"Take a community of Dutchmen of the type of those who defended themselves for fifty years against all the power of Spain at a time when Spain was the greatest power in the world. Intermix with them a strain of those inflexible French Huguenots, who gave up their name and left their country forever at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The product must obviously be one of the most rugged, virile, unconquerable races ever seen upon the face of the earth. Take these formidable people and train them for seven generations in constant warfare against savage men and ferocious beasts, in circumstances in which no weakling could survive; place them so that they acquire skill with weapons and in horsemanship, give them a country which is eminently suited to the tactics of the huntsman, the marksman and the rider. Then, finally, put fine temper upon their military qualities by a dour fatalistic Old Testament religion and an ardent and consuming patriotism. Combine all these qualities and all these impulses in one individual and you have the modern Boer - the most formidable antagonist who ever crossed  the path of Imperial Britain. Our Military history has largely consisted in our conflicts with France, but Napoleon and all his veterans have never treated us so roughly as these bard-bitten farmers with their ancient theology and their inconveniently modern rifles.

Look at the map of South Africa, and there, in the very center of the British possessions, like the stone in a peach, lies the great stretch of the two Republics. A mighty domain for so small a people. How came they there? Who are these Teutonic folk who have burrowed so deeply into Africa? It is a twice-told tale, and yet it must be told once again if this story is to have even the most superficial of introductions. No one can know or appreciate the Boer who does not know his past, for he is what his past had made him."  

                                                                        -    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Joubert...'n trotse Franse Protestant

Vanuit Avignon provinsie se kant

met Bybel in brood versteek

 het hy die Katolieke op 'n boot vergeef

oppad na 'n nuwe land

iewers in die suide van Afrika se rand

Sy afstammelinge het vooruit geboer

wingerd stokke en vee het hulle gesinne gevoer

die Protestante het floreer Het kerke gestig en mense bekeer

en met Hollanders en Engelse verkeer

Nou  het dit tyd geword om weer te besin

Gaan ons nog steeds Nkandla sing!

Is dit tyd vir 'n nuwe trek op na waar

het ons 'n grondeis in Frankryk of

moet ons ons man hier staan en klaar  

© Arno Joubert Paarl