We call it the Wild Coast now, but for many Cobuqua people – a Khoi-San nation in the Eastern Cape- it has been home since time immemorial. With its inexplicable beauty, with deeply forested, rounded hills through which the Umzimvubu River winds….
By Chief Joseph Wade is the traditional leader of the Cobuqua
The Khoi-San people have being deliberately erased by successive political regimes in the country. This is despite the extensive archaeological evidence of the existence of the “strandlopers” the ancestors of today’s Khoi San people, who have been genetically identified in the African Genome Project as bearers of the oldest DNA in the world.
The history of the erasure of the identities, origins and lifestyles of the Khoi San people, has been extraordinarily costly, especially to the Cape Khoi who lived a nomadic existence of small connected groups who harvested seafood from the ocean and from the rocky shorelines of the coast. Their’s was a sustainable lifestyle that is much sought after in the context of today’s climate change challenges.
The people who lived along the coast of the former Transkei homeland, the Cobuqua people, continue to suffer the impacts of dispossession and impoverishment that saw them forcibly removed from their ancestral lands as recently as 1976, under the regime of then Chief Minister of the Transkei, Chief Kaiser Matanzima.
The Cobuqua people have never forgotten their origins and have remained connected despite their displacement to five regions of the Eastern Cape – around Mthatha, Buffalo City, Matatiele, Aliwal North and Queenstown. There is a deep hunger amongst the youth of the Cobuqua people to recover their sense of identity and purpose. This is the powerful hope of the future as international actions to recognise indigenous peoples gain traction across the world.
Today, the Cobuqua people begin to SPEAK OUT to introduce all readers and concerned persons to their stories and their aspirations as they struggle to access their human rights and social, political, economic and cultural justice.
We invite you to sign up on their new blog and to follow their stories as they struggle for a recognition that meets the requirements of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The contestations are huge in this important struggle as they rise to end the continuing suppression of their struggles for justice, redress and recognition.
Our freedom remains incomplete without the achievement of freedom for all in South Africa.
The blog address is https://cobuqua.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/introducing-the-cobuqua/
Contact person: Chief Joseph Wade: Cell: 073 683 1104; 082 971 1478 and 073 055 4639
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org