*This report is late! It has been postponed numerous times throughout this month. If it wasn’t for that – you would never believe it to be true!*
(21 May 2016)
Nkandla is derived from the verb kandhla meaning, ‘to tire or exhaust’.
So how would we apply this to our honourable president? Would this be HIM tired of all the accusations? Would this be the NATION tired of political lies? Or could this just be our BUMS tired after hundreds of kilometres on adventure seats?
Inquisitive as these lady-like creatures are – we set off to find out. We left early on a crisp winter morning, heading east. For most of our route to the Zulu kingdom, we rode through dense mist, spotting a cow here and there.
We passed through a few slowdown-&-go’s. Only slowing down to wave back at the fiercely flag waving safety officers. They kept on yelling merrily at us as we passed them - wonderfully friendly people these construction workers. Not sure why they kept on running after us as well, no need for that?!?
It felt like a lifetime passed before Chikita opened the first adventure gate. Our faces longed for a layer of dust.
We followed the trail left by a motorized centipede. Would this be the remnants of the once infamous gravy train?
Headless Horse WOman…
*Zuma voice on*
Just to… bring you up… to speed…
Skinny, Kraai and Chikita went to KwaZulu-Natal to go visit JZ, take a dip in the fire-pool and plan a COOP, a chicken coop!
Seeing as his house is not marked with a big red cross on the local maps, we had to follow some Google directions.
Stop; check the cellphone; YUP; turn right here; get back on the road.
As we turned off the main roads the landscape opened up to undulating hill upon hill. The unending blue sky made earth look small, but we were on top of small-earth, fearless of the road ahead.
The roads to… Nkandla… was paved with gold… en sunshine…
Having ridden for a while and not seeing any solid structures, it was time to make a wild wee.
Pick your toilet – any toilet!
After we spent a penny, we checked with Google maps again and saw that we were nearing the homestead. But it was getting late so we had to get a move-on.
We rode past kids still playing in the late afternoon rays.
We ran with the bulls.
The lingering light called us to a stop. Google was lost. Yes, it seems almost impossible to lose a 2 and 40… and… listen carefully… 7 million rand house amongst these valleys of dusty kids and bulking cows?!?
There was not enough time left in this day to hunt down the homestead. In 30 minutes it was going to be dark and we still had no place to accom… modate! The nearest camp site was 2 hours ride away. I looked at the other two wild chickens and asked if they would be okay to sleep in the woods…???
People that say ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’, don’t have adventure riding besties! They are worth more than an Oppenheimer Blue.
…and off to the woods we go!
The Nkandla forest is one of the traditional forests of the Zulu people and one that was frequently used as a hiding place during unsettled periods of history.
“You can come out now Jacob!”
We picked a spot deep into the forest where even Cetshwayo’s ghost didn’t dwell.
As luck would have it, the night before we had a gentleman fake a heart attack to get our attention. The ‘heart attack’ had him on his knees in front of an overcrowded (overpriced) restaurant. We stared at him with blank expressions until he threw in the towel and helped himself up, making a hasty escape to his overblinged 4x4.
On his way out something dropped from his pocket. We smiled and graciously accepted his ‘gift’ of light – a lighter!
Thank you dear clown, if it was not for your humoristic show we would have had a dark and early night in the forest.
“We be light, we be life, we be fire!
We sing electric flame.
We rumble underground wind.
We dance heaven.
Come be we, and be free!”
A feast was prepared! A can of beans, a can of Bully Beef, and the chef d'œuvre – a can of Sandwich Loaf (dankie Braaap)!!!
“I wish that clown dropped some utensils as well.”
Staring deep into the flames, we sipped on our whiskey, making girly-talk. We discussed how we could shed weight off our FRAMES; how many STROKES were ideal; we compared the size of our PISTONS; if any of us liked a SHAFT; at what point do you clean your PETCOCK; the best LUBE on the market; and if any of us had spare BUSHINGS. You know… stuff that the guys would find boring.
We sat around until the last flame licked desperately at the moon and then crawled into our tents.
At around midnight Kraai woke me up with a very nervous whisper, “Someone just walked past the tent!!!”
I leant forward, opened the tent flap and politely said, “Helloooo?”
I got no answer back and assured Kraai that it was either BigFoot, or maybe someone that was more surprized to find US there, than we were to find someone else in the woods.
Rise and shine!
Now – does this not beat Nkandla?!?
We took a stroll through the forest and found a water tank on the edge of the hill with a picturesque view of the sunrise.
Yeah, yeah… it’s not Titanic, but Nkandla might also still sink!
Back at camp, we packed our meagre belongings up and left only a few petrol fumes before we continued our search for the home-of-all-homes.
As we didn’t trust Google anymore, we asked the NEIGHbour for directions. It was just three gallops down the road and a trot to the right.
When we pulled over on a hill I pointed out our destination to Chikita. Excited she asked, “Where? Where?”
It was right in front of her. LOOK!
LOOK carefully! It’s the huts in the middle… No, more to the right. It’s those ones half way down the hill.
I could understand her predicament. R247mill does not make them look any different from the other huts around us. A rondawel stays a rondawel, no matter how much money you spend on it.
It is however - the only place in the world that you can see thatch from outer space!
Chikita took us right up to the main entrance. But we decided to circumnavigate our target first and took a small path all along the perimeter of the homestead. There were cameras on each and every pole.
…and then!!! Following the steps of another great leader of Africa…
Every one of the pole mounted cameras twisted their lenses around and zoomed in on the fallen hero.
In the process a Zetabar got twisted so we had to do emergency fix-ups in the desolation of the Nkandla gardens.
It is with sadness in our hearts that we have to confirm that the president’s pet cow, Torro, did not make it.
As we got back to the main gate, I walked up to the security room and one of the security officers came out to great me. It was a relief to see him smiling… NO! WAIT!!! He was giggling?!? They saw the magnificent act of drowning a DR in Nkandla soil on their TV’s. Guess it was the best show for the day.
They gave us directions to the spaza for coldrinks and we left them with a reminder: VOTE TANK GIRLS!
At the spaza we fell into the queue behind one of Zuma’s possible 22 children. But we weren’t sure. Neither was Zuma…
We sat under a tree and watched as a cock was beaten into submission by his six wives. Every cookie crumble we chucked his way was intercepted by one of the hens. This is the way of Nkandla!
There was no dustbin outside, so we took our rubbish back inside to give to the lady behind the counter. The look of disgust on her face!!! How dare these umlungus bring back their gemors inside. I’m sure I saw a Coke can flying out the window as we rode off.
Sitting on the edge, overlooking the mighty Tugela River.
We climbed a few beautiful mountain passes on our way home (tarred) and only stopped for fuel and voter registration.
At the last fuel stop for the day, I misjudged my side stand lean angle and Brom moered over. Luckily we still had a para-mechanic on call and Kraai quickly fixed Brom’s ear.
When you see the beauty of the Nkandla area, the friendliness of the Zulu people. When you hear the laughter of the children and feel the golden sun on your skin. When you smell the freedom in the pine forest and pap being cooked down the road. This is when you know that R247 million was wasted. Money cannot make this landscape more beautiful, it cannot buy the happiness that lives within the Zulu people, the freedom that runs through the hills and the valleys. Pay back the money… keep the money… it makes no difference to the people of Zululand.
CHIKITA PRODUCTIONS PRESENT:
You are sooo gonna love the latest Chikita Productions video!!!
Watch how we entertained the Rosendalers, and probably a few wild animals as well. We are crazy, but a loveable level of crazy, okay? Okay!
Maybe next time I get to take a skinny-dip in the fire-pool?!? Keep reading!
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