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The New Africa

I was soon to realise that in Africa time had, indeed, marched on with giant strides. Father still wore the indestructible leather leggings, but he now climbed into a new car, and rarely rode a horse. Everything seemed to have changed. Home was not the same with mother gone, and my Try-me had died of murrain in spite of our ‘Jacob’s’ valiant effort to save the beautiful animal’s life. To me, with Try-me’s death every horse seemed to have died. Indeed horses’ hooves echoed no more from church and school on Sundays – instead, Chevrolet, Ford and later D.K.W. came growling round the corner of the quiet churchyard in which were many new graves. Everyone drove his own car quite unashamedly. Each house had a telephone, and the women exchanged recipes at length over the wire. Everywhere one could hear the news on the radio, and the shortwave transmitter of Zesen governed the minds to such a degree that many a solid character in lonely farmhouses had been undermined.

No, things were definitely not as they had been before. Table Mountain seemed lower, the brass band sounded more tinny and the whole valley looked drier.

The broad river appeared small compared with the great rivers of Germany. And I would never grow used to the new church. The modern school was practical, to be sure, but it had lost its personal note. The heart wanted to weep when the young fellows stepped from their cars in perfectly tailored suits and took their hats off when meeting their girls. ‘It is good that I shall go to Zululand,’ I reflected, ‘where Africa is still Africa.’