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Miscellaneous

Tradition and Heritage at Sandstone Estate

The fertile region of the Free State Province located along the little Caledon River on the border between Lesotho and South Africa, is characterized by wide open plains against the backdrop of the sandstone outcrops of the Maluti Mountains. It is here that visitors will find Sandstone Estates and the Sandstone Heritage Trust, a private farming enterprise committed to preserving aspects of South African heritage and tradition which may otherwise disappear. In addition to using traditional farming methods to grow organic produce, the Sandstone Heritage Trust is the home of some of the original steam locomotives which carried goods and passengers along a network of railway tracks, playing an essential role in linking the towns and cities of South Africa in the past.

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Miscellaneous

Nadine Gordimer: Human Rights Advocate

As a writer and political analyst, Nadine Gordimer has long been a notable figure, both in her home country of South Africa, and internationally. In 1991 she was the first South African to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, where her literary genius was described as being of great benefit to humanity. Her ability to see and describe moral and racial issues, and the emotions these issue invoke, in the context of South Africa's apartheid era has made her a part of South African history that will not be forgotten. Gordimer was a member of the African National Congress at the time when it was under ban, and was active in the anti-apartheid movement.

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Miscellaneous

Ancient History of Adam's Calendar

The origin of mankind has long been a topic of great interest to people of all walks of life, and new discoveries often result in more questions without answers. One such discovery is a collection of ancient ruins in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa that were originally believed to have been the remains of kraals left by African tribes as they moved south in about the thirteenth century. However, research and discoveries over the past twenty years or so have revealed that these ancient stone structures are most likely more than 75,000 years old, with some researchers suggesting they could be as old as 200,000 years. Moreover, researchers have concluded that the ruins are not merely those of village-like settlements, but are the remains of astronomical observatories and ancient religious temples.

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Miscellaneous

Enoch Sontonga – Composer of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica

While alive not many people really knew who Enoch Sontonga was, or that his legacy and words would impact so many people, his composition becoming part of the national anthem of South Africa. Unfortunately there is not much information available in regard to the early life of Sontonga, only stories that have been retold, as well as his own words and humble dreams put down on paper and turned into songs that are still sung today. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica became an iconic song in the history of South Africa, bringing the nation together, as Sontonga had always hoped.

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Miscellaneous

Missionary Zeal

A feature of the guided tour industry in the main cities of South Africa is the half-day Township Tour, which provides the visitor with an insight into the demanding environment, the hopes and achievements of the inhabitants of what are commonly referred to as "shanty towns". This is the real Africa! Here, the traditional healers, street traders, markets, shebeens and The Church play an important role in the community.

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Miscellaneous

Miriam Makeba – Mama Africa

The many facets of Miriam Makeba's personality are maybe best reflected in her nickname – Mama Africa. In addition to being a dedicated civil rights activist, South African born Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 - 10 November 2008) is recognized as having been the first artist to take the unique sounds of Africa to appreciative music lovers in a host of countries beyond the borders of her homeland.

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Miscellaneous

South Africa's Elegant Blue Crane

The Blue Crane, also referred to as the Paradise Crane or the Stanley Crane, is the national bird of South Africa. It is certainly worthy of its place on the national list because of its simple elegance and delicate features. The Blue Crane has been classified by conservationists as vulnerable, as its numbers have been declining. This bird is endemic to the southern areas of the African continent, and there is a tiny breeding group of approximately sixty birds in Namibia at present.

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Miscellaneous

Emily Hobhouse – Compassionate Campaigner

The charming agricultural town of Hobhouse, located close to the southern border of the Eastern Free State, is named in honor of Emily Hobhouse, a British-born heroine whose name is indelibly etched in South African history. Emily Hobhouse was born in St. Ive, near the town of Liskeard, in southeast Cornwall, England, on 9 April 1860. History reveals that she was a compassionate person and determined welfare campaigner, ever willing to do what she could to relieve the suffering of others.

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