Leave the San alone.

In the Kalahari and the Namib  live the San.

Some refer to them as bushmen.

I have been privileged to spend time with these amazing people on several occasions and each time I came away feeling that I was a better person simply by being in their company

They are a happy bunch, not asking for or wanting anything, living a simple life in total harmony with nature. The concept of ownership is alien to them. There is no need for the clutter of material possessions.

So self-assured are they, that they refer to themselves as ‘the people’, the likes of you and me are not. A truth if ever I heard one.

Calm, happy, self-sufficient, and family oriented, we could learn so much from them.

So it was with a considerable amount of concern that I read of a woman who is collecting clothing and shoes for the San and asking for donations.

Madam – there is no need. Who are you to try and impose western ‘culture’ upon these people?

What makes you think that they either need or want such restrictive clothing?

Are you offended by their habit of wandering around with little in the way of clothing encumbering their bodies?

However noble your efforts, they really aren’t needed.

The San have been here for far longer than any other tribe or nationality in Southern Africa. They live a lifestyle that should be the envy of us all – totally in tune with everything that surrounds them and with no need for the trappings of so-called civilisation.

I’m sure there are many other deserving causes you can donate you cast-off clothing and shoes to. Please leave the San alone.


Some years back, a man, wanting to find out more about the San, visited them for an extended period of time.

The man asked if the San had ever been to war with each other.

The reply surprised and shocked him:

Yes they had been to war with another group of San. Yes, it was a big war. Terrible.

“Were there many people killed”

“Too many”

“How many?”

“One. And that was enough”

And we want to impose our western “values” upon the San?

It should be the other way around.

I am annoyed about this, as you can probably infer.

Comments will be welcomed.

Thanks for reading

About msomiafrica

Author, photographer and conservationist who sincerely prefers interacting with animals rather than people.
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