The Khoisan Origins of the Interconnected World View in Antjie Krog's Begging to be Black
Antjie Krog (2009) notes that the spiritual and religious beliefs and practices of the Nguni/Sotho-speaking peoples of southern Africa came as a surprise to the missionaries, who were expecting to have to battle the idolatry, fetishism and sacrificial practices that they found in the rest of Africa. The absence of these features in the religious life of the region, Krog suggests, is attributable to the enduring influence of South Africa's “First People”, collectively referred to as the Khoisan. This paper explores Krog's contention in relation to different sorts of writing about San religion in particular, and discusses the modes of inclusion and exclusion that attend Krog's views about the southern African interconnected world view. In keeping with the thematic concerns of this special issue, the essay also considers the relationship between sexuality and spirituality in the long history of Khoisan representation, and asks why Krog emphasises spirituality rather than sexuality as the basis for interconnectedness in South Africa.