Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Scenes From Keiskammahoek

The old house with the porch next to the church in Keiskammahoek is a relict of colonial times

Keiskammahoek lies in a basin at the confluence of the Keiskamma and Gxulu Rivers below the Amatola Mountains. The name Keiskamma is of Khoenkhoen origin can either mean "puff adder river" or "glittering water". Keiskammahoek was originally established as part of a chain of military outposts and it played an important role in the Frontier Wars between 1846 and 1853. The town is an important commercial center today for the timber and agricultural industries in the region. 
Surrounding towns are Stutterheim and Cathcart.

A rural town in Africa like thousands and thousands and thousands of others all over the African continent.

You can be tempted to think " another forlorn place in Africa" but when you have a closer look you find a town with a great history. I have decided to write about Keikammahoek today because it represents a small journey of discovery. This is what happens to me all the time when traveling on this continent. You find a place with a rather strange sounding name and  think of how you could leave as soon as possible ( may be to reach Cape Town earlier) but then at a second glance there is a lot to see and learn.

The people are following still a more traditional way of life-style learned and taught over decades by their parents and families. Local economic development takes on the form of Self-help intiatives. Mostly women are the ones to form groups to raise poultry to sell eggs, learn a craft or establish community gardens.

because this is so far the only way to survive away from the big cities.

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