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The People of Welgeval

The People of Welgeval

A novel by

Two young boys are torn from their families and swept into the informal slave trade of the mid-1800s. They forge a friendship that spans a lifetime and gives rise to this uniquely South African narrative, based on the ancestors of Botlhale Tema.

Released from the shackles of slavery and in search of a lost sister, Maja and Polomane befriend a Swiss missionary and set off to a remote farm in the Pilanesberg region, Welgeval, to establish a mission station and make a new life for themselves. As they raise their families and take in other people who have been dispossessed, we follow the births, deaths, adventures and joys of the farm's inhabitants in their struggle to build a new community.

Set against the backdrop of slavery, colonialism, the Anglo-Boer War and the rise of apartheid, The People of Welgeval is a superbly crafted and dramatic historical novel. It is an epic story about friendship and family, landownership and learning, and about how people transform themselves from victims to victors.

When working on the UNESCO Slave Route project, Botlhale Tema discovered the extraordinary fact that two boys who had been slaves in the mid-nineteenth century had founded her well-established family and community at Welgeval. She pieced together the fragments of information from relatives and members of the community, and scoured the archives to produce the story, The People of Welgeval.

Used availability for Tema Botlhale's The People of Welgeval

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Paperback Editions

November 2006 : South Africa Paperback
Title: The People of Welgeval
Author(s): Tema Botlhale
ISBN: 1-77007-320-5 / 978-1-77007-320-3 (South Africa edition)
Publisher: Zebra Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

September 2006 : South Africa Paperback
Title: The People of Welgeval
Author(s): Botlhale Tema
ISBN: 1-77007-095-8 / 978-1-77007-095-0 (South Africa edition)
Publisher: Struik Publishers
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

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