The Jazz King (11): Sebele's "White Slaves"

“In the meantime the Boers had become the serfs of the kraal, the hewers of wood and drawers of water. They are still there, performing menial tasks for the natives.

You may enter Sebele’s kraal and discover a grand piano which he bought in Cape Town and has had transported, by some miraculous means, into this desert home. As a host Sebele is charming. He will play last year’s jazz melodies on a piano to amuse you, and, if it is a special occasion, his chief wife will wear an evening frock which was also bought in Cape Town some years ago and the white serfs of Molepolole will serve you with the kaffir beer that is brewed for such distinguished visitors.”- W.J. Makin Across the Kalahari Desert (London, 1929).

We left off with Kgosi Sebele II having imposed price controls on the predominantly white Afrikaner (Boer/Maburu) and mixed race blacksmiths in Molepolole. In addition, he further required them to buy wood for their furnaces from Bakwena. As a conservation measure he also banned Kweneng residents of all races from commercially cutting green wood, while raising the fees for the commercial gathering of deadwood.

Editor's Comment
Stop the children killing madness!

The incident comes on the heels of a similar one where a father murdered his two toddlers in Francistown. As we grapple with the shock and sorrow of this loss, it is essential to address the underlying issues that led to such a horrific outcome.Our hearts go out to the innocent victims, the three boys aged 13, 10, and eight who lost their lives in circumstances that defy comprehension. Their deep cuts and untimely demise have left a scar on the...

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