Long long time ago ,when the southern tip of Africa was still ruled by the San without them actually knowing it, and a spear was still something you used to impale a Springbok on the condition that you could catch it,there was a a young San warrior who got stung in the big toe of his left foot by a scorpion.It was very painful and in the absence of Discem this poor guy had to rely on traditional medicine and the favours of demi gods for any relief.
His name was Xoi Xa XaXa, a brave ostrich hunter who tracked a wounded ostrich from Tsumeb to Garies .By the time he found the ostrich he was very weak and malnourished and his feet were in a terrible state.After devouring 10 kg of ostrich fillet, he cut pieces of the wet ostrich skin into discs and tied it around his feet with riempies,the forerunner of that awful device years later, the hangman's rope.
Without realising it XoiXa XaXa had actually made the first African fashion statement and it did not bode well for the poor ostrich. Three months later when he got home, hungry all over again, the leather was set in these beautiful footwraps which they called 'i shuas' meaning "free from dung". Years later a Dutch clergyman, who was caught having more than communion with one of XOI Xa XaXa's great great grand daughters, had to leave in a hurry and, in his haste, packed the young girl's i shuas as well.He arrived back in Europe where the crazy Dutch were still walking around in wooden artifacts in an effort to emulate walking on water, as popularised by a certain book.
His youngest daughter,Heberta the Ugly,found the Ishuas in his luggage and caused a stirr at the Walletjies when she stripped down to her bloomers with her Ishuas of ostrich leather.She was arrested and the leather shoes was confiscated by the police chief who donated it to the queen mother.After keeping her ganja in the lovely pouches for three months,the queen mother died of bird flu.
The Dutch had a great fear of water and, unlike the San in Africa who had a chronic shortage of water due to poor service delivery (Yes . . .even then), they were surrounded by water. They were stupid enough to build their homes below a damwall which would regularly burst and drown them by the thousands.
All girls under ten had to parade on the wall at night to look for possible leaks .Should they be unfortunate enough to find one, they had to stick there finger in the hole and shout for help.Often their cries for help went unnoticed and they would be found the next morning having died from exposure, hanging from their finger.When removed ,the hole was quickly patched up with cheese gum...
Shoes then was made from three hundred year old oak, with the occasional rub of blue cheese to kill the flies trying to mate with these rotten plonkers.They were rather heavy and cumbersome resulting in the Dutch developing huge calf muscles from dragging these idiotic miniature yachts around on their feet.Sometimes, when the damwall did burst some of them would drown and float upside down hanging from their shoes.
The Dutch had a brief stint as a sea faring nation, colonising a few unwanted islands and a few rocky outcrops.At about the time that Marco polo had Europe in turmoil with some garam masala he stole from India,the Dutch queen,Queen Gouda Soetmelk despatched three ships under the command of Bang Jan Van Riebeeck,a classified pedofile,to look for a sea rout to India.
The appointed pastor to this flotilla was no one else then the same guy who grabbed Xoi Xa XaXa's great great great grand daughter' Ishuas when he was caught kafufuling with the young princess. Imagine his surprise when,out of the sea appeared the sight of Table Mountain,which off course ,he immediately recognised. Van Riebeeck"s eyes glinted when the pastor related his adventures about his stay with the San.
They sailed into Cape Town harbour without even getting permission from the harbour captain,who's wrath they managed to escape when they bribed him with a "berrel"of kentucky.
Bang Jan was amazed,everybody was walking around in these beautiful ostrich leather shoes.Some of the shoes still had feathers in them and reminded Jan so much of the Three Musketeers that chased him out of an Isreali convent a few years ago.He tried to barter for some ostriches, knowing that arriving in Amperdam with these amazing birds will guarantee him fame and fortune.The Koi san refused,with their patent on ostrich leather shoes not registered yet they tried to sell the Dutch some Rhino horn.The dutch ,not being that way inclined,politely refused the offer and tried to steal a few ostriches.This ended in tragedy when an ostrich kicked a hole in the port side of the Domme Daris and sixty five sailors ended up in the water.A very ,very brave sheepfarmer by the name of Wolraad Woltemade happened to be on the docks to look for his daughter and fell into the water on horseback trying to rescue the hapless Dutch sailors who by now were floating upside down hanging from there shoes.Unfortunately they all drowned except the horse who is still wandering around Cape Town looking for his master.
Xoi Xa XaXa the Fifth by now was the mayor of Distrik Sex and eventually agreed to a trade agreement with Bang Jan.Bird flu put an early end to this venture and the resulting trade embargo was only lifted four hundred years later when Nelson Mandela swam from Robin Island to Butterworth in the Transkei.
Van Riebeeck eventually did manage to steal a few ostriches wich he smuggled to Batavia,where he started a new company,Bata Ishuas.
The moral of the story?Not much. With News 24 refusing to keep my story about Darwins lost Tribe on their billboard,I thought the history of ostrich shoes may interest them.Such a lot of K@k gets published ,they may as well post this one .I dare you to !
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.