n South African Journal of Cultural History - The 'Malaboch' Books
Kgaluši in the "civilization of the written word", Lize Kriel : book review

Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1018-0745



This book is a highly successful study of how historical knowledge can be gained through written texts and publications, and specifically in this case, the diary as a source of historical research. It focuses on two diaries, one by Christoph Sonntag - a German missionary - and the other by Colin Rae - an Anglican priest. Both diaries are about the war of 1894 between the South African Republic of Paul Kruger and the Hananwa of Kgaluši Mmalebôhô, commonly known as the 'Malaboch War'. Both diaries were published in the twentieth century and both played a role in the way the events of the time were represented. Despite the fact that they differ considerably, the book is an interesting comparative study of the two diaries as historical texts.

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