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To understand Africa south fully, you really have to read its
history in detail and listen to the stories of the events from not
just one perspective.
different peoples have populated the region ofAfrica south over the
centuries all with their own stories to tell of how events and
circumstances changed lives and shaped its history.
You have to listen to the stories told by the indigenous people
themselves ... the San and the KhoiKhoi (or Khoisan).
You also have to listen to the stories told by the migrating tribes
... not only as a conglomerate Bantu mass, but from each of the
different tribes and clans.
Also the stories told by the rising nations of the Zulu, the Swazi,
the Basotho, the Herero, the Shona, and the Matabele, and
You have to also read the stories of the explorers ... Livingstone,
Stanley, Rhodes ... the stories also from the Portuguese, the
Dutch, the English, the Hugenots (French), the Germans, and the
The stories from lands far away from Africa ... Europe, India,
Arabia, even America.
All these people helped shaped the region we know as South Africa,
Zambia, Mocambique, Namibia, Botswana, Bophutatswana, the Kalahari,
Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola, Lesotho, the Transkei, and Swaziland ....
You would also have to read the profiles of individuals such as
Shaka, Dingane, Lobengula, Mzilikazi ... Piet Retief, Sarel
Cilliers, Jan van Riebeeck, Cecil Rhodes .... And others.
You would also have to read how the slave trade, ivory hunting,
industry, mining, and the discovery of gold, diamonds, and other
minerals changed events and helped to shape the region's
All these stories are fascinating and have their place in the
history of Africa south.
And you would also have to understand a bit of the countryside and
landscape of the region ... its rugged and mountainous terrains,
its plains and forests, its deserts, its wildlife, the climatic
conditions, even the ocean itself ... for these too had an effect
on the events which took place and helped shape and make the people
into the characters they became ...
It has often been said that Africa is not for the faint hearted ...
and to survive you have to change your lifestyle and your way of
thinking ... you have to learn to battle against the odds, to be
formidable, to be made of steel ... and to sometimes put
sentimentality aside and accept that life and death is part of the
culture of Africa itself ... and I mean the environment, not its
For example there is little or no room for sentimentality in the
lifestyle of its wildlife ...
Animals like lions, jackals, cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas need to
eat and so killing becomes part of their way of life. And order for
your species to survive you have to become either cunning or
ruthless ... a male lion has no hesitation in moving into the
territory of another male and taking over its female pride, of
killing the other male's offspring ... so territorial wars are
fought even among these magnificent beasts, and others.
likewise, you get your rogues ... the ruthless ones who for some
reason or other go on the rampage against their own kind, the
environment, and other beasts ...
The climate is not kind either ... periods of torrential rain that
uproot trees, wash away landscape ... periods of drought where all
but the extremely hardy do not survive ... animals migrate in
search of food supplies when times are not plentiful, plants learn
to adapt ... or you die ....
'Survival of the fittest' ..., 'Survival of the species' ...,
'Breed prolifically' ..., 'Kill or be killed' ...,
all roll off the tongue when describing Africa south and become
mottos for survival ...
So it is also with Africa's people ...
Botanical Gardens of South Africa