Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 00:00

Xhosa and Settler met in the Amathole Mountain area of the Eastern Cape in the 19th century. Ideas, cultures, languages, ambitions collided and bled. We still smell that blood today.

Those who came from across the sea live on, scrawled by themselves and their fellows into documents and letters, and typed neatly into books. Not so much the warrior leaders and prophets who wrestled with them for land and cattle: Ngqika, Ndlambe, Sandile, Maqoma, Makana, Ntsikana, Mlanjeni. They live on in stories and legends still shaped by the teller. 

Join Russel Bradfield as he visits some of their graves. Listen with him to stories of these legends, evocative in the breezes that whisper around them.

Russel was born in 1955, and grew up on a sheep farm near Sidbury. Educated at Graeme College and then Rhodes University with English and History majors, English Honours and an Education Diploma. 

He taught at Hudson Park High School for 11 years where he headed the English department. He completed a master’s degree in linguistics (second language acquisition) through the University of Stellenbosch and was then Senior Lecturer in English at Hlaziya In-Service Training Centre for teachers in the Ciskei.

This was followed by the appointment as English Education Specialist in the East London Education District Office, and then Education Supervisor for all languages in the 85 high schools of the East London District until retirement at the end of 2015.

Russel's interest in history was nurtured by Prof Winnie Maxwell at Rhodes University, and then by reading and travel adventures with his wife Althea. In his retirement, Russel enjoyed researching and writing a historical novel titled  Shadows and Sky, set at Hogsback with a focus on events during the Eighth Frontier War, from 1850 to 1852.

His fascination with the Xhosa leaders and characters of the 19th century grew, including Ngqika, Ndlambe, Maqoma, Sandile, Ntsikana and Makana, hence his interest in the topic of his talk.

  • Venue:  Marjorie-Courtenay Latimer Hall at the East London Museum
  • Date: Tuesday 17 May 2022 at 19H00
  • RSVP: border.historical.society@gmail.com
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