Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Discover the Diversity of Africa!
Within Africa you will find many different cultures,
often within a few miles of each other.
Get a new appreciation for African cultures that date  
back thousands of years!


The more I find out about the background of Southafrica as it is today and why things are the way they are, the more excited I get. In my 30 years away from Germany and living along all the folks that were here before me, I  also unearth a lot of sad truths. The first humanitarian catasrophy were the white settlers. Why did the colonists have to stick their fingers in all the pies all over the world? They wanted power,  more land,  more richdom.  One by one no noble motives. The white missionaries might have had “noble” motives,  but it all went horribly wrong.  The indigenous belief systems are all still in place, neighbouring with the Christians. (I never quite could find out what’s going on here in this respect. Many people sit in church on Sundays, then go home to a burial and effect absolutely un-Christian rituals, most involving fresh blood being poured as a sacrifice to their ancestors.)

The Africans could just as well have gone on living with the natural flow of the soil. But no, the Whites had a hitleresque urge to “civilize” them. One of the many very tragic consequences of Europeans sticking their noses into a country where they had no business whatsoever is, that the tribal cultures and ways to dress fell victim to their westernisation. Today one can hardly distinguish between the various and originally very distinct cultural groups, as everybody put on the global uniform of T-shirts and jeans. Probably they can recognize each other by way of language and sometimes looks.

Therefor my report on the different African groups, at least in respect of their traditional attires and ways to prepare food, in the South Africa of today can only be of a historic nature.

The saving grace for the white intruders was that the African cultural groups don’t seem to be able to see eye to eye. They never unite as one against a certain cause, in the contrary, even today there are vicious wars between different tribes. Only one leader, King Shaka Zulu, was ever able to at least unite a great number of his different  Zulu tribes to build a formidable army against the Khoisan, other black tribes and the white intruders from Europe.

This blog is meant to highlight the positive sides if SA and to –hopefully – also get us out of the "Apartheid and all Whites are racists pigeonhole". It is unfair to name South Africa and Apartheid in one breath, and that’s what especially the people living ten thousands of kilometres away, do. There is so much more to it!!! The Whites have been here for only 400 years and only 40 years of that the terrible Apartheid system was in place, plus it is over since almost 20 years. The black tribes from the north came 19.600 years after the Khoisan were firmly established, a very short time before the white settlers

Neither the Blacks (Bantus) nor the Whites can claim ownership of South Africa!!!



The San are the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa, where they have lived for at least 20 000 years. The term San is commonly used to refer to a diverse group of hunter-gatherers living in Southern Africa who share historical and linguistic connections. The San were also referred to as Bushmen,  but this term has since been abandoned as it is considered derogating.
Bushman child
About 400-500 local plants and their uses were known to bushmen, along with the places where they grew – not only providing a balanced nutrition, but also moisture from roots even in time of drought. Plants were used in ways similar to western phyto medicine to treat wounds and heal illnesses; other plants where rather part of healing ceremonies in which a healer would burn plants to make rain, trance to heal an ailment, or perform a charm to bring fertility. The range of ailments treated included wounds including snake bites, colds, stomach ache, tooth ache or headache, or diarrhoea but also infections like malaria, tuberculosis, or syphilis. One bushman plant, Hoodia gordonii, even made the worldwide news since it was patented by a pharma company as a diet support due to its traditional bushman usage to suppress appetite and hunger. They also crafted their clothes, tools, bows and arrows, toys and everything they needed.


The Bushmen are the remnants of Africa's oldest cultural group, genetically the closest surviving people to the original Homo sapiens “core” from which the Khoisan and other people of Africa emerged. Bushmen are small in stature generally with light yellowish skin, which wrinkles very early in life.
In the 17th century, caused by an explosive overpopulation in North African countries, a massive southwards migration of Bantu Tribes occurred. These tribes forced the San and Khoisan deep into the Namib desert or killed them and took over all fertile land in South Africa. So the widely popular opinion that the “Blacks”, the Bantus were here first is WRONG. They were here before the white settlers, yes, but they were in no way indigenous to South Africa. The white settlers continued to decimate the San and Khoisan population, they were hunted, captured, tortured and killed like vermin.
Today there are only +- 50000 in Botswana and +- 40000 in Namibia. 20.000 years ago they grew to 500.000) Only very few stayed in South Africa and are forced to live in tented camps, where it is impossible for them to thrive. So one could rightfully include the KhoiSans in the call “SAVE THE RHINO AND THE BUSHMEN”. (Some modern comedians were even heard saying on stage: “ Forget about the rhino, save the white man!”)

Medicine man
                                                      Ritual bushman-dance around fire
The Bantus who invaded the San’s and Khoi’s land from the North were made up by 3 main groups: the Nguni, the Sothos and the Tsongas. These formed almost countless “undertribes” .
And these will be making up one of the next posts,
Friendly greetings from

Sunday, 24 February 2013

KIKOYS from Tanzania

Before I launch into a brief history of the hows and whys and how manys of the South
African population in my next post, I would like to introduce one of the true gems of fashion

accessories made in Africa:                THE KIKOY


The kikoy was worn since centuries by the peoples on the East African shorelines. They are 100% cotton woven cloths measuring 170x90 cm, fitting woman, children and men. Originally they were woven in national flag primary colours and are either plain with stripes on the edges, or with thin stripes throughout with a hand knotted fringe. Kikoys are today sought after by the fashionistas of the whole world, Madonna, Princess Caroline of Monaco and Prince Harry are only a few ot them. Since the discovery of the almost magic piece of fabric +-10 years ago, they are also woven in beautiful pastel colors. Many women in Africa make a living out of working on and fringing the kikoys. 
I am so in love with my kikoys!

                                        Some of my friends kindly agreed to model for this site.
Here I list only some of the "modern" ways in which one can use a kikoy, and you will see that it is an absolutely must have item which brings African sunshine into your life and your home, your holidays and your highly fashionable sarong-wrap-scarves-decor style accessories.

  1. Easy wear flattering sarong for all shapes and sizes
  2. Great for the guys too! The cotton is robust and strong
  3. Light and absorbent beach towel
  4. After a busy day; step into a Kikoy and relax
  5. Sun wrap to shade your shoulders in the car
  6. Warm pashmina wrap for the shoulders when the cool weather strikes
  7. Stylish scarf for the cooler night
  8. Tablecloth to brighten your day
  9. Desert wrap for easy wear bush camping
  10. Handy addition to the picnic basket
  11. On a balmy night, lay back on the kikoy and count the stars in the inky blue sky
  12. Beautiful, colourful throw for the lounge and bedroom
  13. Alfresco tablecloth in the garden
  14. Snug as a bug in a rug. Wrap the babies in the cotton soft Kikoy
  15. Children’s Beach Towel is a great gift for a new MUM.
  16. Ideal size as a colourful cover in the pram
  17. Perfect as a play mat and handy change mat in the babies bag
  18. “Dress ups” for the little kids
  19. Travel the seven seas with the perfect accompaniment – a couple of kikoys
  20. Gift a Kikoy to friends or family travelling overseas. It will be the best item in their luggage
  21. Don’t forget to pack a Kikoy in your cabin luggage. Wrap around your shoulders when the cabin air cools. If your luggage goes missing, you have a versatile Kikoy to rely on!
  22. Wrap your baby or puppy around you, or make a hammock for them
  23. Wear it as a headdress (turban)
For many more ways to use or wear a kikoy, please see my pin board at
Travel tips from “The Sunday Times”

“Best and most versatile item of clothing for men or women is a dark coloured sarong and a couple of big safety pins. It will make a skirt, dress, top, pants, a beach or bath towel, or an extra bag. You can sleep in it too. Use it as a sheet to keep out mossies, cover a pillow or privacy screen to pin around a bunk bed. You can change clothes under it or cover up to enter temples. And it can also provide a bit of shade when tied to a tree. It is easy to wash and quick to dry and takes up no space at all.”

Jen Heal, “The Sunday Times” January 6 2008
I have a wide variety of kikoys for sale @ a low South African price of R 250 incl. postage to SA only. The airmail or courier charges are ridiculous! But if anyone wants an original Kikoy from Tanzania, I can quote for the shipping.
contact me at :

Kind regards,

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


A picture is supposed to be worth thousands of words.
For the ones who are not familiar with South African, Namibian and Botswana landscapes, I am offering a feast of images. The credit for the photos has to go to GOOGLE's fantastic image galleries.




Monday, 11 February 2013


30 Years in Africa

 A kaleidoscope of experiences, collection of African stories, recipes, traditions, art and integration issues from Germany.

 This is a personal blog, welcoming everybody who might stumble upon it. It may give you a new view of especially South Africa. However, I will every once in a while offer locally made products which I find especially African, beautiful and useful, for sale through my company


This small enterprise resulted out of 12 years of training unemployed black rural women in crafts, under the auspicious  auspices of the SA government and lasted from under PW Botha and FW de Klerk through to the time of president ship of Tata Nelson Mandela.
 The talent of these women in creating amazing and artful pieces of handwork led me into further research of African Traditions.

Some of the results of this uniquely colourful and bright “folklore” of an exotic, mysterious, adventurous and sometimes frightening continent, I would like to bring to your attention with this blog.

Facts of modern life in South Africa that might even surprise the ones who keep an interested eye on the lands South of the equator, will also get their due mention.

You are invited to a journey through my wildest dreams!!!!