Po Land. A report by Mike Manegold

The baPo people haven been living in the valleys of Magalies mountains for more than a 100 years. The land was controlled by the Pretorius family, as the black population was not allowed to own property.

Roger Roman bought land in the valley some years ago. Then deciding to transfer a portion of it to the 20 families of the baPo people still living here. He was feeling it was now time to attempt to put things right.

On the first February of 2001 the community celebrated the 100 birthday of the oldest inhabitant. Not only now has the land been restored to them he was presented with a new home. Retsogile! (Setswana for we are awake)

South Africa is changing and I believe in a very good way. It might be that it was always here, the feeling for justice, the feeling for the people, it was just over powered by greed and racism. And now that most of the old guard have fled the country, the way is free for the new enterprises.

Trading under the name Retsogile, the community produces a range of clocks, bird houses, CD racks and decorative wood carvings for the home, all fashioned from syringa, blue gum and other invasive plants.

Great! Happy birthday and thanks Mr. Roman. You deserve well to be on the southafricanonline.com people section.

Any comments? Please write to mike@imagimation.ch

Visits to the paPo People are organised by Nan or  Marian,  Crocodile Ramble North West, South Africa. Email to mariancroc@worldonline.co.za