Sunday, December 16, 2012


Scatterlings- A Tapestry of Afri-Expat Tales...

Yey Yey yey. It has taken a year to write and collect and collate all the Scatterling Tales...

This has required immense self- discipline and burning the midnight oil from December 2011 to December 2012. That was the goal and it's accomplished.

Sure I will have a lot of cleaning up, clipping and trimming to do, but for now it's with the editor !

Evi is a happy and tired bunny.

Thanks to all the wonderful contributors from Peru to Doha, and Canada to New Zealand.

I am eternally grateful to you all and it's been profoundly humbling reading your many tales....

Kia Ora and Namaste  - Eve 


Friday, August 31, 2012

The vase with the many coloured marbles- Jacob Singer

The vase with the many coloured marbles 
by Jacob Singer

The lives of Emma and Marla will absorb a readers’ attention. Emma’s struggles and achievements touch your heart and inspire you to work harder - improving life for yourself and your family, but also for those around you  who experience society’s injustices. 
Marla’s storybook romance adds  to the enjoyment of the book. This historical fiction account of life in 1920’s through 1960’s South Africa concludes with a short chapter 
- entitled “The Politics” - which gives additional information about events related to apartheid. The two sections of the book focus first on the life of Emma, then on the life of Marla, her daughter. 
Emma (Emily,) born into a “coloured” family, feels the injustice of the segregationist society; however because she is able to “pass” as a “white,” she crosses barriers that the rest of her family cannot. Emma strongly believes in the power of education. 
After completing high school, she is determined to attend the university, but her family is large and needs the income she could provide. Rather than work at a low-paying job in Cape Town, Emma decides to use her lighter skin and the English language she perfected to travel to Johannesburg to live and work as a “white.” Emma keeps learning, working hard, and making friends, some of whom know her secret. (Some of her friends fled Nazi Germany only to find a similar prejudice infesting the country to which they had escaped.) She sends her family money which they use to improve their house, when permitted, and educate her sisters and brothers. Behind the scenes, she works with and donates money to groups that are attempting to reverse apartheid laws, while also trying to stop the imposition of harsher new laws after the 1960’s. Her daughter Marla is raised as a white, but she and many of her college friends protest the overnment’s policies although this always causes Emma to worry that Marla’s heritage will be discovered.Young adult and adult readers will enjoy reading the story of Emily’s transformation into Emma, a store lingerie buyer, homeowner, and part time model. The friendships and romances of both Emma and Marla introduce intelligent, sometimes funny, caring characters into the storyline. 
For a reader who knows very little about South Africa and its history, the book is a wealth of information about a beautiful country, blessed with rich resources, but troubled by segregationist attitudes which became more established and immoral over time. 

Jacob SingerBorn in Potchefstroom, South Africa. Now living in Vancouver, Canada. This is a story about people I knew in South Africa; a story about how they survived and fought the apartheid era of Hendrik Vervoerd. It is a powerful story, about a young girl, Emily Kleintjies, born a Coloured, and therefore classified as a second class citizen. She decides to jump the racial barrier. The story is about her life.

's review 

May 18, 12
5 of 5 stars false
Read in May, 2012

This is an intriguing book that starts in pre war South Africa with a young girl challenging the racial divide and bravely stepping across to live as a White, virtually abandoning her coloured family in the process. Emily becomes Emma and adopts English as her first language, dresses and styles herself to deny her origins. This is the beginning of her awakening to injustice and her reaction to the prevailing culture and political system of her country which denies her basic opportunities. Encounters with others who have survived and overcome similar prejudice in other countries encourage and help her to carve herself a new place for in South African society and to get and hold down a challenging job. At the same time political awareness begins to emerge and she faces a major dilemma when asked for her hand in marriage by a white man.

The way the story is told eases one into South Africa’s politics subtly whilst bringing Emma to life as a vivid and interesting character. As the reader, her dilemmas and fears become yours and the continual twists of the story produce an exciting sequence of colourful and interesting surprises,, much like the eponymous vase filled with many coloured marbles. The vase itself does not appear until well into the story, but from then on it keeps reappearing with a subtle underlying relevance all the way through to the end.

What begins as the story of a young girl crossing the racial divide soon becomes much more, giving intimate insights into different aspects of South African society. Each of these has its own pressures and strains, its own strengths and prejudices, all of which are brought into the spotlight through the situations Emma and her growing daughter encounter. Spanning two generations, this book is almost a family saga, but without the long winded tracts such books normally involve. The second section picks up the story of Marla, Emma’s daughter, following her emergence from schoolgirl to university student and onwards. Against the backdrop of South Africa’s most turbulent years, when apartheid was in the ascendancy, witnessing the Sharpville shootings and the emergence of new political organisations, we see a young woman awakening to injustice in her country and developing a political conscience of her own as she begins to discover herself as a person.

Marla’s subsequent trip to England produces a new and intriguing twist to the story with an interesting preamble about her lifelong friend Josh, who had preceded her to London and now acts as host and guide for Marla and her girlfriends. The story soon turns to a tale of love when Marla literally bumps into Bertie, who becomes instantly besotted with her. His subsequent pursuit when Marla returns to South Africa thinking he was not interested is neatly contrived and, like the rest of this book, full of interesting twists and side stories that add colour and complexity to the tale.

Inevitably the truth of Emma’s and Marla’s origins has to come out at some stage and this begins on the dockside where Emma is awaiting her daughter’s arrival. As unaware of recent events in Marla’s life as her daughter is of her mother’s past, Emily is horrified to encounter her brother Jonas. Having become somewhat estranged from her family, she has no knowledge that he works in the Cape Town docks. He tells her that their mother is dying and wants to see her. Slowly the truth emerges and, after a visit to see her dying mother, Emma confesses to Marla, terrified of how she might react.

Bertie, well bred gentleman that he is, takes it all in his stride and still besotted, carries things off with perfect equanimity, as do his upper crust family who come out for the wedding.

To write any story involving the inter racial conflicts of South Africa would be difficult territory, but Jacob Singer has managed to contrive a very believable and charming story and to tell it in a way that keeps the reader gripped throughout. Whilst expressing no overt political bias himself, he puts a clear spotlight on injustice whilst showing up the Macchiavellian workings of the state which fosters and exploits it. At the same time he reveals with subtlety the counter currents working below the surface to correct the injustice wherever opportunity arises. 

An outsider with no knowledge of South African history or politics will find this book informative, disturbing and yet redemptive, whilst being entertained by a good story well told. Singer’s understanding of the racial problems and also of other forms of prejudice is deep and his compassion comes through clearly. The title, which seemed at the beginning to be rather irrelevant, becomes a beacon which endures to the end of the book. It symbolises so well the many facets, colours and contrasts of a nation actively evolving and struggling with the process as it does so.

The Vase With The Many Coloured Marbles is a very good book that deserves to be widely read.

The Vase with the Many Coloured Marbles, Book 1, Emma Book 2, Marla [Paperback]

Jacob Singer (Author), Lynn Thompson of Thompson Writing and Editing (Editor), David Crocker (Illustrator)

Price:$21.95 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Feeling utterly shattered....

One never knows when it's going to happen to you or to a loved one. It's about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.... so often just RaNdOm  RANDOM  rAnDoM...
It's a common phenomenon in South Africa. So many lives lost. Such futility... Such wasted lives, so unnecessary... take the bloody vehicle and let the driver and pedestrians walk away. 
The carnal brutality, the ruthless bestial mentality has shattered so many people's lives and psyches. So many innocent men, women and children GoNe gOnE GONE.
Every time I feel deliciously lulled and romanticised and lured back to South Africa, another violent catastrophe occurs and hits me in my soul...   

I feel the tragedy with visceral agitation and gut anguish, as though he were my own son. I feel the tragic loss. I feel a mother's cry, a father's deep shock at finding his lifeless son, callously dumped next to the road, his loyal dog sitting at his side. I have felt bereft with a sense of dis-ease and gets too close to bear... The sense of mass denial; the desensitisation of an apparent war zone disturbs me to the core. 
I may have met him a few times. He was good enough to date my beloved daughter some years ago; A young man with a promising life is no more. What did he endure in his last moments ? What went through his mind ? What did the mad man with a gun feel ? Why is life so cheap ? What does it say about humanity ? What does it say about depravity ? What does it say about hope, optimism and about the human spirit ? 
South Africa needs a miracle... one life after another annihilated senselessly, ruthlessly... People say 'enough is enough' until the next time...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Pastel Day in Africa

A pastel day in Africa                               Eve Hemming

There’s a stillness hanging over the day. Nature’s way of being in repose and reflecting until spring’s burst of renewed life of blossoms and stormy skies.

Today the sky was a stone-washed hazy translucent blue, with insidious patches of pinky- grey winter smoke. The golden grass basked in the frozen moment; static and brittle. The miasma from burning koppies shrouded the vista from any brilliance. Otherwise nature felt endlessly still.

I soak in the luminescent sunlight, the pastel sky and winter caramel- golds and biscuits. A shockingly red poinsettia, a vibrant amber berry, or the orange on a statuesque aloe in flower, adds depth and contrast to the washed out hues of the hazy day.

It’s a good time to visit Africa; to imbibe the sun’s rays arching across opaque sky, while relishing the winter blandness after the rich greens and azure blues of New Zealand.

Contrast! Ah, we do thrive on it. That’s what is offering me pleasure – the bits of Africa we yearn for when we are so far away – the balmy winter sunshine over dry ancient earth… It is dusk now. The Hadedas bellow as they fly to their nesting grounds. The electricity dances then dies. I find my trusty box of Lion matches next to the waiting candle.

I have just been here a week and the list grows:-
·       Electricity outages = 2
·       Electronic gate defunct = 1
·       Outdoor alarm panels activated in the night = 2
·       Traffic lights broken = 1
·       Car guard irritation = 2
·       Drunk and disorderly shouting down the road after midnight = 1
·       Local murders reported on the front page of the provincial newspaper = 3

But I am in love with Africa’s winter sun and hues, and with my sons and their families, which largely cancels the above out.

I ponder and come to my own conclusions…when here as a tourist or an expat, one can more easily revel in the Africanness of Africa. The messy verges, the broken roads, pavements and shoddy buildings, dangerously bent over electricity poles, broken cars with malfunctioning lights, crowded malls, unsavoury ablutions and traffic light vendors who foist themselves at one, are part of the package of the landscape. One can see past it to newer buildings being erected and positive initiatives like volunteers who pick up the garbage and take on the task to maintain the pavement outside their shop, and many caring organisations who do astounding gestures of tireless and dedicated service to care for abandoned and dying children, the fragile and elderly, as well as animal rescue, notably ‘Save the Rhino.’

Shouting pedestrians sauntering on littered pavements to queue at taxi ranks, high fenced enclosures, unkempt vistas; creates the notion that it all needs to be rescued from precariously being held together by a thin veneer.  Each time I return I see areas of deterioration and decay encroaching like a slowly moving glacier and other areas which signify attempts at salvaging, or which indicate progress. The African women who are empowered are elegant, self-assured and sophisticated. I personally would like to see them playing a pivotal role in the country’s African resurgence; as decision makers and role models to the next generation.

It is a funny thing, Africa. It’s the type of place one cannot make predictions about. It’s a place that has backbone, people of amazing fortitude and a hardy resilience. I, for one, cannot ascertain ‘what will happen next’… much may depend on the control of the Aids virus, how much longer this can be globally financed in terms of ARVs, how many illegal immigrants continue to add to the burden of poverty and unemployment, how the next elections will pan out, how much support Zille will have to secure a robust opposition so as to protect the Constitution, how land distribution, equity, unemployment as well as poor service delivery, amongst others, can be proactively addressed, and if the amelioration can be adequately accelerated to meet the growing populations’ hunger for empowerment.

But knowing it is a brief encounter means that one can cherish the sunshine along with idiosyncrasies, without trying to have a solution; for in my case I will soon be returning to order, functionality, safety and the rainy season. I don’t feel the same visceral fear I encountered living here 4 years ago. In the small area I have frequented to date, all has felt safe, though when I read the newspaper I know that I am wrapped in a delicious illusion; the comfort zone of my mind...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Promise !!!     

Evi has been very very remiss. I have not been near my Blog for about 3 months
.... why one may ask ?

1. I co-founded SNS - Saffers Nurturing Saffers - a Face Book Group with members from over 30 countries. It was launched on the 24th February and already has over 600 

2. Agh... And then time on the book ' 'Scatterlings - A Tapestry of Afri-expat Tales'... it is in the making, but is on hold till I'm on leave.... not enough hours in the day with a full-time job :). 

I miss blogging.... I will be back ! Love the sense of sharing....across the planet :)


Thursday, March 15, 2012

SNS - Saffers Networking/Nurturing Saffers

It's a FB group for Saffer and Zim Expats aged 21 - 81 who are lurking out there worldwide & may want to link up/share/get support from/befriend global saffers who all share the same pangs...its a non- aggressive, non-racist, unprejudiced, nurturing, non-political, multi-religious/cultured group with an ethos of integrity & inspiration, sharing, caring and humour...

Launched 2-3 weeks ago and there are already 175 members from 15 countries !!

Do you value global connectivity and to know that there is someone with a sense of commonality on line virtually 24/7 ?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Saffers Needing Support Face Book Group has been Launched !



with those who have experienced trauma leading to migration, else trauma due to emigrating, plus families fractured due to migration from Southern Africa.. 

It's a group/site where folk can be given information, give one another moral support, tips and support, some 'cyber hugs' and caring banter as we as migrants all have gloomy days as we go through the adaptation process...

It's a place where folk can feel empowered and where they can get assistance as they 'heal'.. sharing emotions and feelings in a safe space, leading to catharsis !

Politics, religion-bashing, racism, blasphemy , emigration advice (as in visas and work permits etc)  and advertising   

 for self-gain are not part of the Groups' ethos. 

Please Email me at for

 more information.

Will respond...

 to sincere and authentic inquiries.

Else look up SNS on Face Book and ask to Join... Mandi and Eve :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More on Scatterlings - A Tapestry of Afri-Expat Tales

Scatterlings - 
A Tapestry of Afri-Expat Tales
I emigrated from South Africa in 2008 and reside in New Zealand.  I'm a freelance writer and a psychologist, but foremost a devoted wife, mother and gran (called 'Ga Ga' !)
My book is firstly about being born in Africa and the slow conscientising as a child about Apartheid; not understanding at first, and then the terrible discovery of how it impacted negatively on the people and the country (and still does have that lurking legacy hanging over the land 18 years later…).
(mock up book cover)
Secondly, the book encompasses my Epiphany and the journey and psychological processes of immigration, including my own metaphorical death and rebirth.
Thirdly, others’ voices are heard; a chapter with Saffers’ and Zimbos’ tapestries and tales, and their reasons for emigrating, choices to stay or go, their journeys, their adaptation, their process, their stories, their advice… This is the essence of the ‘tapestry’.
As a psychologist there will naturally be some focus on the ‘process’ from a psychological paradigm.
I am attempting to present a cross-section of voices – over and above my voice – so that the extreme complexity and rich diversity is incorporated on a continuum from Left to Right perceptions (though overt racism will not be tolerated nor incorporated). I want to ensure some level of authenticity and reality, but with caution and sensitivity. (I'm having a disclaimer in the book, as not all opinions reflected will be concomitant with my own...) 
The intention is not to cast aspersions, blame, finger-point, justify etc. It is more from a psychological, analytical and in some ways esoteric (not religious) mediating vantage point to help facilitate people to come to terms with theirs and their families’ choices rather than a ‘selling emigration’ booklet. This is especially important when we know that the majority of Saffers simply can’t leave. (It is not a betrayal of Africa...but rather for myself of in some ways feeling betrayed.)
We have a daughter and her family here in New Zealand, as well as two sons in South Africa with their families, and hence grandchildren in both countries. It is about sharing what I allude to as the “shrapnelled society.”
There is also a historical timeline media-type chapter with quotes, book reviews from Alan Paton to the present, plus poetry, lyrics and traditional recipes.
Any sharing would be valued... do your want your voice heard in ' Scatterlings....' ?

Eve is an educator, writer, psychologist and applied drama specialist. Her career in special needs education in South Africa spanned over 30 years as a teacher and principal. She was born and bred on a Free State farm where her passion for land and skyscapes, colours and textures inspired her to write, and has developed as a form of self-expression due to her passion of articulating thoughts into words, and its connection to narrative psychology. Eve and her retired - now artist-dabbling - husband live in New Zealand, where she's a practising educational psychologist. Eve is a wife, mum and gran, who is imbued with a passion for life, kindness, aesthetics and creativity. She hopes to find more time to write, paint, play and nurture her beloved grandchildren when retirement eventually knocks on her door.
From The South African.Com

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Barry Levy - Former SA Journalist living in Australia

Barry Levy...

Barry needs little Introduction..! I'm humbled to have this opportunity to showcase this powerful writer's work on my blog. What resonates for me firstly, is his exuberant, expansive selfless ... and compassionate soul, which rings loudly through the genres which he elects to write about- combined with his poetic insight and perception which brings brutal truth to the attention of the reader... and secondly, due to my identification with him as an SA Expat residing in Australasia. 
I look forward to having the privilege of meeting Barry across the NZ/Oz 'ditch' (The Tasman) some fine day.. Ready steady Go !... :)

Barry Levy is a former South African journalist who moved with his Australian wife and two children to Australia in 1984, because of their abhorrence of apartheid. In 2004 Levy had his first novel published –Burning Bright, a story of young love, hate and child abuse, set against the apartheid years of late seventies South Africa. 
The book was also published in Italy.  Levy's second book, 
As If! (Interactive Press, 2008), is a harsh, realistic yet compassionate depiction of life on the streets for Australian kids. 

Other publications include The Glazer Kidnapping, the true story of one of the kidnappers involved in the world's biggest kidnap of its time, which took place in South Africa in the mid sixties; a short story, "The Promised Land", published in At the Rendezvous of Victory, a compilation under the title of principal author and Nobel Literature Prize laureate Nadine Gordimer; and "The Souls from Nowhereland", a chapter in the recent compilation,
 Should I Stay or Should I Go, which highlights the ongoing dilemma and argument around emigration for 
South Africans.

Levy has been a winner of the Australian Human Rights Award for Journalism - for a multiple series of stories on child sex abuse, domestic violence and homelessness; a winner of the Anning Barton Memorial Award for Outstanding Journalism (Central Queensland) – for a series of stories on child sex abuse (incest-rape), and a Walkley Awards Queensland State finalist – for a series on homelessness.

Shades of Exodus 
Barry Levy
Levy's newly released novel - Shades of Exodus,  revolves around the true story of a South African family who flee the violence of South Africa only to fall victim to a vicious and bloody crime in Australia.
Once an outspoken critic of apartheid, David Levinrad now longs to return to the transformed 'rainbow nation.' His yearnings, heightened through life-changing events, takes us on a journey that tears at the soul and exposes our common humanity.
Is paradise always what it seems? And is there ever a way back? 

Some of the Reviews which give insight into this man's perceptive and highly relevant work...

Captures the emotions of loss and rebuilding with poetic insight...

SHADES OF EXODUS will resonate with all migrants – South Africans in particular – who have battled with themes of meaning, relationships, sense of place, and personal identity as they have moved to new worlds.

– Dr Robert Schweitzer
Associate Professor of Psychology
Queensland University of Technology
(and a migrant)

Shades of Exodus had elements of being my own autobiography. So many thoughts, sentiments, passions and yearning for the place once called home…..could one ever really feel the lucky country is home? Could one ever feel completely oneself here? These are questions I don't have an answer for?... 
Shades of Exodus has provided an intriguing and heart-warmingly enlightening read mixed with great depth and passion of the pulling forces between what is and what was… and many thoughts that had vaguely transcended my mind were there in printed form… The details and humour describing the personalities and their interaction was quite remarkable and entertaining… but also with the rather confronting but necessary parts of the book, I felt the fear and denial… All in all, congratulations on a deeply significant and most readable book.
– Glenda Fehler

Just wanted to say thank you so much for such a wonderful read! It is a really beautiful story – and very thought-provoking. For me, this is underscored by David Levinrad's story towards the end. I really felt like I was in his head and following his stream of thoughts. "Bladdy" well done!
– Angelique Oltvolgyi

Congratulations. The book you have written truly conveys the complexities of feelings we, immigrants, feel here in Brisbane. Written with total objectivity, and really putting it all out there. A really good read!
– Anita Wurfl

Themes of exile and longing for home have been elements of literature as far back as Homer and The Odyssey. And world history has been fundamentally shaped by the often forced exodus of people from their homeland and displacement around the globe, such as the Jewish Diaspora and, in the nineteenth century, the Irish emigration to the New World of America and Australia.
Shades of Exodus explores these themes in the context of a contemporary displacement, that of white South Africans leaving their country before and after the end of apartheid.
David Levinrad is a South African journalist so disturbed by the systematic violence and corruption of the apartheid regime that he emigrates to Queensland with his Australian wife Penny and their two young children in the mid-1980s. There they build a new and reasonably contented life in the suburbs of Brisbane, but the vitality and pulse of life in his homeland calls to something visceral within David, such that the urge to return and contribute to the rebuilding of South Africa becomes a vital force whose urgency he finds both difficult to suppress and to communicate to others.
He comes into contact with more recent South African émigrés, families who have fled what they see as the entrenched problems of AIDS, poverty and violence that have been unleashed in the wake of end of white rule. The clash between these different perspectives is underscored by two acts of brutal and murderous violence: one in South Africa that has influenced the departure of one family; the second involving the daughter of one of the emigrant families in suburban Brisbane, suggesting that such crimes can happen anywhere.

This is an important novel of interest not only to emigrant families but all of us who have been influenced in one way of another by the displacement of people into alien environments. The language is richly poetic in conveying the vital forces and connections that give one a sense of belonging. The struggles of the characters to make sense of their experiences and relate them to others make for a compelling narrative. Shades of Exodus constitutes a highly recommended contribution to a universal quest.
– Dr Geoff Danaher, Idiom 23 (Central Queensland University)

 If I had your gift for writing I would put into words how I feel, but I can only say, WOW, WHEW, this book is amazingly written and so close to the bone....– Amanda Shrock

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thinking Baobab Tree for book cover design !

Scatterlings- A Tapestry of    
Afri-Expat Tales   
By eve hemming  

I am now thinking a Baobab Tree Design for the book cover... how iconic is that ?  "Truth is like a baobab tree; one person's arms cannot embrace it" (African proverb)
An Africa tree is symbolic and powerful... we all have our roots in Africa... the branches are over arching and reach out to far away lands..... The Tree has seasons, cycles, shade, protection, sustenance. It brings cherished memories of tree climbing as children, of the sweet fruit we bit into in Africa....
One of my all time favourite childhood books was 'The Faraway Tree'....and as a child living on a Freestate farm, I had a secret favourite tall tree that I would climb - high up into its branches to peer down at the boundaries of my world. I felt like an omnipotent being! Far below the garden and lawn nestling around the sturdy homestead, stretched out below me. The house, heavy in its sand stone with red corrugated iron roof, parked its weight on the African earth.  Frisky, our fox terrier, seemed to be chasing his shadow. African voices sang in lilted tones as they went about tending to this and that. The drone of the faraway tractor, out of sight on the escarpment, could be heard through the filigreed leaves that brushed against my face. Always the rooster crowing on cue...Those are moments that remain frozen in time and unadulterated delight... 
 and later a mother's call...'Evie Pie ... ! Where are you ?' 

The Baobab Tree

"The Baobab Tree is a symbol of the strength of Africa. There are any myths and legends about the Baobab Tree and it is revered for its healing properties. The most common myth is that the gods in error, planted the Baobab tree upside, hence its strange shape."

BAO-BAB TREE is the story of a beautiful tree who complained to the GREAT SPIRIT of the WILD PLAINS about wanting to be the BEST and BRIGHTEST and most HANDSOME of all the African trees. The GREAT SPIRIT became tired of the complaints, and reached down from the sky, yanked the tree out of the ground and placed it back into the earth UPSIDE DOWN! All the animals were alarmed, and so was the huge tree. For after that, the magnificent tree only grew leaves once a year. The other months the ROOTS seemed to bend and grow towards the sky...The baobab looks like this for a reason. In the wet months water is stored in its thick, corky, fire-resistant trunk for the nine dry months ahead. The baobab's bark, leaves, fruit, and trunk are all used. The bark of the baobab is used for cloth and rope, the leaves for condiments and medicines, while the fruit, called "monkey bread," is eaten. Sometimes people live inside of the huge trunks, and bush-babies live in the crown...". Bobby Dooley Hunter. 

"The Baobab – Africa's Giant Upsidedown Tree"

Legendary tree of life, the giant baobab is

 a standout star 

 of the African bush 

Baobab tree at Musina (c) Graeme Williams/MediaClubSouthAfricaFrom .

There are eight species of Adansonia tree, but only one baobab tree (Adansonia digitata), native to the African mainland. Six of its relatives live in Madagascar and one in Australia. It is a tiny - and very distinctive family. The baobab itself is anything but tiny. 
This is the monster of the African bush, a vast fleshy giant which looms over the acacia scrubland waving its Medusa -like branches above a bulbous body.
Baobabs only grow below 1000m (3,000 ft) in tropical so are found in the South African lowveld - in Limpopo province, particularly around Musina, in the Kruger Park & northern Kwazulu-Natal
Some of the oldest are said to be well over 2000 years old.
The Sunland Baobab
Baobabs can reach heights of up to 30m (98 ft). The largest ever recorded, in Limpopo, South Africa, the Glencoe, had a diameter of 47m (154ft) before it split in two. The largest in                existence now is thought to be the Sunland Baobab, in Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo, has a height of 22m (72 ft) and a diameter of 47m (154 ft). Since fires have hollowed out  parts of the trunk, the owners have turned into a bar and wine cellar.Carbon dated at around 6,000 years old,this has a claim to be possibly the oldest living tree in the world ! Elsewhere those with hollow trunks have been used as burial sites and the trees have become sacred. In many places, the enduring giant trees became a symbol of community, a place of gathering.
The Tree of Life
The Baobab is also incredibly useful - so much so that Disney's Lion King named it the 
Tree of Life. It behaves like a giant succulent and up to 80% of the trunk is water.San nomads used to rely on the trees as a valuable source of water when the rains failed and the rivers dried. A single tree can hold up to 4,500 litres (1,189 gallons). The bark and flesh are soft, fibrous and fire-resistant and can be used to weave rope and cloth. It is also used to make soap, rubber, glue and various medicines.
The fruit, which looks like a velvety gourd, is filled with big black seeds surrounded by tart cream, slightly powdery pulp. For years the Africans have eaten both the leaves and fruit which is also known as monkey bread. Now it is being hailed by Westerners as a new superfruit. It is said to have six times the Vitamin C levels of an orange as well as vitamin A, twice the amount of calcium of milk and be stuffed with antioxidants such as iron and potassium. It is said to be pro-biotic, good for digestion, brain and nerve function. The seeds can be roasted, and the flesh sliced or diced and cooked in a variety of ways. So far, however, the pulp is mainly being used in smoothies, as a thickener or sugar substitute. In the UK, Whitley Neill are adding it to gin!
There are many stories and traditions surrounding the baobab. The most prevalent is that the tree was lording it over lesser plants and so offended God, who uprooted it and planted it again upsidedown to stop it boasting. It remains in leaf for only a very short time each year and if you look at its branches bare of leaves, its easy to see how the legend grew.
The Order of the Baobab is a South African National Order, instituted in 2002, awarded to citizens for distinguished service in the fields of Business and the economy; Science, medicine and technological innovation; or Community service...."
As migrants from Africa, we are in
essence upsidedown, changing our day to 
night or our Summer to Winter...turning
our souls inside out and adapting...
wherever we re-root!