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From early 2000s after Thabo Mbeki and other African leaders heralded the African Renaissance, there was a lot of interest from the young generation about African culture and there were a lot of “excavations” happening. Documents were created to pass on old African knowledge to the young and new generation. These documents took the form of booklets, which were printed by small community press projects. I remember watching a documentary on TV about this young Xhosa woman trying to find her roots, and I remember at the end of that episode the old women that participated had done a project where they printed a booklet on African culture and rituals to pass on. This was first hand knowledge written by people who practice the culture.

At this point I have to say if you have any one of those booklets, feel free to contact me; I will add it to this online Catalogue. Any one on Xhosa, Zulu, whatever booklet that was produced by communities then.

I think to a large extent the African Renaissance Movement, the culture aspect of it is about excavations of “lost” African knowledge, restoring that knowledge and integrating it into current life, and then project that knowledge into the future. This was what the booklets served.

As for me, the booklet that I have is on Modjadji, my dad bought it for me to learn about our culture, as my family history is linked to Modjadji and that aspect of African Culture. A simple web search reveals spelling mistakes of key names and lineage of African culture. These booklets are first hand accounts. Here I will quote some passages in the booklet. I will perhaps try to quote essentials. As I won’t be able to put it out there completely I will update this post regularly, adding passages from the booklet when I have time. All this draws a picture of perhaps the involvement and the thoughts of people during those/these times, 2000s – and this is the idea behind this catalogue.

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I will be quoting from the book on how the empire came to be, the meaning of African symbols, spirituality, socio-political structure of the Balobedu, and their struggles against settlers.

Modjadji – The Rain Queen – History, Culture and Spirituality by Mathole Motshekga

Published by Kara Publishers: http://www.kara.co.za

©2003 Modjadji Royal House Trust and The Kara Heritage institute

ISBN 0-620-30504-5


I am humbled by the vision of my grandmother, her majesty the late Queen Mokope Modjadji V and extent of the work done by the author to fulfil his promise to my grandmother. I talk about my grandmother’s vision because she shared her concerns with me and I believe she did not want to content herself with verbal promises. She wanted to see her desires committed to writing so that the Balobedu and the nation as a whole can bear witness to the common African heritage that is being rediscovered and restored to prosperity.

Above all this work seems to have envisions to throw up challenges for me upon my ascension to the throne. I pray that our ancestors, Gods and God hold me by the hand in the arduous road that lies ahead.

Her majesty Queen Makobo Modjadji VI” [pg 5]


This booklet was inspired by and written at the request if the late Queen Modjadji Mokope V who was deeply concerned about the distortion of African sacred kingship, the history and culture of African peoples in general and Balobedu in particular.

This booklet goes well beyond the scope that the Queen had requested because the author also established that the concerns of the Queen as are also central to the mandate of both the African Renaissance Movement. The Founding mothers and fathers of African nations, notably, Charlotte Mannya-Maxele, John Langalibalele Dube and Pixley Isaka Ka Seme foresaw the rebirth of Africa and the need to rediscover African spirituality and a unique civilization for the Africans and Africa.

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe realised the need to put culture at the service of humanity while prof. Anta Cheik Diop warned us that before we connect the history of Africa with that of ancient Hakaptah (gr. Egypt). African history will never be complete.

The object of this booklet, therefore, is foretold.

  1. to fulfil my promise to her majesty the late Queen Mokope Modjadji V
  2. to provide an African perspective of the origins and nature of African sacred kingship
  3. to show that African spirituality and kingship are intertwined…” [pg 6]

“…2.2 The Ancient Ethiopian Cradle of African people

The Balobedu of Modjadji the Rain Queen belong to the same family as all African people south of the Sahara. Like all indigenous African peoples they originated on the Upper Nile Valley…” [pg 9]

next updates on this post i’ll quote the book on how the empire came to be, the meaning of African symbols, spirituality, socio-political structure of the Balobedu, and their struggles against settlers.