, the mother would all the same wish for a silver spoon for her. 

Only seven-days-old and as fate would have, Mpho would now become a Merryweather - adoption deal sealed. 

Come November 22, 2019 and 40 years later, Mpho makes her reality TV - The Real Housewives of Johannesburg Season 2 - debut. 

One of South Africa’s leading reality TV shows, Season 2 chronicles the lives of seven enviably wealthy Johannesburg women as family women, businesswomen and friends. 

“I am happy my mother had that vision and gave me a silver spoon. I could not even be where I am today if I was not given up for adoption,” reveals Mpho in an interview, who in her four decades of existence, only met her biological parents once. 

Dr Merryweather would later move from Molepolole to Gaborone, where he also served as the country’s first president, Sir Seretse Khama’s personal physician. 

Mpho would then start schooling at Northside Primary School. 

“I was raised to be a little fearless warrior. My mom prepared me to conquer the world,” the mother of three girls and two boys gives all credit to Mary, whom together with her husband have departed this world. 

Born in Molepolole, Mpho never had to stay long in one place. 

She refers to herself as a global nomad. 

From Gaborone to UK, she later pursued her tertiary education in South Africa in the then Bophuthatswana region. 

She pursued jewellery- making in London, where upon completion she joined De Beers, becoming the first Motswana female jewellery designer for the company. 

She is a dream chaser. 

Her stay at De Beers was short-lived. 

Instead, she joined the world of Public Relations, focusing much on advertising for agencies. 

“I did PR courses because I’m reinventing, learning and evolving.” 

Indeed, being a global nomad, she moved to South Africa, where she stayed for 11 years,  upon which she joined the events industry. 

At some stage, she had to quit her job because it was too demanding, given that she was also nursing a newborn. 

Diverse! A more apt word to define someone of her character. 

Six years ago, this go-getter shifted to project management. 

Her conviction being that for one to deliver the best, it was critical to arm herself with another certificate. 

Given that her creative juices are always on steroids, she easily gets bored, then hopping to more challenging pursuits. 

Today Mpho, who grew up in a family of five girls; one, a biological daughter to the Merryweathers while the other four were either through adoption or under foster care, now resides in South Africa, where she works with international companies such as AfroPunk and A’frequency - a show that showcases African music to the rest of the world. 

Always in pursuit of life’s next journey experiential, Mpho has throughout the years been involved in a wide spectrum of vocations ranging from journalism, education to entertainment and entrepreneurship. 

“I am such a great character. I am amazing.” 

Indeed she is. Such character earned her a role in the reality show. 

Instead of being tossed between interviews and screening, she explains that producers approached her instead. 

She adds that she enjoys being a cast member of a reality show because she remains true to herself instead of faking personality. 

Though she missed a few episodes while celebrating her 40th birthday abroad, the moment she landed, she disrupted the flow of the show, in a friendly way though, earning herself a name; The mid-season shaker. 

Draped in an African outfit, Mpho stresses, “I refuse to go to expensive brands, and those designers don’t care about us. 

I support young and upcoming women around us. If we don’t support each other who will?” 

Growing up surrounded by great minds, the environment molded her into an appreciative and grounded woman who easily juggles between being a ‘housewife’, sister, daughter, mother and a business woman. 

Indeed, great minds in the sense that, former government spokesperson, Dr Jeff Ramsay once wrote, “For over five decades Rev. Dr. Alfred Musgrave Merriweather (1918-99) tirelessly devoted himself to the wellness of Batswana. 

Also known as the ‘Desert Doctor’, ‘Ramosesane’ and ‘RaBoitumelo’, he took up residence in Botswana in 1944 after being released from wartime service in Burma to join the staff of Scottish Livingstone Memorial Hospital. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Ndingililo Gaoswediwe

Location : Gaborone

Event : Interview

Date : Dec 04 Wed,2019


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