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Retelling our stories

For the first time in South African publishing history, the Our Story series tells the earliest recorded stories of the ancestors of all South Africans.

The Our Story series had its genesis in a conversation between four friends – two Xitsonga speakers (one of amaShangana heritage and the other Vatsonga), a Tshivenda speaker and an English speaking South African – which took place in Vuwani, Limpopo. The discussion centred on the first meetings of the ancestors of these people and the role of the Portuguese in these engagements. Richly illustrated, the events which shaped South Africa and some neighbouring countries are told in English allowing access to most South Africans. Young and old can now read the stories of their people and also those of the ancestors of their fellow South Africans.

The latest titles from the Our Story series:

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Shaka From Outcast to King

In the first of five books, we find out how the young Shaka accompanied his mother, Nandi, in search of a place they could call home. As people with little status, Shaka was ridiculed and teased by other boys. Nandi was a volatile woman and made herself so unpopular that she was banished from the home of Shaka’s father, Senzangakhona.

Dingiswayo

Believing that incessant battles would leave the land littered with corpses, Dingiswayo began his innovative policy of developing a Nguni federation where chiefs retained their clans and prestige while paying ‘ukukhonza’ (tax or tribute) to him as sovereign. He also introduced several reforms to traditional practices and in the military, while creating largescale employment based on trade and agriculture. He gave refuge to Nandi and her son, Shaka, and would play a vital role in his life.

The Rebellion of Langalibalele

This is the story of Mtwetwe Langalibalele who rose from humble beginnings to the chief of the amaHlubi. Langalibalele means ‘the sun is shining with all its strength’ and this great chief did, indeed, shine as a strong leader and a great warrior. Surviving many attempts on his life and overcoming adversity, Langalibalele earned a reputation from several Southern African peoples as both a rainmaker and inyanga. More than this, he fought hard for the unity and strength of his clan, not only rebelling against British authority but also AmaZulu domination.

Matiwane’s amaNgwane

Byline: As told by Msebenzi to his kinsman Rev. Albert Hlongwane

This is the story of Matiwane and the amaNgwane as told by Msebenzi – Matiwane’s grandson – to his kinsman, Albert Hlongwane. From this valuable text, we trace the fluctuating fortunes of the amaNgwane as they both flee and fight, led by the cunning and ruthless Matiwane. Forced to move from the beautiful White Mfolozi River in Northern Natal, Matiwane fearlessly led the amaNgwane across Southern Africa in search of a fertile land where they could settle. Instead, they found conflict and warfare, encountering the mighty Zulu in clash after clash.

First published in 2015 this heritage series has grown from 14 to 23 titles with another eight titles to be published by the end of 2020.

R115 per book. Details: saheritagepublishers.co.za or follow SA Heritage Publishers on Facebook.

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