What Better Way to Celebrate Heritage Day!
This next week the new Absolutely Awesome South Africa
will be available in book stores countrywide.
The book promises to be as popular and as much fun as the original Awesome South Africa
. This new volume serves to remind us of how great our country and its inhabitants really are. We also get to do what we do best, laugh at ourselves and our quirks, yet with pride in our hearts.
Besides the history, geography, biology and heaps of general, interesting information, you will discover a plethora of humour and culture. The pages are littered with witticism, playful graphics and South Africanisms so familiar to us.
To appreciate our long road to freedom this Heritage Day
we have included a poem which appears in the book.
The Long Road to Freedom
There was a land of splendour in days gone by,
Where all was peaceful beneath its sky.
The birds soared high and animals roamed free,
The Khoi and San gathered Rooibos tea.
They painted and danced and life was good.
No reason for them to be misunderstood.
But then the story of this land is contrived
When down from the North, Bantu tribes arrived,
And the Portuguese explorers planted their cross
In the soil for all to see who was boss.
Van Riebeeck arrived and grapes were planted.
And the ownership of land was taken for granted.
The indigenous folk were driven away.
Malay slaves were bought and forced to obey.
French and German arrived in ships from afar
And aggravated the developing colour bar.
With so many cultures, a new language was born.
The Afrikaner nation was starting to form.
The British invaded and the battles began,
To take the land was their only plan.
Meanwhile, Shaka was growing the Zulu kingdom,
And the Xhosa and Sotho fled for their freedom.
The Boer trekked inland and established a state.
But things started to change at an alarming rate.
Gold was discovered and diamonds were found.
The nation’s problems began to compound.
The Indians arrived to work sugar plantations,
And Ghandi resisted the ruling Caucasians.
It was an ugly Boer War before a union was reached,
But the rights of the Black man were seriously breached.
A dark time for all, the future foreboding.
Segregation worsening, and hatred growing.
The terms of apartheid were forced on the land.
The ANC was formed and subsequently banned.
The oppressed revolted and then were imprisoned.
But the government was feeling increasingly threatened.
There were rumblings of change, the people were scared.
‘Will it ever work if rights are shared?’
The government finally came to its senses,
And allowed the Black man to cross the fences.
Mandela was freed and led the nation,
Into a time of peace and celebration.
The people soon realised there was work to be done,
That required full commitment from everyone.
There were bridges to build, and wounds to heal,
To learn love and respect in a way that was real.
All agreed that we faced a long road ahead,
And remembered the words of Mandela who said:
‘I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not
to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have
discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one
only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have
taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the
glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the
distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment,
for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not
linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.’
Poem © by Derryn Campbell.
Click here to view pages of the Absolutely Awesome South Africa book.
Please join us for a fun evening to celebrate the launch of Absolutely Awesome South Africa.
Cape Town: 6 October at The Book Lounge
Johannesburg: 8 October at Clico Boutique Hotel
Durban: 15 October at Books and Books
For more details on the book launches email Derryn at firstname.lastname@example.org
To order your copy of the book visit www.awesomesouthafrica.co.za
South Africans Positively Influencing the Future.