It is a well known fact that history is often distorted by those who write it. South African history is being rewritten as we speak – by those who make the stories up as they go along. I’m trying to set the records straight by giving the true virgin of what actually happened.
Not only are some of the historical stories very confusing; the main characters in these stories seem to have been just as confused. Let’s look at a couple of examples in our own history:
A Couple of Examples Number One:
In 1860, a group of Voortrekkers, known as the Jerusalem Trekkers, set off from the Cape Colony for the Holy Land. After trekking for months on end – using the maps at the back of their Bibles – they finally came to a little hill and a stream.
“Broeders en Susters,” declared *Gert, the leader of the Trekkers, “we have arrived in Egypt. That hill over there is the ruins of a pyramid. And this stream is the Nile River. We shall call this town Nylstroom.”
“Now let us build a city hall and a library and church so that we can start taking up collection money and tithes.”
Most of the Broeders were confused. According to the map in their Bibles (The New Jan van Riebeeck Edition v184.108.40.206), this place has actually been called Modimolle by the natives for more than six hundred generations. And now Gert wants it changed! Who does he think he is? The ANC?
(Modimolle comes from the Tswana phrase, Modimo o lle, meaning: “the forefathers’ donkeys and cattle and goats and chickens and children and wives, used to drink at this stream before the evil white men from the Cape Colony stole our land and started collecting money and tithes.”)
In those days, the surrounding towns were called Mookgopong-mookgopong, Bela-bela, Bongo-bongo, Bafana-bafana, Yada-yada, and Etcetera-etcetera. (The repeat is due to the echo-effect. Remember: the Nylstroom district was empty and sparsely populated in those days. The only inhabitants were the foreskins and donkeys and cattle and goats and chickens and children and wives. And everything echoed-echoed.)
Fortunately, in 2002, the name was changed back to what it originally was called by the Tswana forefathers – who built the town, roads, and infrastructure. Nylstroom became Modimolle again; and the town hall and library were named after the original builders: Oliver Tambo and Ruth First.
END OF A COUPLE OF EXAMPLES NUMBER ONE
A Couple of Examples Number Two:
Louis Trichardt was another **Voortrekker (complete with beard, hat, pipe, and ugly, unsmiling, old wife) who decided to trek into the interior of the country in 1835.
There were two main routes that the Voortrekkers could follow into the interior. They could move north along the N1 to Bloemfontein; or North-East on the N2 towards Natal.
Unfortunately most of them died along the way.
Until recently, the exceedingly high death rate amongst the Trekkers was ascribed to malaria, constipation, cheap brandy, taxi accidents, ugly wives, STD’s (Gonorrhea, crabs, prawns, crayfish, etc), and farm murders. But new evidence seems to suggest that they died from pure frustration.
And here’s the reason:
The maps in their Bibles (The New Jan van Riebeeck Edition v220.127.116.11), always had the wrong names to towns and cities.
Trekking according to their Bibles, they’d travel to Mangaung; only to find that it was called Bloemfontein by the local tribes. They’d get to a city marked Tshwane on their maps; but the indigenous people were quite adamant that it was called Pretoria by their forefathers.
Finally, they ended up in a lovely little town, in an ancient province, in the North. (This was where the undisputed genius of Molecular Woodwork, Julius Malema, had built the University of Limpopo.)
Old Louis Trichardt took one look and said: “That’s it for me; I’ve had enough of trekking in circles for forty days and forty nights in this godforsaken wilderness. I’m settling down and naming this town after myself – Louis Trichardt.”
“That’s being racist,” countered his CEO, Moe Masedi. “According to my ANC Bible, the natives have been calling it Makhado for at least two thousand years.….”
END OF A COUPLE OF EXAMPLES NUMBER TWO
There were rumours that Louis and his ugly wife and their twenty-three offspring trekked from Makhado to Lourenco Marques. But when they got there, they found that it was called Maputo by the locals. That was the final straw.
Some say Louis committed ***seppuku; while other say he moved into a quiet little valley, where he spent the rest of his life trying to make Frisbees out of cow patties.
We’ll never know the truth...
*Gert – or Koos, or Piet, or Jan (they all look the same, don’t they? Beards, hats, pipes, and ugly, unsmiling, old wives)
**Voortrekker – not to be confused with “Deurtrekker,” meaning: G-string
***seppuku – dishonourable bowel movement that kills you, till you die from it
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