A short Biography of Joao (Juwawa) Albasini

Joao Albasini

Joao Albasini

“Juwawa” Albasini was the son of an Italian sea captain, who had left him in Lourenco Marques in 1832 at the age of 19 years, with instructions to commence a safari trade and find a market for his father’s goods. “Juwawa” was the Blacks’ interpretation of his Christian name Joao.

When Soshangane sacked Lourenco Marques in October 1833, Juwawa had the opportunity to demonstrate his talents for congenial living and association with the Bantu.

Soshangane

Soshangane

While all the other inhabitants died in a dreadfully painful manner, Juwawa was tolerated, and was indeed received for a while within the ranks of Soshangane’s own band.

In Lourenco Marques both Louis Trichardt and Potgieter had met a number of traders and had suitably impressed them with the commercial possibilities of the coming influx of trekkers to the Transvaal. Albasini’s name was one of those who was consulted.

Louis Trichardt

Louis Trichardt

With the reconstruction of Lourenco Marques , young Juwawa prepared for a resumption of the safari trade. With the advent of trekkers to the Transvaal the entire trading pattern changed; it was Albasini who rapidly became the organizing genius behind the dynamics of the new era. He became king of the precarious safari trade.

Hendrik Potgieter

Hendrik Potgieter

With energy and enthusiasm he organized his regular safaris. He established an inland depot in the bush on the banks of the Sabie River (about 25km from the present town of Hazyview), where the tsetse belt ended. There his porters completed their inbound journey and dropped their loads for ox-wagons to be picked up for carrying to the markets of the highveld. Albasini also took up residence at the depot to enable him to control his enterprise effectually from this halfway house: a low, reddish, burnt-brick, thatched shack, surrounded by a circle of huts and endless rolling plains of bush. He supervised the loading of ox-wagons as well as organizing his elephant hunters to scour the bushveld.

He cleared, farmed and irrigated a piece of land from the Sabie River which he had bartered the use of for 22 head of cattle from the chief Makashula. He grew grains and hunted venison to feed his hungry, weary porters.

Sabie River

Sabie River

There he spent his time in complete solitude, listening to the uproarious song of the night-wilds and drowsing the hot daylight hours away, while his porters sat against the walls of the compound huts in the shade waggling their toes and singing in a monotone, the song they still sing in the bushveld today begging for it to get hotter and hotter, so that the white man who made them work might be driven away.

Albasini had the distinction of being the first European to take up residence in the Eastern Bushveld.

Albasini Ruins near Phabeni Gate

Albasini Ruins near Phabeni Gate

He loved the wilderness so much that he dreamed of it becoming a new Portugese colony with the sonorous title of Colonoa da Santa Luz, with his depot in the bush as its capital. However, a later boundary commission ruled that the Bushveld was a Transvaal possession, and he remained with just his shack, and naught save his porters and elephant hunters as company.

For 7 years Albasini lived there. Then the arrows of Cupid found their mark even on this lonely figure; and he married a Voortrekker maiden, Gertina Maria Janse van Rensburg, niece of the ill-fated Johannes Janse van Rensburg.

Gertina Maria Janse van Rensburg

Gertina Maria Janse van Rensburg

For her sake he left his home in the bush next to the Sabie River, and removed to Ohrigstad, the terminal for his caravan trade.

Through the years this trade across the Bushveld reached considerable proportions, and was very lucrative, and thousands of kilograms of goods were carried from the Portuguese coastal depots to the markets of the Northern Transvaal, and thousands of kilograms of ivory were carried back on the return journeys. A typical safari consisted of 68 porters carrying food and camping equipment, and 150 Tongas each laden with some 20 kilograms of traded goods and being guarded by 17 heavily armed elephant hunters, all of whom made up the party in a long line of chanting, sweating men.

Ivory Porters

Ivory Porters

It took 24 days to do the 400 kilometer journey from the coast, through territory in constant danger from insolent, hostile, militant tribesmen, hungry hyenas and lions, tsetse flies, malaria mosquitoes and excruciating heat.

In 1847, Albasini optimistically reported a new tsetse free route to the coast, to the Volksraad. Although he received a free erf in Ohrigstad, the commission under Janse van Rensburg which investigated the route in July was not overly impressed by it. Still, it was the best route discovered to date, and actually was almost the same as the Nelmapius Route. It was never anything more than a track, but traces of it still pass under the name of the Old Wagon Road.

When Ohrigstad collapsed with the demise and heartbreak caused by malaria, Albasini relocated to the Schoemansdal region.

Schoemansdal

Schoemansdal

In 1855 Albasini had removed from the Ohrigstad area and opened up a shop in the new Voortrekker town Schoemansdal, that had become the new Potgieter town of preference. However, Schoemansdal had its own problems.

The Transvaal Government was almost bankrupt and was unable to maintain law and order as well as expanding its boundaries. In the northern Transvaal there were only 600 White inhabitants spread over a wide area occupied by various Black tribes with numbers of 360,000 and over.

Ever since Potgieter had established his “Zoutpansbergdorp” it had been an unruly sort of town. While he was alive he had kept his boisterous followers somewhat subdued, but after his death many of them ran riot. Schoeman had re­named the place Schoemansdal after himself; and under him it became a lawless place, used as a hideout and depot by some of the toughest elements in the Transvaal.

Schoemansdal Region

Schoemansdal Region

It was a pity that this trouble had developed in that beautiful land. The heights of the Soutpansberg and the broken country of the Spelonken (place of caverns,) were all fine areas for human settlement; and the first Voortrekkers had found them empty of people, save for a few scattered refugees in the bush, and the Venda tribe who lived in island-like seclusion along the very top of the Soutpansberg.

In this remote setting the village of Schoemansdal had grown into a place of some 200 inhabitants, living around a church presided over by the Reverend N. J. van Warmelo, and a few stores run by Portuguese safari traders such as Bras Pereira and Cazemiro Simoes. Jan Vercueil was the local magistrate.

Uniformed Albasini

Uniformed Albasini

In 1858 Albasini had been appointed Portuguese Vice-Consul in the Soutpans­berg, and he was very proud of this position. He displayed an ornamental shield advertising his rank at his fort, and on ceremonial occasions sported a smart blue uniform with epaulettes and a cocked hat. Being the Portu­guese consul of the district he made it his business to see that all ivory, and anything else that was valuable, went to Lourenco Marques. Albasini was also said to have also been a slave-trader in the days before that evil trade was abolished

He was also Super­intendent of Native Affairs for the Republic and collector of taxes, an appointment which greatly increased his power over the Bantu so that he became an uncrowned king in his particular area.

Shangaan Village

Shangaan Village

He established himself in the Spelonken (the region of caves) and carried on a very profitable trade with the tribes. He certainly had great influence among the Bantu and became the acknowledged chief of the Matshangana, south of the Limpopo.

At the height of his activity he was certainly a man to be reckoned with. A considerable crowd of Africans had gathered around his person, for it was his habit to grant asylum to all applicants; and in those troubled days of tribal uproar there were many who fled to him for protection. No fewer than 2,000 warriors obeyed his summons—a piercing whistle—at one time. They regarded him as a proper chief, for he judged their disputes and was the object of songs they sang around their fires at night, while he sat with his family enjoying the cool evening breeze sweeping into his fort from the bush and listening idly to the rhythmic praises—”He has an army of spears”—”He speaks with a whistle”, and a hundred others besides.

Fort Skans

Fort Skans

Some twenty-five miles east of the town, Albasini engaged a German named Von Marnecke, to build a proper fort with flanking bastions and protective walls stoutly made of burnt brick. This became his depot and safari terminus, where his goods were stored and sorted, and supplied to African pedlars who carried them off to the most isolated kraals to barter for the precious ivory. This was the greatest trade of Schoemansdal.

It was no handicap that he controlled a small army of Shangaan warriors who obeyed his least command. Eventually however, some of his activities roused the suspicions of Republican officials and he was deprived of his official status.

African Ivory Hunters

African Ivory Hunters

Each year the traders sent out parties of heavily armed African hunters in search of elephants; and these hunters ranged on foot so far through the tsetse-infested bush that the tusks often had to be carried by bearers for hundreds of miles. Immense numbers of elephants were slaughtered, and ivory in prodigious quantities passed through Schoemansdal. Fairs were held each year, when ivory was sold to merchants who journeyed all the way from the Cape, Natal and Mozambique.

Stocks of Ivory

Stocks of Ivory

The number of elephants slaughtered to supply this market must have run into tens of thousands. In 1864, one merchant alone shipped out 14.50 tons of ivory, the product of more than 350 animals.

This ivory trade brought Schoemansdal both its prosperity and its ruin. The ivory hunters had always had the system of supplying guns to selected Africans, who did most of the actual hunting. These guns were contrivances of mammoth bore and tremendous recoil.

Elephant Gun

Elephant Gun

Their makers intended them as either four-pounders (four balls to one pound of lead) or eight-pounders (eight balls to a pound of lead); but with the general scarcity of ammunition they were often loaded with all manner of fearsome objects: legs of  “kaffir” pots, small rocks, hard marula pips, or anything else the marksmen could improvise.

Dedicated Elephant Hunters

Dedicated Elephant Hunters

Back in 1858, the government had sought to control this activity by restrict­ing elephant hunting to the period from the I5th June to the 15th October each year, limiting each European to three African hunters, and then only allowing these Africans to be armed if their master was to accompany them personally. The trouble was that this law, like many others in the Transvaal, was made to be broken, for there was no authority with which to enforce it.

By breaking the law, however, the Europeans were sowing the seeds of much future trouble. Each year more and more heavy elephant guns had been handed out and never returned; and in this way the Venda tribe became well-armed and were expert marksmen. Quarrels between the Africans and Europeans soon de­veloped. A long series of outrages and scandals took place which disgusted the rest of the Transvaal. Murders, plunderings and atrocities seemed to become the order of the day along the Soutpansberg, and nothing the government could do stopped this sorry state of affairs. A long and vicious rivalry between Albasini and Vercueil complicated the picture, and nearly all the officials indulged in petty wars with African tribes in an entirely illegal manner.

Church at Buysdorp Limpopo

Church at Buysdorp Limpopo

Albasini’s fort known as Die Skans, became the protective mainstay of the district and the famed resort of all passing travellers. In 1855, when the Governor of Inhambane sent an embassy to the Soutpansberg to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce, the footslogging ambassadors, Father Joaquin de Santa Rita Montanha, some speculative Arab merchants and slave traders, and one lonely Russian, stayed with Albasini when they arrived on the 5th July.

In the Soutpansberg Juwawa Albasini remained alone, as a stubbornly en­trenched advance post of civilisation. In his fort, twenty-five miles east of the ruins of Schoemansdal, he defied all comers successfully, except poverty, which besieged and then overwhelmed him irresistibly.

Makhato

Makhato

The district, once so flourishing, was bankrupt. All trade and ivory hunting had dissolved into ruination. Makhato, the so-called Lion of the North, reigned supreme as the chief of the Venda and Albasini with his fort and his following of African porters and adherents could just contrive to hold his own. After the Boers vacated Schoemansdal the town was taken over by Makhato and totally destroyed. Albasini also came within an ace of being tried on a criminal charge in which the first landdrost of Soutpansberg Vercuil, was involved. He seems to have been saved by the fall of Schoemandsal.

In the Soutpansberg  Juwawa  remained alone, as a stubbornly en­trenched advance post of civilisation. In his fort, twenty-five miles east of the ruins of Schoemansdal, he defied all comers successfully, except poverty, which besieged and then overwhelmed him irresistibly.

Coenraad de Buys

Coenraad de Buys

The descendants of Coenraad de Buys, also remained by the Soutpansberg, in whose shadow their tough parent had bid them remain forever. They survived by the expedient of marrying girls presented by Makhato, and trading surrepti­tiously with the Venda for arms and ammunition. An irregular postal service connected him with Lourenco Marques. A Coloured soldier tramped backwards and forwards about once each month through the bush, carrying despatches and mail for his superiors and indulging in a spot of private ivory trading and kidnapping of African children in the course of his travels.

Ivory was also the cause of the ultimate destruction of Schoemansdal by the BaVenda chief Makhato. In the 1860s, Schoemansdal was divided over the distribution of wealth from ivory trading. Previously, the local peoples had acted as bearers, butchers, and guides.

Signature of Coenraad de Buys

Signature of Coenraad de Buys

But lately the men of Schoemansdal had become lazy. They’d given guns to the BaVenda, shown them the craft of elephant hunting and then sent then off to track down and kill these gentle giants. However, the Boers still expected to receive the major portion of the hunt spoils. Naturally, the elephant hunters were having none of this so they quit the village, taking the guns and tusks with them. When the return of both was demanded, they refused.

Makhato, the BaVenda chief, then decided to go to war. Schoemansdal was laagered – Paul Kruger, along with 400 men, rode up from Pretoria. Their efforts were destined to fail – the supply lines were too long, the night sky along the southern Zoutspansberg was peppered with the fires of the warring BaVenda and alarm calls were continuous throughout the night. On 15 July 1867, On Kruger’s instructions, the Boers had withdrawn from Schoemansdal in the winter of 1867, falling first to Potgietersrus and then to Marabastad. Kruger gave the community three days to pack up and return south. It was with heavy hearts that they left. Looking back, they could see the smoke rising as the BaVenda razed their homes and their church to the ground.

Potgietersrus now Mokopane

Potgietersrus now Mokopane

Potgietersrus, which was surrounded by pans and vleis, was the breeding-place of myriads of mosquitoes – among which were the malaria carriers. The ten or twelve families who arrived there all contracted the fever and many died. Finally wagons were sent to fetch the survivors and they were brought back to Marabastad, which became the most northern settlement of the Republic.

Over the whole area hung the gloom cast by the Soutpansberg disasters. In the north the people lived in laagers, and the farms lay in ruins. Small garrisons pro­tected Pieter Potgietersrus, but the area was in a constant state of jitters. Actual fighting had died away, but the very silence of the hills seemed a menace. Nobody knew what the Africans were planning for the night.

The district, was now bankrupt, and the only one to remain was Juwawa Albasini, still stubbornly entrenched in his fortress some 40 km east of the ruined and deserted town. Makhato continued to wage war against the whites. An English ivory hunter, Haines, who persisted in his enterprise, had his throat cut. Two prospectors, Charles Muller and George Anderson, who were fossicking north of the Zoutspansberg, were attacked. Anderson and two of the servants had their throats cut; Muller escaped by creeping through the grass.

Ruins of Schoemansdal

Ruins of Schoemansdal

Makhato had won the day, and the endless wars ruined Albasini. On 10 July 1888 he died – a weary and disappointed man.

Juwawa’s great grand children Antoinette Kop, and Sannie van Vuuren lived in Sabie for many years where they eventually retired.

Antoinette used to keep the town’s  gardens in “marvelous shape” until she was too old to carry on, while Sannie compiled a series of articles on the history of Sabie, its happenings and community, which was published through the local Ulusaba newspaper. They have both since passed away.

Gleaned from :
Lost Trails of the Transvaal by T.V. Bulpin

At the Fireside by Roger Webster
By “The Waters of the Letaba” by A.P.Cartwright
Other Sources

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30 Responses to A short Biography of Joao (Juwawa) Albasini

  1. Esma van Schalkwyk says:

    Have enjoyed your article. At present i am writing a novel about Joao Albasini I. My mom was Christina Helena, nee Albasini, oldest sister of Sannie and Antoinette.

    If you have any other information regarding Juwawa, I would be so greatful to glean the knowledge.

    Kindest regards,

    Esma

    • John Theunissen says:

      Hi Esma,
      I am so pleased to have received your comment.
      People seem to read the blogs but refrain from commenting.
      I gleaned most of my info. from T.V. Bulpin in “Lost trails of the Transvaal” and “By the Waters of the Letaba” by A. P. Cartwright.
      I happened to have known both Sannie van Vuuren and Antoinette Kop while they lived in Sabie.
      However I was still new in Sabie and at that time didn’t appreciate the importance of the History of Juwawa and others to the region.
      I would be much obliged if you would let me have whatever info. you may have on the subject in order to broaden my Knowledge.
      Please keep in touch !
      Kindest regards and all success to you !
      John Theunissen.

    • Graham Purchase says:

      I first heard of J Albasini while part of a guided tour concerning “Breaker Mourant” , the Australian officer who was tried and shot for the murder of civilians, by the British, during the last part of the 2nd Boer war.
      Jaou Albasini must be one of the most interesting pioneers of that era, and very deserving of a book about his life..
      Would you please contact me once your book is completed and published, so I can purchase a copy. What a fascinating and important part of history.
      Wishing you all

      • John Theunissen says:

        Thanks for your comment Graham !
        I think you’re referring to the comment before yours by Esma van Schalkwyk.
        Make contact through the blog with her direct !
        John Theunissen.

    • John Coetzee says:

      To Esma van Schalkwyk and John Theunissen
      Hi Esma and John. Congratulations on this splendid short biography, John. I happened to be browsing on the net again regarding the life and times of Joao Albasini, whose biographical details I have been gathering since 1987 with the aim of writing a novel about him, and came across your article and the correspondence below. Having written a number of fictionalised historical novels for teenagers (12 in English and 17 in Afrikaans published mainly by Tafelberg Publishers), I attempted to write one about Joao in the form of a novel for teenagers, which didn’t work because of the long time span involved – so I am now in the process of rewriting it as a fictionalised historical novel for adult readers. I have done a great deal of research on the subject, and I wonder if we could get together somehow, to discuss the possibility of tackling such a novel together. I would gladly share my research work with you, Esma, if you agree to my proposal. Warm regards, John Coetzee.

  2. kateka Mdaka says:

    I also enjoyed reading your arrticle,am Mutsonga-Mchangani can you please send me some information about Headman Njhakanjhaka of Spelekon who was appointed by albasin.I got his picture from a book “life of South African tribe” Thonga,written by Swiss missionary J.Junod

  3. Mbhazima Mabunda says:

    I also read with keen interest, the history of Joao “Juwawa” Albasini. I am enquisitive though irstly,about the relationship between Joao Albasini, Njhakanjhaka Mukhari and Bungeni -who apparently been appointed by Headman Njhakanjhaka. In particular the basis for Bungeni’ s appointment by Njhakanjhaka. Secondly size of the geographical area iniially under the chieftaincy of Bungeni.

  4. Graham Purchase says:

    Please contact me when your book is published.
    What an amazing part of history
    Regards
    Graham Purchase

  5. Martie Albasini says:

    Thanks for your interesting article. I am in posession of the swords and shield of Joao Albasini. My father was Dr Joao Albasini and Im Antonio Augusto Albasini. My eldest is Joao Albasini. How can I obtain one of your novels.

    • John Theunissen says:

      …thanks for your interest & comment !
      I have’nt written any novels to date – I only do a few blog articles.
      Could you please let me have pics. of the swords & shield for the MHIG (Mpumalanga History Interest Group) newsletter?
      If you notice – one of the people who have commented on the Albasini article is writing a novel to do with Joao Albasini.
      Keep up the good reading – its nice to hear from you.

      John T.

  6. mabundza meshack sikheto says:

    very interesting to read about albasin, any one with bungeni History and picture to assist me to document something about hosi bungeni, i have read about the history as far from Maputo where it said that the Mabunda were leaders of various clan including njhakanjhaka, but today people are writting distorted history. The Mabundas were chiefs in Mozambique long before coming here and they can not be regarded as headmen to njhakanjhaka, lets do more resaerch and assist one onother

    • John Theunissen says:

      …tell us some more !

      John T

      • John Coetzee says:

        To John Theunissen
        Please see my comments above on your short biography on Joao Albasini. Kind regards, John Coetzee, Pretoria.

        • John Theunissen says:

          Hi there John !
          You are welcome to use this forum as a connecting point. I’d be most interested to be part of the discussion, as I’d also like to find out more about the Joao Albasini story.

          John T.

  7. Leanne Dixon says:

    Thank you ..I enjoyed reading about Joao. He was my great, great grandfather from my fathers side. He was louis Wolf ,grandson of Maria Magdalena Albasini who married Dr Louis Gotlieb Francois Biccard.

    • John Theunissen says:

      Hi Leanne,
      Thanks for your comment !
      Please let us have more of the history surrounding Albasini’s family.
      John T.

  8. Vivian Bannatyne says:

    Hello Martie & Leanne,
    My grandmother on my father’s side was Cornelia Gertruida Albasini, and her father was Antonio Augusto Albasini.
    Leanne, I am also a great-great grandchild of Joao. I remember meeting a Colonel? Wolf at the Joao Albasini centenary in 1988.
    I happened to grow up in one of the most beautiful places in SA, on a farm adjoining the Albasini Dam.
    Cheers,
    Vivian Bannatyne

    • John Theunissen says:

      …thanks for your input !
      Please keep feeding me with whatever family history or other facts which you may have access to.
      John T.

    • Jacob Jacobus Lombard says:

      Hi Vivian
      Im sure we are related somewhere along the lines.
      I see that you also grew up at the Albasisni Dam and sure you must have heard of my family the Lombards who owned the farm BEJA.
      Dons Lombard had four sons Pierre, Joao, Jacob or Japok as everyone knew him and Christo the youngest. Joao passed away on the weekend and will probably buried in the Albasini grave yard near the dam (of course I cannot confirm this) I do not know what the details are, as I am currently in Afghanistan. Cristo is now the only surviving member of the four brothers as Pierre passed away in 2013 and Japok my dad in 2003. I am the lastof the Jacob Jacobus Lombards and have been searching all my adult life for the missing journal as it is legally mine, left to me by my dad.
      As you will see I am looking for a journal left by Joe Albasini to his daughter Christina who was married to Dons Lombard. I have it that Sannie or Antoinette took the journal for safe keeping for my dad after Christina passed away. Do you perhaps have any knowledge of any decendants of Sannie or Antoinette might be ? maybe they can shed some light on the mystery of Joe’s missing Journal.
      Kind Regards
      JJ Lombard ….Kobus.

  9. Jacob Jacobus Lombard says:

    ..good day all
    I have just heard the sad news of the death of my beloved uncle Joao Lombard. He was the second eldest son of Dons Lombard who was married to an Albassini decendant,the mother of Esma Van Schalkwyk. My father was the third son to Dons and Christina, named Japok because he kept referring to himself as “Japok” rather than Jacob, when he was a little boy. As all of the Lombards I am extremely proud of my Albassini heritage. There is one mystery though, that bothered my father until his death in 2003. His Mother left him a “journal” from her father Joe Albassini. This was legally inherited by my dad as all of Dons Lombard’s decendants could testify to. With the passing away of Joao Lombard the mystery will probably never be solved unless someone on this blog can help. I still remember sitting on the stoep of uncle Joao’s house on |Beja ,overlooking the Albassini Dam, last year where he confirmed this to me. He also shared the regret that my dad could never get hold of this book from whomever legaly “stole” it from him. Joao was an expert on the Albassini history and always said that he would have liked to see this book returned to Japok. It was the one earthly thing that Japok held very dear, but could never have the only thing his mother left him, returned to him. According to my information over the years, one of Christina’s sisters took this “journal” and never returned it to Japok, who was the legal owner of this very hictoric and valuable document.This bothered him immensely until his dying day. I again inherited this journal from my dad and am legally the owner of this document. This is not a commercial exploit from me , but an appeal to whomever has this book to return it to the Lombard family. . If anyone has information about this “journal” and where it is at the moment, I would really appreciate a reply. This is not a commercial gimmick to try and make money out what must be a very valuble historic document, but merely to see my father’s rightful property returned to him. I am not married myself and have no children, but will be the last( JJ )Jacob Jacobus Lombard of Dons and Christina’s bloodline. If I do manage to have this book returned to me I plan to leave it to the decendants of Esma van Schalkwyk. She also has four sons , just like the four sons born to Dons Lombard. If I live long enough to see this book returned to the Lombard Family, I promise not to have it published for commercial gain. As my dad this is a highly emotional issue for me and I am even willing to take legal steps to have my father’s property returned and appeal to the person or persons in possession of this book to return it to its rightful owners , the Lombard Family.
    Jacob Jacobus Lombard
    Kobus.

  10. Jacob Jacobus Lombard says:

    My apologies to all for the incorrect spelling of Albasini.

  11. Jacob Jacobus Lombard says:

    Thanks John
    Dons Lombard’s names were also Jakob Jakobus, and I was named after him. Everyone knew him as “Dons”
    This might solve a 70 year old mystery. The journal I referred to was apparently a handwritten book left by Joe Albasini to his daughter. He was a famous Hunter and the journals tells of his journeys and experiences . I recall being told by Joao and my dad and Esma, a part where Joe wrote a chapter about a visitor from Europe who wanted to accompany him on one of his hunting trips. The gent had to much Giraffe marrow which lead to hilarious results. Also tales of hunting and close escapes from famous Elephant Bulls. Anyway, could be this rings a bell with someone. The journal is probably still in its original binder, with the famous man’s original handwriting.

    Because Japok was such a keen hunter his mother probably decided to leave it to him.
    Keep well and greetings from Afghanistan
    JJ Lombard

    • Thanks for the trouble you’ve taken…your comments are lovely – please keep in touch & feed me with anything else you may come across !

      All this material will be sent to the MHIG for publication in their news letter.
      John T

  12. Vivian Bannatyne says:

    Hello Kobus,
    Great to hear from you.
    Yes, I do know of the Lombards, my father used to speak of Dons and Joao. I am saddened to hear of Joao’s passing. I was due to meet him for the first time at Beja in April.
    Your father and I are 2nd cousins, and that would make you my 2nd cousin once removed.

    I am also going to be meeting Esma on Saturday.
    I am also very proud of our heritage.
    Stay in touch. Please contact me on facebook.

    Kind Regards,
    Vivian

    • Jacob Jacobus Lombard says:

      Hi Vivian
      Fantastic !
      Brings tears to my eyes right now hearing from my “blood” so far away.
      So whish I could be there to pay my last respects to “Juwawa” Lombard.

      Pleas say hi to everyone and will definitely keep in touch.

      Greetings from a very cold Afghanistan.

  13. phahlani chavalala says:

    hi guys Am happy to hear more of this worrior,am from chavalala family who says have been in joao’s protection for many years. I just heared that one of our forefather is burried in his farm. His name is mafemani son of one of joao’s worrior,xileyi who also called muswani. The first chief of muswana village who was given to him by joao at malamulele site. I would like to know more about the war between the tsongas and balobedes as we have told that is the one who helped to stop those war and bring peace to tsongas. If am wrong on some of info,i would be happy to be corrected.

  14. Jhantell says:

    Hi
    I am married to a Johan Jacob Albasini, and he is very interested in the history of the Albasini’s of his (an sisters) he have a portrait of Joao Albasini the same one where he is in uniform. He also have letters where Joao’s father have written to his wife wile on his sea missions (Joao’s father and mother) My husband said that the little box with letters was handmade and crafted by Joao Albasini’s father himself.

    Regards Jhantell Albasini

    • John Theunissen says:

      Hi Jhantel,
      This is all so interesting !
      Could you please let me have electronically generated copies of what ever pictures, articles, etc.
      My email address is johnt@tripsza.com
      I shall pass them on to the Mpumalanga History Interest group for their archives, general distribution & newsletters.
      You can also fax to me any documents of interest, which I can then pass on. My Fax. number is 013 764 3399.
      Regards,
      John T.

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