Plants have grown in the Kalahari since long before people were there. The San who were the hunter gatherers called bushmen were the first to experiment with the nature. The Bushmen were aware of their health and they started to do research on the plants. The only way for people to avoid illness was to follow the animals, birds, and also the insects who eat the plants, to ensure that when they tried a plant, they did not use too much. By that they have achieved a lot, because today there are edible plants and medicinal plants which are easy to identify.
When the Bushmen were on a hunt or out gathering, their eyes and ears were always open for anything in nature. They were good at what they did. No matter the situation they found themselves in, they moved forward because their family came first in life.
We find it hard to believe that they have changed during the past years. They no longer stand together as a group of people who had continued for many years as a bush family who were there for one another. But we also understand this change, because in the Apartheid years, people had to move to feed their families and at this time things went wrong for them.
In the #khomani community, they have some nature activities to ensure that they teach their children to keep their culture alive, which I believe will help to bring unity back. They have something that only they can build on: it’s their culture that makes them unique from others.
Hi my name is Andre Vaalbooi, a member of the #Khomani San community. I am staying in the Kalahari in the Northern Cape close to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and I am one of the Satellite Pioneers.