Fact and fiction blend together in this moral and historical novel about a group of Batswana whose migration to a village on the border of modern-day Botswana is complicated by conflicts with the customs and politics of a local tribe. The livelihood of the migrants is threatened when their leader, Reverend Ramoipone Mathe, must negotiate a web of obstacles set up by a prideful local monarch, and assuage the envy of a rival cattle owner. While the Reverend's immediate problems promise to be resolved by the completion of a drought-averting well, the seeds of dispossession, entrenched during apartheid, are unmistakable in this story about the attempt of two separate cultures to settle in a colonized country.
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Ramoipone Mathe arrives in Molelema
Who is Ramoipone and where did he come from?
A discouraging courtesy visit to the king
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animals asked baboons Batlhaping Batswana Bheki boys Brahmans bucket cattle chisel church congregation cows crowbar diggers digging donkey door drought drum Dumela dynamite eyes face feel felt fire grazing greeted hands hard head heard herd hole inside kgosi kgotla king king's knees knew knobkierie kraal land Letia livestock looked Madipere Madipere's Mafikeng malome Marumo Matlou Matsheng Matuku messenger Moagi Modimo moipone Molelema morning Moruti Ramoipone mother Motswana mouth moved never night Pniel pone pray prayer meeting rain Ramoi Ramoipone thought Reabetswe realised responded Rgosi Motlhabane Ring Motlhabane rock Rwenanyane sangomas Seabelo Sebata seemed Sefako Seretshe Setswana sleep smile soil spoke started stood stopped stranger suddenly sure Thari told took tree Tshipintswe turned Uncle Pule Vaal River village voice waited walked watched wife woman words worried yard Zulu Zulu-man