Upon hearing these appalling words, Tsietsi fell to ground, knelt, shaking and muttering; “Please, please, no, please!”

The King’s guards then grabbed a hold of him, and with their own, forced his hands to firmly grip the knife and slowly drive it into Tshenolo. She all the while was shrieking hysterically, in tears, having heard what was to become of her, but she was also held down by the guards.

Their mission over, the guards released Tsietsi’s hands. Upon seeing his dead lover, his beloved wife, lying lifeless and covered in blood – Tsietsi then turned the knife to himself, stabbed into his own broken heart!

The people were too shocked for words; some women fainted right on the spot, tipping over, leaving their breasts showing. Anguished cries were heard all over.

It was really for love and veneration that the people had openly and stubbornly shown, that Tsietsi had died. He had given much of his estate to them, and taught new farming techniques to the people of Bamobu.

This generosity and leadership drove the King to jealous insanity. To him, suppressing Tsietsi’s ever-expanding wealth was taking away that which people admired him for. The King thought he was removing that which symbolized a threat to his own absolute authority.

Today, it is believed that after that gruesome and fateful act, the Gods grew so angry at the Bamobu clan, that the sun became more unforgivingly scorching than ever before, and worsened the conditions which were already dire. Wildfires ate up everything, and not a single droplet of rain came down from the heavens, and everyone died from extreme hunger and thirst.

Everything and everyone, in consequence, was shattered, simply disintegrated … and became grains of sand which now make up the great Kgalagadi Desert.

When you walk in the Kgalagadi Desert today, you can still hear the growling stomachs of the Bamobu clan, as they wasted away in hunger. You can still hear the sharp, loud, chilling screams of the children that were once dragged into the wilderness and eaten by dogs and hyenas. You can still hear the shrieks and hysteria of the women who once gathered and cried over the King’s cruel act. You can still here remnants of the deranged and enraged voice of Kgosi Mathomo addressing his people.

But some say they have seen the ghost lovers, Tsietsi and Tshenolo, running across the sand dunes, laughing.

The strangest, and perhaps the most wild of all conjectures to be reported to date, is the profound belief that some anthropologists hold, that maybe, just maybe, some of the members of the clan were able to withstand and survive the harsh conditions. They were able to integrate with others in the upper most regions of the Northern Cape, becoming part of the San and the Batswana people. And that some oratory stories actually speak of them.

No-one can ever truly know what actually became of the people, except for the fact that the Bamobu no longer exist.

But it’s advisable to go to the desert yourself – to feel and experience the overwhelming presence –the aura – that the clan left behind. Be there especially during stormy times when the wind blows the grains of sand over your face. The grains that carry the tragic past of Bamobu.


Tell us: How did you like this fable? What is its message? And, would you like to visit the Kgalagadi Desert and sense the spirits of its ancient inhabitants?