Cape Malays…

and their Heritage

Archive for May, 2010

Indigenous People of ZA

Posted by tahirfarrath on May 5, 2010

Under construction…

Khoi or San?

It is generally assumed that the Khoi branched from the San by adopting the practice of herding cattle and goats from neighboring Bantu-speaking groups; however, more recent evidence has suggested that the ancestors of the Khoi peoples are relatively recent pre-Bantu agricultural immigrants to southern Africa, who abandoned agriculture as the climate dried and either joined the San as hunter-gatherers or retained pastoralism to become the Khoikhoi.

The Khoikhoi

The Khoikhoi people lived in the southern parts of the African continent as early as the 5th century AD and continued to live till the first colonists arrived in the middle of the seventeenth century. Khoikhoi means “people (of) people”. The Dutch colonists called them Hottentots, which means “stammerer” in Dutch. The word Hotnot/s is sometimes used disparagingly to describe these people who are neither white nor black, but of dark yellowish-brown complexion.

The Khoikhoi people originally came from the region now forming parts of Botswana and they kept migrating southward until they reached the region forming part of South Africa. The migrating people came to known by different names depending on where they eventually settled. They were known as Korana and settled in the middle of South Africa, the Namaque in the western region of the country and the Khoikhoi in the southern most regions. The Khoikhoi people could mingle with the natives called San because of the similarity in their lifestyles. Even though there were inter marriages between the Khoikhoi and the San groups, they did not lose their cultural identities. The Khoikhoi were typically pastoral people. They raised their sheep, goats, and cattle and depended upon these for a well balanced diet. The San were mainly hunter-gatherers.

Their contacts with the colonists brought about a big change in their traditional way of life. With the exception of the British, most of the Europeans aggressively and systematically opposed the people. Warfare between the two was common. Many of the natives lost their lives not only in the wars but also to Small Pox, a disease which was introduced by the Colonists The Colonists snatched away their land and established ranches and farms. The KhoiKhoi were reduced to working on these as farm workers or were enslaved. Some of them were absorbed into neighboring groups like the Xhosa people. A few people belonging to this tribe have remained untouched by the Colonists and continue their traditional occupations of animal husbandry and farming.

The Khoikhoi people followed a distinct culture and had well established religious beliefs and practices. They believed that the moon was God and therefore an object of much reverence. Tsuigoab was regarded as the creator and a protector of health to which they prayed for their well-being. Gunab, on the other hand was evil and the caused sickness and death. Many of the Khoikhoi have converted to Islam in Namibia.

The Khoisan

Khoesaan = Khoisan is a general term which linguists use for the click language of southern Africa. Physical anthropologists use it as a biological term to distinguish the aboriginal people of southern Africa from their black African farming neighbours.

The hunters of today have no collective name for themselves. They use their own group names, such as Ju/’hoansi (people who live on the border between northern Namibia and Botswana) or Hai//om (people who live around Etosha National Park).

San = Sanqua = Soaqua was a name given to hunters by the Khoekhoen of the Cape. The word means ‘people different from ourselves’ and became associated with those without livestock, or people who stole livestock.

Khoekhoen = Khoikhoi = Kwena is a general name which the herding people of the Cape used for themselves. The word can be translated to mean ‘the real people’ or ‘men of men, meaning ‘we people with domestic animals’ as opposed to the Sonqua or Bushmen who had none.

The name ‘Bushman’ or ‘Bossiesman’ was given to low status people by the Dutch settlers in the 1600’s, and referred to those who collected their food off the land and had no domestic animals.

In 1820 Barnabas Shaw observed: The Bushmen are altogether the slaves of passion. They are deeply versed in deceit, and treacherous in the extreme. Cruelty, in its most shocking forms, is familiar. Hottentots seldom destroy their offspring but the Bushmen will kill them on various occasions, as, when they are in need of food; when obliged to flee from their enemies; when the child is ill-shaped; or, when the father has forsaken its mother. There are also instances of parents throwing their children to the hungry lion, when he has approached their residence.

Apart from the current Muslim Cape Malays (6.7 percent), the Coloured people are by and large nominal Christians (26 percent Dutch Reformed, 10.7 percent Anglican, 5.7 percent Methodist, 7 percent Congregationalist, 10 percent Catholic), a pattern very similar to that of Whites. Some residents have retained aspects of traditional Khoi religion, magic, and sorcery, and they hold these beliefs together with their articulation of Christianity. Many of these, notably divination and the prescription of “home remedies” for illness, are often associated with people of Cape Malay background. Compared with the Bantu-speaking peoples, the Coloureds have engaged in relatively few minor schismatic movements in reaction to White domination in religion.

Local Myths

On a clear day when you look out from Manenberg in the direction on Table Mountain, Devils Peak and the mountain range along the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, you will easily think of Gulliver, the giant, from the children’s book ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. You will see a huge stone man in the mountain, laying flat on his back. Devils Peak is his face and head, with his hair stretched out from his head. The eyes, nose, mouth and chin can be clearly seen. The chest, body, and legs stretch out in the direction of Tokai. The figure is best viewed at sunset. This is the man in the mountain that we learnt about as children. Our own ‘Man en Berg’ – Manenberg.

A number of local legends underpin this vision, suggesting that humans have always had this vision of a man in the Mountain. Here are just some of these legends.

According to African legend, UThixo or Tikqua (God of the Sun/Heavens), and Djobela (Earth Goddess), conceived Qamata who created the world. But the Dragon of the Sea, was so jealous that he fought with Qamata to try and stop him forming dry land. In the battle Qamata was badly crippled, but the Earth Mother Djobela came to his aid by creating four mighty giants to guard the far corners of the earth. Djobela placed the biggest and strongest giant at the gateway to the south where Cape Town now lies.After many terrible battles with the great Dragon of the Sea, the giants were killed one by one. But before they died, they requested that the Earth Mother turn them into mountains, so that even in death, they could guard the world. And so, the greatest giant of all – Umlindi Wemingizimu – became ‘die Man in die Berg’ – Manenberg, the watcher of the south.

It is from the Khoe and the San that the amaXhosa got their name for God -UThixo. The Khoe and San people also reflect this story in their name for the mountain. They called it Hoerikwaggo – ‘the mountain of the sea’ or ‘mountain born of the conflict of the sea’. The African legend of Umlindi Wemingizimu in amaXhosa culture is strongly rooted in their connection to Khoe and San culture. The Dragon of the sea, paralles the evil Guanab the destroyer. The supreme God of the Sun, Tsui Goab or ‘Wounded Knee’ evolved through processes of death and reincarnation, from a man called U-thixo, or Tikqua, who was originally a powerful shaman and chief. Tsui Goab constantly battled against Gaunab. In the final battle against Gaunab before Uthixo ascended into the heavens he sustained a wound which gave him the name Tsui Goab. Gaunab was locked in darkness and visits death upon people. Tsui Goab, however, brings life, light and rain – renewal. It is to Thixo or Tsui Goab that we need to turn to bring renewal to our communities of the Western Cape. Confusion, darkness, division and destruction are the fruits of Gaunab. Manenberg is a constant reminder to us to ever seek renewal lest we too become locked in stone.

The Portuguese explorers had a very similar story about the Table Mountain range which also involves ‘die Man in die Berg’ – Manenberg. When the explorer Vasco Da Gama approached the Cape with his fleet, they were surrounded by a huge dark cloud coming from the mountains in the distance. It had the shape of a gigantic human. The howling figure asked them why they were foolishly sailing in such dangerous and stormy waters. He warned that there would be terrible disasters if they tried to sail round the Cape of Storms. He announced himself to the terrified sailors as Adamastor, who had been turned into a mountain range at the tip of Africa, as a punishment of the Gods. His job for all time was to guard the southern seas. Adamastor was a Titan in mythology who had gone to war against the Olympian Gods. The Portuguese writer Luis Vas de Camoëns tells of the Titan’s love, in ages past, for the beautiful sea-nymph Thetis. In fear of Adamastor’s vast strength, Thetis dared not refuse the giant outright, although his coarse and earthy form disgusted her. She fled for assistance to her mother Doris, wife of the sea-god. Doris told the love-sick Titan that Thetis would be his bride, and bade the giant embrace her. It was a trick. The white form for which Adamastor reached was cold stone rather than the Thetis which he so desired. Adamastor’s rage and shame at the insult was tremendous. He threw himself into battle against the Gods, but the Titans were defeated. Adamastor was punished when they froze his flesh, and he became a mountain, forever guarding the furthest tip of Africa – Manenberg


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Masjids of Zimbabwe

Posted by tahirfarrath on May 5, 2010

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Musani Primary School, Birchenough Bridge, Zimbabwe. Phone: 0248-2-2131

Musani Secondary School, Birchenough Bridge, Zimbabwe. Phone: 0248-2-2233


Bulawayo Islamic Society, Basch Street 10th Ave, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Phone: +263-(9) 69758


Islamic Culture Institute, Boeing Rd Ridgeview, Harare, Zimbabwe. Phone: 04-74-0903

Ardbennie/waterfalls Masjid, near ardbennie shopping center, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Haramain Est., Borrowdale Road, Harare, Zimbabwe. +966-5088 88 88 88

Islamic Education Centre, 668 Simon Mazorodze Rd Waterfalls, Harare, Zimbabwe. Phone: 04-61-4004

Crescent College, McCreadie Hse Speke Ave, Harare, Zimbabwe. Phone: 04-75-0425, 773620. The college offers a wide variety of Electronics and Telecommunications courses, as well as Business oriented courses in collaboration with the Islamic Society of Zimbabwe.

Mobeena Ebrahim Primary School, Mcmeekan Rd, MiltonPark, Harare, Mashonaland 263, Zimbabwe. Phone: 263-4 741083


No.1 Masjid. (Lwendulu) c/o P.O. Box 123 Hwange, Zimbabwe. Phone: +263-712621965 /7335. A 200m drive into the village and No.1 masjid will be on your left. Opposite Seventh Day Adventist Church.


Masvingo Islamic Mosque, Robert Mugabe Street, Masvingo, Zimbabwe.

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Masjids of Malawi

Posted by tahirfarrath on May 5, 2010

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Border Masjid, a few kilometers after the Chipata – Malawi border


Al-Madinah Masjid, centre of limbe town next to mpingwe sports club, Blantyre, Malawi. Phone: 265 1-671488

Jamia Islamia, P.O. Box 51182, Limbe, Malawi. Opposite of Madinah Masjid.

Lakeside Masjid,located 10 km out of Nkhotakota next to a Art & Crafts centre.

Al-Taqwa Masjid, corner of Mahatma Gandhi Rd and Mandala Rd, Blantyre.

Blantyre Islamic Mission Secondary School, PO Box 1 Mbame Blantyre, Blantyre, Malawi. From blantyre you just take chikwawa road.

Chintheche/Nkhata Bay

Masjid in Chintheche Nkhata bay, Malawi. A stone throw away from Lake Malawi.


Nankwenya School, P.O Box 67, Chisombezi, Chiradzulu, Malawi. From Limbe, take Zomba Rd..turn to the right after Kachere Market. Follow Nguludi dry-weather Rd; a 5-10 minutes driving. then turn to the right again.

Garnet Village

Masjid in Garnet Village, Malawi.


Kanjamanu Masjid build by vice president of Malawi Mr. Qasim Chilumpha in Kanjamanu, Khotakota, Malawi.


Mukuta Masjid, Khotakota, Malawi.

The remains of what is known as the first Masjid ever built 1860, Bondo village, Malawi.


Nankwenya Mosque, along Nguludi dry weather road, Chiradzulu, Chiradzulu District, T/A Likoswe, Malawi.


Masjid in Area 9 Lilongwe, Malawi.

Masjid Al-Falaah, located in the heart of a buzzing city.

Institute of Islamic Education and Culture, P O Box 1081, Chitedze, Lilongwe, Malawi.


Kandahar Mosque (Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaat), along Mzuzu Kasungu Road behind Katoto Secondary School, Luwinga Mzuzu 2, Mzuzu, Malawi.


Masjid in Malawi, Nkhotakota.

Masjid near the Lake 10km out of Nkhotakota, Malawi.


Madina Masjid, Salima, Malawi.

Salima Islamic Centre, P.O Box 493, Salima, Malawi. Phone: (+0020)0163190917


Zomba Mosque

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Masjids of Mozambique

Posted by tahirfarrath on May 5, 2010

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Mesquita Central da Beira, Rua Correia de Brito, Beira, Mozambique

Madrassah Arabiyah Islamiyah ,Academia de Estudos Islámicos, Av. Eduardo Mondlane, Beira, Sofala 1632, Mozambique. Phone: 258 82 40 95 720


Liga Muçulmana de Chimoio, Chimoio, Mozambique.


Jumma Masjid, Rua Da Mesquita, Maputo, Mozambique. Oldest & Main Mosque in the heart of Town next to Central Market.

Masgid Babus Salam, Av. Josian Machel, Maputo, Mozambique. Phone: +258-82 307 190

Masjid IQRA, Bairro do Bunhica, Maputo, Mozambique

Masjid Quba, Av. Olof Palme, 506, Maputo, Mozambique. Phone: +258823131000

Masjid Taqwa, Av. Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique. In the main street of Maputo. Phone: 258-82 3071900

Massgid Aqsá, Bairro 25 de Junho Rua, Maputo, Maputo 01, Mozambique. Phone: 258-824893310

Massgid Fiuzul Isslam, Rua da Malhangalene 108, Maputo, Mozambique.

Madrassah Mahdul Ilm, Avenida Amilcar Cabral 1442, Maputo, Mozambique. Phone: +258-825675929


Masjid Omar Faruk, Cidade da Matola 700, Maputo, matola, Mozambique. Phone: +258-325259

Masjid Taiba Fomento, Av.Tunduro Fomento, Matola, Mozambique.

Jamia Anas bin Malik, Av. Gungunhana no. 734, Maputo, Matola 00000, Mozambique. Phone: 00258-21721357


Darul-ulum Jamiya Abdullah Ibne Abbas, Av. Samora Machel, Nampula, Mozambique. Phone: 258-26216364

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Masjids of Namibia

Posted by tahirfarrath on May 5, 2010

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Katima Masjid, near New Millenium Guest House, Katima Mulilo, Caprivi, NAMIBIA. Phone: 00264-812472333

Katima Mulilo

Musjidun-Noor, 159 Lechwe Street, Katima Mulilo, Namibia


Ondangwa Islamic Centre, Ondangwa, Namibia. Phone: 065-245786


Fysal Masjid, Main Rd., Oshakati, Namibia

Walvis Bay

Ashrafi Islamic Society Mosque, Cnr of Evergreen and Ashrafi Street, Walvis Bay, Namibia. Phone: 00264-64205193


Windhoek Islamic Centre, Sam Nujoma Drive, Windhoek, Namibia. Phone: +264 61 271927

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Masjids of Botswana

Posted by tahirfarrath on May 5, 2010

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Botswana Muslim Association, Main St, Botswana. Phone: 00267-5920173

Islamic Medical Center, Private Bag 127, Francistown District. Phone: 240-6260


Botswana Muslim Association, opposite of both the University of Botswana and the National Stadium, Gaborone, Botswana 267. Phone: +267-71786009

Masjid Nur, Gaborone, Botswana.

Al-Nur Muslem School, P.Bag 00192, Gaborone, Botswana. Phone: 267-3903984


Letlhakane Mosque, enquire locally from muslim businesses, Letlhakane, Botswana.

Letlhakane Muslim Association, P.O Box 132, Letlhakane, Boteti district, Botswana. Phone: 02967-2976900


Lobatse Masjid, Lobatse, Botswana.

Botswana Translation Bureau of Islamic Literature, Private Bag 254, Suite 212 Postnet Molapo Crossing, Lobatse, Southern 0000, Botswana. Phone: 267-71327268

Maun (North West District)

Botswana Muslim Association, from Ngami Toyota on the Ghanzi road, West from Hospital Junction. Just before the first right turn, Maun, North West District, Botswana. Phone: +26772135985


Islamic Information Centre, Private Bag 1543, Molepolole, Botswana.

Islamic English Medium Primary School, PO box 1543, Molepolole, Botswana. Phone: 592-0762

Selebi Phikwe

Selebi Phikwe Muslim Association, Independance Road, Near Travel Inn, Botswana. Phone: 00267-2600245-7


Serowe Islamic Center and Mosque, Serowe main mall behind quick stop shop, Serowe, Cetral district, Botswana. Phone: +267-4637904

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Masjids of Swaziland

Posted by tahirfarrath on May 5, 2010

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Ezulwini village

Ezulwini Mosque


Masjid-e-Yusuf, Mbabane, Swaziland.


Islamic Youth Organization of Swaziland, Manzini. Phone: +268-602 1747

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Masjids of Lesotho

Posted by tahirfarrath on May 5, 2010

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Lesotho Muslim Association, PoBox 1242, Maseru, Lesotho. phone: 00266-22325142

Butha-Buthe Musallah, bus stop

Green cressent Musallah, Moshoeshoe road

Leribe Masjid, 2km out of town

Lesotho Islamic Institute, Thabong

Main South Road Masjid

Maputsoe Masjid, Main Street

Soofie Masjid, about 200 metres away from Hotel

Victoria Musallah, Victoria hotel

Teyateyaneng Musallah

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