Xhiegau and Xhuma are father and son and we had the interview with them together.
Name: Xhiegau and Xhuma
Where are you from? Xhiegau: I arrived with my father on Willie’s farm and this is where I grew up and spend my youth. I don’t know any other place then Willies farm as my home. Xhuma: I was born on Willies farm and this is where I grew up and have lived ever since.
What is your specialism? (eg what do you do) Xhiegau: I take guests on Bushman walks at the lodge with my family and I enjoy it very much to learn the people about our culture and how we survive in the bush. I help Willie on his cattle farms, because I know cattle very well, because I learnt from my father. Xhuma: I join my dad and the rest of our family on the Bushman walks to show the guests some very good food you can find in the bush and enjoy it very much to see the people’s reactions as we show them all the interesting stuff you can find in the bush. I also help my dad on Willies cattle farm so I can learn from my dad and also work on my own one day.
How long have you been doing your specialism? Xhiegau: Very long time (40+ years). I have never been anywhere else then on Willies farms. My family and I will never survive without Willie. Xhuma: When I finished school, I immediately started working with my dad, so I have been with Willie since I was born.
How long have you been working for Grassland Lodge? Same as above.
Why should people choose Botswana for an African safari? Xhiegau: The people should come and see how we, the brown people (Bushman), live and survive in the bush. We never changed our morals and forgot what we learned from our parents. We are still the same as we have been hundreds of years ago. Xhuma: The people should come and see the Kalahari and what is has to offer, when it rains in the Kalahari – it comes alive, we have Giant Bullfrogs and lots and lots of food in the Kalahari. The people must come and see how we survive.
From your point of view, what do visitors enjoy about Botswana? Both: It is very safe in Botswana.
Your favourite spot/place in Botswana? Xhiegau: I enjoy Ghanzi very much, there are a lot of people you can speak to and it is nice to sometimes buy something nice for my family. Ghanzi is also a very friendly little town, all the people tell us at the other places they are not as nice and friendly as in Ghanzi. Xhuma: We are Ghanzi people, we know the people in Ghanzi, it is nice to catch up with them every now and then.
What is your favourite thing about Botswana? Xhiegau: We can sleep in peace because it is very safe in Botswana, nobody will bother you when you are sleeping. Here is also enough food, we won’t die of hunger. Xhuma: The people don’t fight with each other, everybody is very friendly. Here is very nice food in Botswana and one can also sleep very well at night.
Where are you from? I was born on the neighbours farm and came to Willies farm as a young girl with my parents.
What is your specialism? (eg what do you do) I work at the lodge as the tea girl and am very proud of my job.
How long have you been doing your specialism? 5 years
How long have you been working for Grassland Lodge? 5 years
Why should people choose Botswana for an African safari? The people should come and see the animals here that are not there where they came from. The people should come and see how beautiful the Kalahari is.
From your point of view, what do visitors enjoy about Botswana? The animals and nature.
Your favourite spot/place in Botswana? Xade, where my mom is staying now, because my dad passed away a couple of months ago. People close to my hart stay at Xade, that’s why it’s my favourite place.
What is your favourite thing about Botswana? It is very nice to stay in Botswana, just nice, nobody is bothering you, one can just enjoy life in Botswana. The black people look down on us, the Bushman people, but we don’t mind them.
When asked if they had anything else they want to share with us, they all had the following to say: Please let the guests come and visit us, we enjoy their company very much and to show them how we survive. The guets don’t look down on us, they help us and support us with what we do.
Willie asked/said the following as a joke: “We are thinking of closing down Grassland and starting a cattle farm?!” All 3 spoke at the same time with the same answer: “No, please not, Grassland is our life!!!”