Login |  
..:: Home ::..
You must be logged in and have permission to create or edit a blog.









Search the Blogs










If you would like to join this exclusive community and have your own WarBlog where you can post your personal stories about your experiences in the War In Angola, also known as the Border War, please go to the host site (www.warinangola.com) and register as a user.

Only Registered Users of War In Angola that have subscribed to the PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP will have access to their own WarBlogs. For more information on the Premium Membership, click here...



If you would like to join this exclusive community and have your own WarBlog where you can post your personal stories about your experiences in the War In Angola, also known as the Border War, please go to the host site (www.warinangola.com) and register as a user.

Only Registered Users of War In Angola that have subscribed to the PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP will have access to their own WarBlogs. For more information on the Premium Membership, click here...





View the selected Blog
Aug 13

Written by: Dino Estevao
2015/08/13 08:26 PM  RssIcon

Many parents look at the sunset and hope that the quiet nights will bring news of their children. Over the years I have had people coming to ask if I had met so and so and with a heavy heart I will say no but deep down I hope so and so will come back to his village or at least the family will find I closure. The children of the war is dedicated to those children who have crossed my path while searching for a home.
The child,who was not yet a girl for she must have been about four years old was playing peacefully, picking small stones, digging her small fingers into the dusty sand as she selected the best stones. Then suddenly she made up her mind as little children often do and turned around to face two women who were contemplating about something that was seriously wrong. Two women a nurse and a cleaner, at the Oshakati military hospital. They were discussing the fate of the child. She wiped her hands on her beautiful new dress and ran towards the two women. The woman in a white dress stretched her arms as she knelt to reach for the girl.The beautiful little girl of about four years old or less threw herself into the warm embrace of the nurse who returned the affectionate as mothers would do to her offspring, except that she was not the mother. They hugged, the nurse wept softly, she was not suppose to weep but the motherly instinct was stronger than the training and courses that have enabled her to be where she was, at the military hospital at Oshakati. As she caressed the little girl, She could no longer hold her tear and pain back, ‘every thing will be fine, little one.’ Suster Venter whispered, more to assure herself, she still have to decide on the name to call the little girl. The child did not reply, for she did not speak the language that was spoken here. In the arms of this nurse, she will be safe but for how long no one could tell. The other woman, the cleaner at this military hospital observed with the concern, for she too was a mother. Suster Venter tried to comfort the child from the war. Few months ago, neither Suster Venter nor Monica(whose really name I know not), the cleaner did not know the existence of this child, however from the distance the child can easily be passed to Monica’s daughter or a family member for they shared common ancestry of the san people that lived in the southern eastern part of Angola. That resemblance was a comfort and hope that Monica will find within her, a way and means to accommodated the little girl. The little girl whom for the purpose of this article I will call her Khanxixi was brought from the war zone by soldiers. Her family who have lived and hunted on the south east of Cunene province and other provinces of the south of Angola since they climbed out of Noah’s Ark, were wiped one fateful day during the raid by South African defense Force(SADF). Khanxixi being the only survivor was brought to Oshakati. Khanxixi’s people had no interest in the politics of the day and their only struggle was against the mother nature who sometime had to deprive them of fresh water and animal to hunt. Khanxixi was the sole survivor, and leaving the four year old child by herself in the forest with no one to feed, protect her was far cruel, barbaric and inhuman. Khanxixi was flown to Oshakati where she was dropped at the doors steps of the small military hospital that was used as first medical intervention from the war front. Here we were introduced, two children ‘orphaned’, displaced by the war. Where I was a nine years old boy who spoke Oshikwanyama, Portuguese and suster Venter was already teaching me to speak Afrikaans, in the male dominated world. She was a four years old child who was not yet a girl and whose is language of the San People was hardly spoken in that environment. Thus Khanxixi’s hope for a safe home was placed in Monica’s hands, at least until a permanent solution will be found. Although our encounter was brief, the memory of the little girl would be my companion in many years to come. “What became of her?” often I wondered… But I was to meet many more children, more boys to be precise. Some of them we were to forge a bond, a brotherhood of a sort, born out of necessity to survive. We were orphans from the war and had only each other and the hope that one day the war will end and we will walk away, back to our homes and families. But as we grew older, one by one we would be marched to Nove de Marco where we were to be molded into a fighting machine and then unleashed back to the villages and towns where we came from. Some of us were to survive the battles. Some of us were not to be so lucky and were to die in the same fields or plains where they once played. And there were those that were too young to know where they came from, although they have survived the war, they will struggle to reunite with their families because they lacked all the information like the name of the villages and full names of their families to retrace their families. Families were also torn and displaced during this period. Villages and towns ceased to exist and the survivors moved to unknown locations. The annihilation of communities, villages and town. Once sprawling establishments full of live, laughter and children playing, were now in ruins accentuated with bullets holes on what remained of the once cozy homes. That was what greeted me in 1990s when I made the first journey to the southern Angola, back to my birth place at Chiede. During one of my visit at Chiede, a woman and child travelled from their village to talk to me. They had a long discussion with my mother, who introduced me to them. The woman was direct to the point, “tell me about my son… Sacaria, was also taken away more or less the same time as you. My son was older, much older then you. We have not heard from him or about him since his disappearance. Tell me my son is well…” Looking into my mother’s face, the pain and suffering that she endured over the years and the hope that she nursed that one day I will walk into her house and stand before her. I was lucky to have comeback, had people who assisted me. And now what about this poor mother before me? What about this child who have only heard of his brother but never seen him. How many more mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters are going through this torture, psychological torment. My mother once told me that she had made peace and accepted that Leo was no longer in the world of the living but I was missing and to be missing was far painful. And as looked from my mother to the woman looking for her son, I did not know how or what to tell her. the name does not feature in the list of people that I met. Could he have changed his name, many people did. Could he have been taken somewhere else? Sometime in the early hours the vivid dream would visit me, the dream with the Omadakadaka hovering over the roof top, the smell of gunpowder and the little boy laying in the pool of blood and cry of the little girl. Khanxixi, the four years old girl… then gradually I would drift into the safety of my home. She will probably never return to her village for there was nothing left to return to. I was to meet many children, mainly boys… each one with a sad tale to tell of how he was captured and what happened to his family, his village and the world he is to inherit. Those that were older and physically stronger were be molded into military machine and returned to the war zone to kill or be killed.

1 comment(s) so far...


Re: The Children of the war

Thanks for loading this incredible new perspective on the war, Dino. So many sad but inspiring stories of the war are still to be told!

By Johan Schoeman on   2015/08/16 09:12 PM

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Security Code
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel 
Recent Blog Entries
"Fok net voort maar hou net Noord...!"
Posted on: Saturday, July 25, 2020
Posted on: Monday, April 30, 2018
Posted on: Wednesday, May 31, 2017
"Saturday Night Live"
Posted on: Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Posted on: Monday, February 06, 2017
The Road to Botswana
Posted on: Friday, May 13, 2016
Supper in Sá da Bandeira
Posted on: Saturday, September 05, 2015
The red cross
Posted on: Friday, August 28, 2015
Fighting for the heart and soul of Chiede
Posted on: Friday, August 28, 2015



Recent Blog Comments
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
Remember that night and still hear the Red Eyes flying.
By Coenie (Sdpikes) Groenewald0 on: Sunday, November 22, 2020
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
Hi Alistair, I have set up a Facebook page titled '3 SA Infantry B Company 1977 - 1978'. Feel free to check it out and join up. This applies to anyone else that may be interested. Thanks.
By Hugh L Hudson on: Saturday, October 31, 2020
Re: Exclusive Photo Gallery of Operation Protea added
I was at Ladysmith 5 SAI from July 1980 and was a rifleman in OPS Protea went through Ondjiva Xangongo and Pupu And was hoping to get some photos I could recognise I was in Charlie company i
By Steve Emond on: Monday, October 19, 2020
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 asking for more info and pictures of the incident
We want to do a short film about Katima and would like to have more information about the town of Katima and also your thoughts on what you think shaped the region
By frank Tapira on: Tuesday, September 01, 2020
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
I was in the mortar platoon of B Company 3 SAI based in Wenela. We, along with all others, returned fire across the cutline at Katima Zambia. I will always remember this day, like any veteran remembers as one filled with noise, but you did your job. I don't have nightmares, I remember and honour those we lost.
By Alistair Jameson on: Monday, August 24, 2020
Re: Photo Gallery of Operation Sceptic (Smokeshell) added
Die beste is maar om vir my die fotos en jou stories per epos aan te stuur na johan@warinangola.com. Die WarBlogs is 'n heeltemal aparte portaal van die www.warinangola.com een, maar as jy daar geregistreer is kan ek altyd hier ook 'n rekening met dieselfde besonderhere skep... Laat my maar net weet. Ek kom net so eenmaal 'n maand hier om gou op te vang, terwyl ek elke dag op die War In Angola portaal is.
By SuperUser Account on: Friday, October 25, 2019
Re: Photo Gallery of Operation Sceptic (Smokeshell) added
Hi johan ek het probeer regestreer.Kan nie inkom nie was ook daar saam vegroep 3 ons bev was j Jacobs het ook n paar fotos wat ek graag sal wil opsit het ook n foto van ons bev. laat weet wat ek moet doen is nie rekenaar vaardig nie kan my sel net net help. groete
By A H Du Plessis on: Monday, September 30, 2019
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
41years later. Remember Lorry Lesch my driver, Erasmus Alpa gunner. Scary and prepare us for more later.
By Danie Rousseau on: Friday, August 23, 2019
Re: Operation Savannah
Will there be another reunion .?
By Jack on: Thursday, April 04, 2019
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
Was a gunner in that attack . Was in 1SSB and slept in the isle on that night, in the bungalow .Ran out of the bungalow after first red eye was shot
Slept in a bunker after that attack.Still have nightmares about that attack.
By Barry Callaghan on: Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Re: An SADF Conscript Remembers the Early 70s – Part One
hi to all
just wandering if any of you served with my dad , Derick Anthony Beard on the Angola border in the 70s .
he was in the Kaffrarian rifles unit according to my mom
My Dad passed away in 2016 August and would like to find out more about his amry days
By Bruce Berad on: Thursday, January 10, 2019
Re: The outbreak for the border war
This is a great information about the history you put in here. thank you go to website
By Chris on: Sunday, December 16, 2018
1980 camp in katimo
My last 3 month camp in Katimo in 1980 after doing stints all over swa was the best of all. Slept in a bunker next to the river spying on the pont that was crossing over the zambesi river.cathing tigers in the river .
Would love to return to that erea of the world.
By Gordon Rudman on: Tuesday, October 16, 2018
I used to be able to log in but can’t do so any more.
Johan can you assist.
Thank you
By Rocky Marsicano on: Saturday, September 08, 2018
Re: An SADF Conscript Remembers the Early 70s – Part One
Very interesting read. I was also a Durban 1973 intake ( may 1973 to 4 SAI ) My experience of the whole 'boertjie - soutie ' thing was a little different. Right in the beginning there was a bit of " Wat kyk jy jou blerrie Engelsman" / " What's your problem clutchplate / dutchman" but I would say that by halfway through basic that had gone almost completely. The platoon I was in after basic was probably 70 % English 30 % Afrikaans but in reality there was no distinction at all among us. Our platoon had an Afrikaans lieutenant , the other two platoons in the company had English speaking lieutenants . There was not a man in either of those two platoons who would not have jumped at the chance to join our platoon. It sounds like a stupid war cliche but we really would have followed that man into hell and back. We loved that man and would have done anything he asked. He never shouted at us to do anything . Only ever asked and it was done. Just before we went to the border we lost him. He had to go home on compassionate leave and he never rejoined us. We all felt like we had lost a father. And here is the thing. He was also just a DP like us who started off the year before us and naturally being degreed was older than most of us. Anyway that was my experience. One other little thing. You mentioned that they were not allowed to hit you ?. No-one told the PTI's or PF instructors that at 4 SAL lol . I had the shit kicked out of me on the shooting range so hard I fell beneath the 'skietpunt'. When I clambered back the staff sgt inquired in a faux concerned way ' Het meneer seer gekry ?. Will meneer n klagte afle ?. Moet ek vir meneer n vormpie gaan haal. ??. I just managed to stammer 'Nee staff' to all three questions. I had stood up and turned around after getting a stoppage and got the man's point. Anyway this is your blog not mine. Thanks for your blog.
By john jones on: Monday, August 06, 2018