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Jumanda Gakelobone, Roy Sesana  







Kalahari Bushmen of Botswana; Indigenous peoples' rights  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
2 Sep 2004

  • United States
    Los Angeles County
  • Malibu; Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area; Nicholas Flat
  • 34.04723   -118.93361
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
  • Sennheiser MKH 40
  • Sennheiser MKH 30
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1; Decoded MS Stereo

Show: Bushmen of the Kalahari hike -Roy Sesana
Log of DAT #: 2 of2
Engineer: Leo Del Aguila
Date: September 2, 2004

LD: Okay Julia this is DAT 2, Sept. 2 2004, we're with the Bushmen, this is kind of like in the day, sitting by the pond, shade, beautiful day, setting up our recording set up. Leo, Carolyn and Alex are shuffling around, trying to figure out where people should sit.
AC (00:02:18): First, could I ask you to say, I would like Roy to say his name and who he is in his culture. Jumanda (00:02:29): RS (00:02:41): Jumanda (00:02:47): I am Roy Sesana, I belong to the Gana Tribe. AC (00:02:54): To the what tribe? Jumanda (00:02:55): Gana Tribe. AC (00:02:57): Could you spell it please? RS (00:02:58): Jumanda (00:03:02): G-A-N-A AC (00:03:13): And what are you, are you the chief of the tribe? Jumanda (00:03:17):
RS (00:03:23): Jumanda (00:03:34): Not yet chief, we don't have chiefs, but the spokesperson, I'm representing the community. Itis far from the ...? (can't understand) My grandfather used to be the leader of the tribe. Interrupted by someone's conversation of/mic.
AC (00:04:17): Okay, why have you come to the United States?

Jumanda (00:04:22): RS (00:04:25): Jumanda (00:04:39): Urn, here in the states to solve the problems which is between
me and the government. I've been evicted from my ancestral land.
AC (00:04:51): When were you evicted?
Jumanda (00:04:52):
RS (00:04:56):
Jumanda (00:05:04): My group was evicted in 2002.
RS (00:05:11):
Jumanda (00:05:15): Some have been evicted in 1997.
AC (00:05:23): So where do you live now?
Jumanda (00:05:25):
RS (00:05:27):
Jumanda (00:05:36): Still stay inside CKGR but now most of out time I stay in ...
AC (00:05:48): Say that again, slowly ...
Jumanda (00:05:54): I'm still inside the CKGR, but now I spend a lot of time
outside the CKGR at the office because I'm working with the organization as the
First People of Kalahari.
AC (00:06:06):
Jumanda (00:06:12): I'm probably inside the CKGR at the place known as Molapo.
AC (00:06:20): Smolap
Jumanda (00:06:22): Molapo
AC (00:06:22): Molapo ...a town?
Jumanda (00:06:25): Not a town, it's a... (AC: Settlement?
Jumanda (00:06:28): yes, settlement.
AC (00:06:30): Do you, ah. Well 1 made a mistake, 1 didn't ask for the name of the
interpreter first, so tell me your full name and how we should refer to you. Jumanda (00:06:40): Jumanda Gakelobone ...1 am also a ? from the Central?, a country known as Botswana, I'm also of the Gana tribe, 1 also do work here with the First People of Kalahari. I'm with Roy Sesana now, to do some interpretation for him.
AC (00:07:03): Are you a Bushman? Jumanda (00:07:05): I'm born Bushman. AC (00:07:08): Born Bushman, what does that mean? Jumanda (00:07:10): It means 1 am a full Bushman, not half-Bushman. AC (00:07:17): What is a Bushman, ask, Roy, tell me what a Bushman is. Jumanda (00:07:23): RS (00:07:26): Jumanda (00:07:35): Couldn't ... ? ... how he understands the weight, means a
certain tribe, and he share, some tribes doesn't, they look upon it, they don't think that they are human beings, ...? .. the name is only used to oppress, that kind of person.
AC (00:08:01): oppress, that kind of person. Jumanda (00:08:04): Yay. AC (00:08:06): So a Bushman is not even human? Jumanda (00:08:10): RS (00:08:15): Jumanda (00:08:49): We are...?... a certain name, all this name, as he said,
Bushman, Bushmen, Buswara, is the name we have been given by other tribes like ...?... out of Botswana which stay with, so to him ...?... AC (00:09:14): I'm sorry, say that again...
Jumanda (00:09:16): ...?... So this word is used as something like, as he said, rabbit? Ravage? ...some thing which, in any case ...?... a small thing which cannot ...?... probably he is happy of all the word to be used on him ...?...ifused to respect him, but if the word is used in another kind of way, it takes, it means someone who is probably, I don't know how to put it ... (says something to RS who replies) T: Okay, what he says is that all the words to be used, as have seen, is to use the words and the names to look upon them, and makes a small type.
RS (00:10:35):
AC (00:10:54): Why does the government move you off your land?
Jumanda (00:10:58):
RS (00:11:00):
Jumanda (00:11:23): Ah, the government is evicting us from our land, and they say it is only because that place is for game reserve, it is only for game, we cannot stay inside game reserve, so to my own understanding.
AC (00:11:40): It's a game reserve, and so only animals can live there, no people.
Jumanda (00:11:44): Yay, no people. So to his understanding of these things, the government is trying to evict them from that land and use it for business for income, for tourist income and even mining companies.
RS (00:12:00):
Jumanda (00:12:12): Ah, we, as the Bushman ...?... who are staying in that place, we don't know what is a game reserve. By the time that that place was called as a game reserve, was demarcated a game reserve, we were not consulted. None of the Bushman have agreed with the government to make that place as a game reserve from our forefathers, also have not told us that that place is a game reserve but they told us it's our home.
RS (00:012:43):
Loudplane flying over head making it even more diffiCUlt to understand.
Jumanda (00:13:20): It's just like maybe coming from Botswana and come to America visiting, and he says a certain place, and then with my own sitting down and then ...? .. try to make and say that I will take this place and call it for what without even meeting the Americans talking with them, only because maybe I've got ¿
AC (00:13:39): Wait wait, you go too fast ... Jumanda (00:13:43): May be physical. .. ?... wealthy I've got guns, I've got everything, then I can use that to force Americans to do what they don't want is what the government is trying to do with us, inside CKGR, to call our place a game reserve, and then trying to force and evict us from our land.
AC (00:14:17): You're saying if he were rich and powerful and had a lot of weapons he could make Americans do whatever he wanted.
Jumanda (00:14:24): It's the same as what the government is doing to them. AC (00:14:30): You know, the government says that the Bushmen can't stay as Bushmen because this is a modern time, and they are embarrassed to have people walking around half-naked and not going to school and living outdoors, that they need, the Bushmen need to develop and be modern.
Jumanda (00:14:51): RS (00:015:12): Jumanda (00:15:): That is not the truth. RS (00:015:19): Jumanda (00:15:29): They have been not going to school for many many many
years, but they managed to survive in that area. AC (00:15:42): The Bushmen. Jumanda (00:15:43): The Bushmen. RS (00:15:44): Jumanda (00:15:52): They are just trying to evict and steal and push us out from
out land, it is not the truth. RS (00:15:58): Jumanda (00:16:13): That is just the same if I come to your house, and see it looks
nice, and then I just make plans to take out from the house, and stay inside your house, and then I say that your house was nice. AC (00:16:32): I don't understand.
Jumanda (00:16:33): Is ifI come to your house, and I look at your house and I ask you to move from your house, saying it is not good maybe ...?... to threaten you to go out from your house. Then after some years then I come and stay on your house, that is what the government is trying to do.
AC (00:17:00): The government is saying to the Bushmen, this is not a good enough place for you to live so you have to go live somewhere else, and then the government takes that land.
Jumanda (00:17:08): Sure, that is what they are saying.
RS (00:17:09):
Jumanda (00:17:23): Ah, we are evicted from our land, taken out and, and when we go there our lives becomes difficult. We are human beings, we have got our own culture.
RS (00:17:36):
Jumanda (00:17:39): Ah that place is of our culture, it is where we practiced culture for many years.
RS (00:17:46):
Jumanda (00:18:00): Ah we have been there for many and many and many years, from our ancestors, originated from that land, then from the, and a few years ago after the independence of Botswana, the government wrote some policies and said that place is a game reserve. The person who is doing that have never even come and consulted us on that, he was doing that on his own, so in which, we cannot agree on that.
RS (00:18:39):
Jumanda (00:18:41): Ah, we are evicted from out land.
RS (00:18:43):
Jumanda (00:18:52): Fortunately we are not of those Bushmen which have been used by each and everyone as they want. Nowadays we know our rights, that's why we are standing up for our land rights.
RS (00:19:06):
Jumanda (00:19:20): We said that we are moved because we have to go and are attending school, right now there are some of the students studying in the United States from Botswana, some of the students studying in Europe, but they have not come with their families for the studying.
RS (00:19:40): Jumanda (00:19:45): Why should the Bushmens be relocated because of education? RS (00:19:51): Jumanda (00:20:00): Even the results of the school right now cannot be shown, can
not show a parliament from the Bushmen side, the parliament. RS (00:20:09): Jumanda (00:20:12): We cannot see that this is ...?... RS (00:20:16): Jumanda (00:20:25): Even the remote, ...? .. office ...? .. , we do not have any
Bushmen working there as an officer. RS (00:20:35): Jumanda (00:20:39): Ah the station commander (RS continues) no lawyers from the
results from that school (RS continues) no teachers, (RS continues) cannot even go and see nurses at the clinic. (RS continues) A lot of Bushmen who are treated at the hospital, they never recover because of the language (RS continues) And maybe if he got a problem that is liver, and he ask for that, he is going to be given the medicine for his nails, because the communication between that person and the nurse has been difficult.
AC (00:21 :34): They don't speak your language. Jumanda (00:21 :35): RS (00:21 :36): Jumanda (00:21:39): They don't... RS (00:21 :40): Jumanda (00:21 :59): Ah, she will look at you because your dirty, and she will look
like this and say that this one might be only because he is dirty, and from there he went there to the sink and wash his hands and say that give him three times for the day.

RS (00:22:15):
Jumanda (00:22:25): Ah, what we are saying is that please talk with our government and leave the Bushmen stay on their land, leave to relocate them. RS (00:22:37): Jumanda (00:22:47): To be a president does not mean that you have to make an
application or be employed. We have been in CKGR and we have been part of voters we vote, staying inside CKGR for all those presidents and administrations.
AC (00:23:07): Jumanda (00:23:18): Just because we vote them, so they don't have to be much high, they take those positions because of us, so we will not allow that.
RS (00:23:27): Jumanda (00:23:40): ...?... not happy for the Bushmens to be part of elections, because even though the vote, there are always people which are moved from place,
from settlements, so it seems they might not be part of the country, they are not Botswana, they might be visitors... RS (00:24:00): Jumanda (00:24:19): That's why now I'm here in America to talk to you people to
ask for support from the government of Botswana, leave the Bushman, leave me on my land, if its school. ..?...
RS (00:24:34): Jumanda (00:24:56): Ah, Bushmens most of the time fails at school because if they go to school, they start learning language which is a problem. So to his ...? .. Bushmans have to have their own schools and taught with their own language.
AC (00:25:14): So when the Bushmen go to school they are not taught with their own language they are not taught about Bushmen culture, what language do they teach?
Jumanda (00:25:24): RS (00:25:28): Jumanda (00:25:56): Bushmens are not taught in their language, they are taught in Satswana (sp), and also to practice the Satswana (sp) language, not the Bushman language, not the Bushman culture.
AC (00:26:13): Why is it that you came to America to talk about this? What can Americans do to help you? ...It's a long way from America ... Jumanda (00:26:16):
RS (00:26:30): Jumanda (00:26:54): I came to America to ask for support from America as a superpower (AC: slowly) Superpower, and I know America is also a rich country, and most of time heard that America try to make peace in other places if other countries have problems, to solve those problems that's why I'm in America because of its superpower.
AC (00:27:22): Because America has power and you hope that America will help the Bushmen. Jumanda (00:27:26): RS (00:27:30): Jumanda (00:27:33): yes, I do hope so.
RS (00:27:39): Jumanda (00:27:42): What is the problem with the Bushmen if America cannot help him?
AC (00:27:50): When did you last, when were you a hunter last, when was he last hunting? Jumanda (00:27:55):
RS (00:28:00): Jumanda (00:28:28): Ah, my special hunting license was taken in 1991, that was the time and now I stop doing some hunting.
AC (00:28:37): You haven't been hunting since 1991, you had to have a special license to be a hunter? Jumanda (00:28:40): yay, yay I have to.

AC (00:28:46): When did the bushmen have to get special licenses to hunt, to be a hunter. I thought if you lived there in the Bushman society I thought you could hunt without a license?
Jumanda (00:28:56): Yay, it was, but I think in the 70s this idea come, I don't know with whom, for special hunting license, some people with hunting license, probably CKGR it was in the 80s when the special license come, and if found to be hunting without the special hunting license, you are arrested. So probably, it's like me, I have been doing illegally, because I did not have special hunting license ...1 did not have special hunting license because I do enjoy doing some hunting ...
AC (00:29:45): ...with a bow and arrow? Jumanda (00:29:52): Not much with bow and arrow. AC (00:29:55): When you go hunting ... Jumanda (00:29:57):...?... horseback and dog and setting snares. Probably my full
interest is in setting snares, I do a lot of setting snares. AC (00:30:11): What do you catch? Jumanda (00:30:14): ...?... AC (00:30:23): What about Roy, what did he hunt? Jumanda (00:30:26): RS (00:30:29): Jumanda (00:30:35): Giraffes, elephants ...? .. Sometimes hunt leopards...set
snares for tiger(?) Set snares sometimes for jackal, lynx, and silver foxes. AC (00:31:14): Who taught him to be a hunter? Jumanda (00:31:17): RS (00:31:18): Jumanda (00:31:20): My father taught me. AC (00:31:23): Was he a good hunter? Jumanda (00:31:24):
RS (00:31:26):
Jumanda (00:31:28): Yes he was a good hunter.
RS (00:31:29):
Jumanda (00:31:39): Even sometimes when you got attacked, one can be attacked
by the lions, he used to kill such kinds of lions with a spear. AC (00:31:50): Lions attacked him and he could kill a lion with a spear? Jumanda (00:31:52): Yay AC (00:31:53): Is that true, is that a true story? Jumanda (00:31:54): RS (00:31:55): Jumanda (00:31:58): Yes RS (00:31:59): Jumanda (00:32:03): Even my elder brother also used to kill it with spear. AC (00:32:08): Kill a lion with a spear. Jumanda (00:32:10): yes AC (00:32:14): That would be ah, (all ofthem laugh) ... are there lions where you
hunt now? Well, you don't hunt now. But there were lions out where you were
used to hunting, there were lions?
Jumanda (00:32:37):
RS (00:32:39):
Jumanda (00:32:40): Yes ...Even now there is a lot of lions.
AC (00:32:47): Maybe it would be better for the Bushmen to not be hunting and
gathering, but to have jobs, maybe if there were mines there or tourists to get
money, because it would be a hard life to be a bushman, wouldn't it?
Jumanda (00:33:05):

RS (00:33:15): Jumanda (00:33:49): Its not we hunt for granted, we do hunt for something to eat,
but if we were offered to do part of eco-tourism, to do, using those animals for
something, we can not do some of the hunting.
AC (00:34:10): But I guess what I really want to know is, maybe the Bushman's life
is too hard, and its better for the Bushmen to change and to not have to hunt and
find food but to have jobs and to make money and be more like the government
wants. Because the life, isn't the Bushman's life very hard?
Jumanda (00:34:35):
RS (00:34:40):
Jumanda (00:34:48): Bushman's life nowadays is very difficult, because someone
has made it to be difficult, but that time when they were on their own, the life was
not difficult, not hard...
AC (00:35:04): ...When the Bushman lived by themselves? (T: yes) Hard to kill a
lion with a spear?
Jumanda (00:35:10):
RS (00:35:12):
Jumanda (00:35:14): Throw with a spear.
AC (00:35:16): Just throw the spear?
Jumanda (00:35:18): Ah.
AC (00:35:19): Don't miss. (laughter)
RS (00:35:21):
Jumanda (00:35:24): You have to be a good at aiming.
RS (00:35:36):
Jumanda (00:35:38): Ah, between the two of you, one of you have to die. Ifyou miss it, you are gone. So, make good targeting to throw the spear, because one of you have to die, because if you miss the lion, you have to die.

AC (00:35:53): The lion is not going to miss you, is he. Jumanda (00:35:56): RS (00:35:58): Jumanda (00:35:59): No, it will miss you. (laughs) AC (00:36:11): Okay, good, thank you, we're going to be next week at the gathering,
and perhaps we will talk then, okay? ...Thank you Roy. CJ (00:36:34): Okay, Alex, could you just ask where they are living now? (AC: I
did) And what does the court case, what does the land claim say? What is it that they want in the land claim before the courts? Jumanda (00:36:56): RS (00:37:00): Jumanda (00:37:10): ...?... to take our government to court is to seek for our land
rights, to stay on our land.
CJ (00:37:31): So the court has adjourned the case now, the court has adjourned, and it will pick it up again in November. Jumanda (00:37:37): Yay, the court has been adjourned, I think its going to be
again on the 5th of November, the court is still adjourned, So the court was supposed to go until August, but the problem was that we ran out of money to pay our attorneys, and then we have to adjourn the court and start raise some money again to pay them.
AC (00:38:14): Something like 300,000 pula. AC (00:38:19): 300,00 pula. CJ (00:38:25): ... which is ... (AC: I don't know, we will figure it out)
Someone: under $100,000 U.S. It's less than that.
CJ (00:38:50): I don't think our audience has any idea of what it is like in the Kalahari and how big it is. Can you just describe it a little?
Jumanda (00:38:05): ...? .. 52,000 square kilometers. It's not a place like American, here you see mountains and hills, but probably, in some of the areas its like having sand dunes, and grass and trees, sometimes you've got some open places and with some ...?... Ifyou go north of the Kalahari reserve, in the upper place, so it is very hot, something like a ...? .. a long ...?... and they call it ...?... which most of the time ...?... city get water and keep water for a couple of months like a month time, some weeks, and then it dries up. CKGR it rains from August, September to March. And ifthat time you go there it looks very nice, its green, flowery, lovely, but ifyou go in winter, everything is dried up. Ifyou want to see a lot of game, a lot of animals, then you should go to the central plains, because in the center of the CKGR, there have been some settlements in the 80s governments tried to make people be permanently in those settlements, to stay, so the more the people come in those settlements, then the animals have to be a bit away from them, because they are wild, but if you move from those settlements, 40 kilometers forward to 20 kilometers squared, you can see a lot of animals from each of the settlements. Ifyou go south also, get in through the ...? .. reserve, also be a lot of animals.
CJ (00:41:43): How important is it do you think to the government of Botswana that the diamond mining be allowed to move forward?
Jumanda (00:41:55): To my understanding, not sure of the diamond mines, and any agreement with the government for the diamond mines, I'm not sure of that but probably because the government of Botswana, diamonds be something that the government is depending on: I do think that they can allow, they can allow the company to make mines, because the Hopi mine was to be opened inside the CKGR in 1999 2000 and only because the government was still dealing with taking us out, then the company was to stop doing that. In 2000 was also supposed to be opened. But I think because of these mines and people saying that were being kicked out because of diamonds and everything, then the company having stopped not to do that...?... they still have go the license ...?... which they renew each and every, so we are suspicious, why ifthere are no diamonds there, why are they holding that license, for what?
RS (00:43:08):
Jumanda (00:43:32): And Roy is saying that even at court, the government is saying that there are diamonds inside the CKGR, and that the diamonds and those animals belong to states in which Bushmen have to be moved from that place and all that land of Botswana they have to develop the whole country of Botswana.
RS (00:43:58):
Jumanda (00:44:14): He say that those are the policies of the government, that if there is diamonds and animals, then the Bushmen have to be moved.
CJ: So you think we talk some more at the gathering? AC: Mm-hum. CJ: Okay.
Jumanda and Roy talking...
LD collects ambi near pond.
LD collects ambi from other angle near pond. People are talking and he cannot collect
clean ambi.
**** Tape ends 50:

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