What Was Happening When

1980 – Mandla

When two dim-witted thieves escape from prison and ransack Mandla’s house, the young boy’s parents believe he and his friend are to blame. Determined to prove their innocence, Mandla and his pal set off in search of the true culprits.

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January

14 – The local community at Soekmekaar resists forced removal and damages the police station.

March

12 – The Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (NGK) together with its sister churches for Blacks (the NGK in Afrika), Coloureds (the NG Sendingkerk) and Indians (the Reformed Church in Africa), issue a statement that the Churches will bring no objection in principle should authorities judge that circumstances justify reconsideration of the Immorality Act and the Mixed Marriages Act.

April

4 – Umkhonto we Sizwe attacks the Booysens Police Station in Johannesburg with grenades, rocket launchers and AK47s.

May

2 – Pink Floyd‘s Another Brick in the Wall is banned because the government fears that it might be used as a song of liberty by black school children.

June

1 – Bombs explode at Sasol One and Two and Natref Eight at Sasolburg and Secunda, with no injuries and RM58 damage. The attack was organised by Solomon Mahlangu of the Umkhonto weSizwe Special Operations.

August

Special Branch policeman Detective-Sergeant T.G. Zondi is shot at in Sobantu Village.

October

14 – The Soweto community calls for a stayaway to protest against rent increases.

November

21 – A terrorist is killed in Chiawelo and a child is injured by police in the process.

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African Myths Part 3

African Myths

Anansi

The exploits of Anansi, West Africa’s great trickster-god, are described in hundreds of folktales. Usually in the form of a spider, his stories mainly deal with his attempts at fooling humans into stealing or doing something immoral that would benefit him in some way. These attempts normally fail miserably, teaching the listeners various life lessons. One tale tells of his attempt to hoard the entire world’s wisdom into a pot for himself. When he succeeded, he attempted to hide the pot at the top of a tree where nobody could find it. He tied the pot in front of him and tried to climb the tree, but progress was slow as he kept sliding and losing his grip. His son, who had followed him, finally asked him why he didn’t tie the pot to his back so that he could climb more easily. As he realized his son’s ingenuity, the pot slipped and fell to the ground. The wisdom fell out and a sudden rainstorm washed it into the river and from there to the waters of the ocean, so that everyone in the world now owns a little bit of it.

Africa

The Magic Of The Lovedu Rain Queens

To the Lovedu people of Mpumalanga, South Africa, the Rain Queen is a fundamental part of their culture and history. Called Mudjadji, the queen is said to be a living incarnation of the rain goddess. As she is the embodiment of rain, even her state of mind is said to influence the weather. The Mudjadji is also believed to be able to send storms to destroy the Lovedu’s enemies or gentle rain to nurture their friends. Every year, the Rain Queen’s powers are displayed at the Ga-Modjadji settlement during the rainmaking ceremony. The queens are all expected to commit suicide by poison at the age of 60. On that day, all of the queen’s rainmaking ingredients, prized objects, and incantations kept secret throughout her reign are passed on to her successor.

African Sky Stock

The Mysterious Queen Of Sheba

We know of the Queen of Sheba from various sources, including the Bible and the Qur’an. Whether she was a queen regent or a queen consort, we do not know. Her full name isn’t ever mentioned, but most scholars believe her kingdom may have been in the region of Ethiopia. The royal family of Ethiopia claims to be direct descendants of the child born to the queen and King Solomon. In their legends, the queen is named Makeda.

According to the Kebra Negast, the story goes that the king invited Makeda to a ceremonial feast where spicy food was deliberately served. Because she was staying the night, the queen asked Solomon to swear he wouldn’t force himself on her. He said he wouldn’t take anything from her if she didn’t take anything from him. Unfortunately, she got thirsty during the night, woke up, and reached for some water that was placed close to her bed. The king appeared, reminding her of her promise, as water was the most esteemed of all earthly possessions. The queen took the water and drank it, so setting the king free of his promise.

Thank you Barnard Gerber at ListVerse for these brilliant myths!

African Myths Part 2

We did the first part of African myths here. Now, brace yourself for part 2! These are genuine African myths that exist in more places than you think!

African Myths

Huveane

In many African stories, Huveane is the first man, while in others he is portrayed as a conniving deity. For the Basotho and Bavenda peoples of Lesotho, South Africa, he is their creator. After the creation of the earth and the heavens, Huveane wanted to enjoy some peace and quiet while proudly admiring his handiwork. Unfortunately, that was about the same time that humans taught themselves about the birds and the bees. This was great for them, but all the noise was too loud for Huveane. In an unusual fashion, Huveane ascended into the heavens by driving pegs into it and climbing to the top. As he climbed he removed each peg so that no human would ever follow him.

African Myths

The Zambezi River God

The legendary Zambezi River God, or Nyaminyami, is a dragon-like creature believed to command all life in and on the mighty Zambezi River, the fourth-largest river system on the continent. According to one fable, the Kariba Dam project (started in 1956) shattered the peaceful existence of the Batonga people who had lived in the Zambezi Valley for hundreds of years. Asked to relocate, the Batonga were certain that Nyaminyami wouldn’t allow the dam to be built. Barely a year after the project began, a severe flood struck, killing several workers and destroying the partially built dam. For three days, relatives waited in vain for human remains to be recovered. Finally, the elders of the tribe explained that only a sacrifice would appease Nyaminyami’s displeasure. At this, a calf was slaughtered and placed in the water. The next day, the bodies of the workers were found in its place. The dam was finished in 1977.

Africa

The Hippopotamus

This remarkable African mammal is usually featured as a goddess in African legends. Worshiped in ancient Egypt as Tawaret, the goddess of fertility and childbirth, she was essentially regarded as a protective and caring deity.

In Mozambique, the Ronga people tell the legend of a mother who left her child with Mother Hippo for safekeeping as the child’s life was threatened by an envious rival. Every night, Mother Hippo would emerge with the child so that it could suckle from its mother.

On the other hand, male hippopotami are usually seen as shape-shifting beasts. According to the legend of the hero Fara Maka, one such beast ate all the crops in the fields. The hero threw all his spears and sent black hounds against it, but the monster continued eating and could only be subdued and killed after a spell was placed on it by the hero’s wife.

African Night Sky

Kalunga

In an Angolan folktale, death is explained like this: heartbroken after the death of his favorite wife Muhungu, Chief Kitamba ordered his people not to speak or eat until she could be brought back to life. The headmen of the tribe asked a medicine man to fetch the queen from Kalunga (the world of the dead). The medicine man ordered all the people of the village to wash themselves with infused herbs and shortly afterwards, descended into the land of the dead with his son.

Following a road, the man soon encountered the queen. She showed him Kalunga-ngombe, the lord of the underworld, and explained that he devours everyone in the end. She also pointed to a shadowy figure in chains—the spirit of Chief Kitamba, who was destined to die soon. Giving him a funerary bracelet as proof of his encounter, the queen sent the medicine man back, telling him that no one who entered Kalunga could ever leave and that he shouldn’t eat any of the food or speak of Kitamba’s impending death. Otherwise, he and his son would both be forced to stay in the underworld. When he returned, he presented the chief with the bracelet, and the chief confirmed that it was indeed that of Muhungu.

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