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In 1857, an incident in the Eastern Cape region was to have tragic consequences that left large sections of the Xhosa community either dead or permanently displaced. There are many interpretations of the event, however, the inner core remains consistent; that of a young Xhosa girl who had a vision of her people’s persecutors (the British) being driven into the sea if the Xhosa were to slaughter their cattle and stop cultivating the land.
This was at a time in South Africa’s history when several wars were fought between British colonists and the Xhosa people. The British had quelled most resistance and confiscated large tracts of land and cattle. Also around this period was an outbreak of bovine TB that had resulted in many cattle losses. A young 14-year old girl named Nongquwase lived with her uncle Mhlakaza, a prophet and tribal doctor, in a village beside the Gxara River. She was believed to be an... Show more