Friday, December 31, 2004

History Lesson


Before 1488 the people of South Africa could not read or write. But that all changed when Bartholomeu Diaz, the Portuguese seafarer, got lost sailing around the Southern tip of the continent. He was so pleased to see land that he called the place the Cape of Good Hope.

His next stop was at Mosselbaai where he established a post office and mailed a letter home. In the letter he said that he would never reach America this way. Upon his return, his ship sank when it fell into the gap between the Indian and Atlantic oceans. He renamed the spot as the Cape of Storms. Then he took the Blue Train to Dar es Salaam where he boarded a camel for home.

In 1652 Jan van Riebeeck landed at the Cape, which was now called Kaapstad. He grew rich by selling fresh fruit and vegetables to the passing tourists. Soon the Huguenots heard about the good grapes and came to make some wine. They have been drunk ever since.

When they discovered diamonds at Kimberley, Cecil John Rhodes convinced the British to start the first Boer war. The English lost because the Dutchmen fled to Pretoria, and the Hottentots to Upington. The Germans left for L├╝deritz, but the French were too drunk to escape.

Not too long afterwards Paul Kruger discovered gold and made a mint. Then the Queen of England wanted the gold, resulting in the second Boer war. This time the British won because they made a deal with Shaka Zulu. Dingaan also did something.

Peace retuned and the British brought in many Indian people to work on the sugar plantations in Durban. But Mahatma Gandhi fled and went back to India to become a famous statesman. Due to public pressure Prince Charles was forced to abolish slavery.

Hendrik Verwoerd reintroduced it under a new name. In 1961 he declared independence and changed the currency from the Pound to the Rand. Immediately everything cost twice as much.

Pounds and ounces turned into kilograms and the farmers’ crops were halved. Fahrenheit turned into Celcius and the corn stopped growing. Miles turned into kilometers and now everyone had to travel twice as far. Even the weather turned metric, and since then no one has ever seen an inch of rain again.

After all these plagues PW Botha told the rest of the world to get lost and the currency turned into diarrhea. Now only foreigners could afford anything.

Alarmed, PW had a stroke, and FW de Klerk took over. He freed the oppressed and released Mandela. Peace and prosperity returned. Bill Clinton reintroduced tourism with a swim at Sandy Bay.

All the freedom fighters came back home to look for jobs. When they could not find any, they were forced to rape and plunder. The illegal immigrants left because of the escalating crime rate. Bishop Tutu went to the U.S.

Finally Thabo Mbeki took over and outlawed AIDS because it was seen as foreign interference. By now the people had learned to read and write.

Jan Tik


Willie Wonka said...

Dont mean to intrude but happy new years 2004. :)

Jan Tik said...

Thanks! Happy New Year for you too - and for all Thungle's readers!