The Pilgrims' Scallop Shells and the Methodist Church

Ever wondered what the the shell symbol on the Methodist Church logo came from?

To me, the question was first sparked when I read Paulo Coelho's "The Pilgrimage" and tried to make a connection between 'Camino de Santiago' route symbol and the MCSA emblem.

Just as the Muslim tradition requires that all members of the faith, at least once in their life, make the same pilgrimage that Muhammad made from Mecca to Medina, so Christians in the first millennium considered three routes to be sacred.
Each of them offered a series of blessings and indulgences to those who traveled its length.

The first led to the tomb of Saint Peter in  Rome; its travelers, who were called wanderers, took the cross as their symbol.

The second led to the Holy Sepulcher (a grave room) of Christ in Jerusalem; those who took this road were called Palmists, since they had as their symbol the palm branches with which Jesus was greeted
when he entered that city.

There was a third road, which led …

Iinkobe (Maize Kernels)

Endleleni esuka kumzi wamandulo wasekhaya(kwaMakasi), eLubhelu, eNqabarha, sasingisa eQhingqala ngeenjongo zokundwendwela idlaka leKumkani uHintsa (Ah! Zanzolo).

Safika kwikhaya lenkosi yasemaMbanjweni, safika iNkosi ikhona (Ah! Ntabozuko) sicela imvume yokusondela apho iphumle khona ikumkani. 
AmaMbanjwa asikhomba eNqadu emaTshaweni kuba bona babekwe ngamaTshawe ukugada idlaka, khonukuze sifumane imvume. 

Kodwa phambi kokuba sinduluke sahlaliswa phantsi, saba zindwendwe, saviswa izibele zasenkosini sihleli nabantu abadala, sasikelwa inyama, sabelwa iinkobe. Emva koko sasingisa eNqadu, koMkhulu.

(Imifanekiso ipapashwe ngegunya nemvume yosapho) 

Ah! Lwaganda. Ngqika, King Of The Rharhabe [1776-1829]

Another early start to the day on the morning of the 5th day of July 2015; destination:King Ngqika's grave.
Ngqika was buried at sunset on the day he died, according to full Xhosa custom inside a cattle kraal, in which oxen and cows were placed at night.

Their milling about obliterated the grave itself, in which Ngqika's karosses, clothes, ornaments, tobacco sack, pipe saddle and bridle, and the mats on which he had slept were laid beside him.

St Matthews Mission

This post was inspired by my resent read, Marguerite Poland's book, Shades. 

"The lights moved on, disappearing one by one as the procession dipped towards the drift out of sight below the ridge. There was a stillness then for he could no longer hear the horses' hooves, and only the leaves of the oak before the porch turned restlessly against each other. Beyond, where the bush reached down to the edges of the kitchen garden, the twigs of the thorn trees tapped rhythmically: a small, secret tattoo in the dark."

Sunday morning, 5th July 2015, I called on St Matthews mission, just a few kilometers outside the town of Keiskammahoek, Eastern Cape.

St Matthews Mission was founded in 1855, by Bishop Armstrong on 600 hectares of land in Keiskamahoek donated to the Anglican Church by Chief Socishe.

The first building for the mission school was built in 1855 by the Military Chaplain, Dacre, just before the arrival of the Resident Missionary, the Rev H.B. Smith who arrived in Sept…

The Ridge Road, from eDutywa to eDwesa, via Nqabarha


Siyakukhulula Madiba, Aah! Dalibunga!!

I would like it to be said that, "Here lies a man who has done his duty on earth". That is all.

Ah! Jong'umsobomvu!

Early Sunday morning of the 8th December 2013, I took a long ascent up iNtaba kaNdoda to visit chief's burial site.

The mirror of Nothonto
For his mother's likeness
The black water snake from Xhukwane
Sharp eyes daring the red dawn
Learning lifelong lessons here
At the Mngcwangeni foot of this Ntaba kaNdoda
During the Thuthula moment of the war of Amalinde

The black water snake who crossed famed rivers
Who fought in valiance in the waterkloof
And Amathole stirring Jingqi's passions
All the way to the island

Mover of people, patriot, hero, strategist
Eloquent intellect
Ngqika's beloved son
The whole nation salutes you.


Portrait photograph (#337) of Chief Maqoma courtesy of Gustav Theodor Fritsch Collection