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Afrikaners of the Kalahari: White Minority in a Black State by Margo Russell, Martin Russell

By Margo Russell, Martin Russell

The preferred picture of the Kalahari is a romantic considered one of desolate tract area and untouched Bushmen. the preferred picture of the Afrikaners is of a distinct and harsh racialism. but Afrikaners were dwelling within the Kalahari for greater than 100 years, their presence usually studiously overlooked through writers; and because 1961 self sufficient Botswana with its coverage of scrupulous non-racialism has embraced either Afrikaner and Bushman in universal citizenship. This e-book makes an attempt to explain the advanced and mundane fact of ethnic kinfolk within the Kalahari, not just within the current, harried by way of relentless strain to go into the money financial system of modernisation, yet long ago. utilizing oral background as a resource, the authors describe the 'Africanisation' of those bad white pastoralists of the inner, bring to a halt by way of the thirstland from these impacts which gave modern Afrikanerdom its specific solid. They describe the pragmatic kinfolk constructed via Afrikaners with different peoples of the internal, and the way those were perceived and redefined with the decisive shift in political strength from British to Tswana palms.

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Extra info for Afrikaners of the Kalahari: White Minority in a Black State (African Studies (No. 24))

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Almost all men had some knowledge of metals but only a few were true smiths, shaping the great wagon springs, rimming and binding the wheels, fashioning tools and implements. Ultimately what was to be the most decisive trekker skill was the digging and construction of wells. Techniques for shoring up excavations and knowledge of dynamite enabled the trekkers to dig lower levels for water than would otherwise have been possible. They came with small herds of goats, occasional sheep, and cattle. Like their black neighbours they regarded cattle as social wealth, not in the narrow pecuniary sense of a commercial economy but as the proper social foundation underpinning family and community life.

The cold desert nights could be warded off wrapped in a Nama fur blanket, or kaross, before a fire. Such small temporary houses, which were still in use in the 1960s, were doubtless too insignificant for inclusion on Stigand's maps, or for mention in the acting Resident Magistrate's report of 1920. 20 These early trekkers were almost self-sufficient, but their appetite for stock, like that of most pastoralists, was not easily satisfied. Ghanzi was good cattle country, but it was also good lion country, and the absence of any fencing or control over cattle during calving meant that predators, as well as drought and sickness, could entirely destroy any hope of natural increase in the herd.

We had farm schools and not many teachers. The teacher was the one who had more education than the rest. Children did not go to school every day. When I came to South West I could not read or write but I knew how to count. A predikant came two or three times a year to baptise the children. When the Portuguese wanted us to give up our school and our church and our language we sent people to the Union [of South Africa] to ask, and they said we must come to South West. That was 1928. Not everybody left, some had married Portuguese and some trekked later.

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