A Momentous Event in South African Book Publishing and Education
In September 2014, South African Heritage Publishers announced that South Africa was a few weeks away from a momentous occasion in book publishing.
For the first time a publisher was collecting, researching, collating and recording many of the vast number of stories that together make up the mosaic of the past of Southern Africa. Numerous authors, language and history specialists are engaged in this process for stories that will be published as titles in the new ‘Our Story’ series.
South African Heritage Publishers will publish the first 14 titles in the series for which over 100 titles have been identified so far. Each title is limited to 10 000 words in 48 pages with 22 illustrations and is sure to lure even the most reluctant of readers into the text.
The Our Story series tells of the ancestors of all South Africa’s people and the events they lived through which shaped our country.
While developed with the younger reader in mind, adults will also find Our Story an interesting and engaging introduction to our past.
The series is designed to be read either independently or as complementary readers and are ideal for either the Social Studies or English language classroom, providing as it does, the most relevant and interesting subject matter any teacher of these subjects could wish for. Indeed, the first 14 titles are approved by the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape for Intermediate and Senior Phase learners.
The initial titles will tell the earliest recorded stories of all South Africans.
- The arrival of the first Venda King, Dimbanyika.
- The Battle of Mhlatuze River, which saw the clashing of five great Chiefs, Zwide ka Langa, Shoshangana ka Khumalo and Zwangendaba ka Jele, all of the Ndwandwe on one side, against Shaka ka Senzangakhona and Mzilikazi ka Mashobane of the Mthethwa on the other. The outcome of this battle determines to the present day where the descendants of those who survived live.
- Two books each on Mzilikazi, Moshoshoe, and Maqoma. Probably the least well known, Maqoma was one of the first Xhosa Chiefs to be imprisoned and die on Robben Island after several clashes with the British in the 1800s.
- Makhado, King of the VhaVenda.
- Shoshangana, founder of the Tsonga/Amashangaan people, and his grandson Nghunghunyani.
- The Siege of Leboho, a moving tale of resistance by Maleboho, Chief of the Bahananwa, set in present-day Limpopo.
- Sekhukhune of the Bapedi, including his clashes with the Boers then the British and his imprisonment in Pretoria.
- Hope’s War, a clash also known as Dalisiwe’s War, between the British and a combined force of AmaMpondomise and AmaQwathi, which took place at Sulenkama, not far from present-day Mthatha.
All the events described, with the exception of the arrival of Dimbanyika in the mid-1600s, will have their bicentenary this century. It is hoped that this series will embed the people and events described firmly in the minds and memories of all young South Africans.
To celebrate this event a numbered boxed presentation set, limited to 200, is being prepared for presentation to dignitaries, institutions, media competition prizes, and sale to members of the public on a first-come, first-served basis.