By Ryszard Kapuscinski
'This is a really own publication, approximately being on my own and lost'. In 1975 Kapuscinski's employers despatched him to Angola to hide the civil warfare that had damaged out after independence. For months he watched as Luanda after which the remainder of the rustic collapsed right into a civil conflict that was once within the author's phrases 'sloppy, dogged and cruel'. In his account, Kapuscinski demonstrates a rare skill to explain and to give an explanation for the person which means of grand political abstractions.
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Extra resources for Another Day of Life (Penguin Modern Classics)
In general sweet and nourishing veld grew near the riverine areas, while tall grasses and mixed and sour veld dominated the foothills in the vicinity of the perennial rivers and streams. The quality of the veld also varied during the year, particularly with the less salubrious grasses, so that grazing animals tended to concentrate in river valleys during the winter months where they could subsist on the sweet veld. Only during the spring, when young shoots broke through the topsoil, did most grazing animals find the sour veld tasty and migrated to a region appropriately called by European colonists the Zuurveld, the land of 'sour grasses'.
Women did the cultivation, though perhaps during the early days of settlement males assisted in burning down parts of the forests for garden plots and using the ash for fertilizer. But cattle constituted the precious currency of social life, and men controlled access to the beasts. 28 The umzi contained two centres, and the organization of space had far more important implications than among hunter-gatherers or even pas- Page 20 toralists. One centre included the huts of women and the fields and pulsated to the rhythms of ecological and biological time; planting, weeding, harvesting, menstruation, child-birth.
27 In such relatively exceptional cases the umzi approached the size of a small village. Xhosa commoners consumed the curdled milk of their herds of cattle which were considered to be the property of the chief and ultimately the paramount and ancestors. The basis of their economy, however, centred on the production of two types of sorghum and the cultivation of beans and melons, a portion of which was given to the chief as tribute during the rites of the 'first fruits' which were organized around the passing of the seasons.
Another Day of Life (Penguin Modern Classics) by Ryszard Kapuscinski