How the Kudu got its Name

English name: Kudu
Scientific name: Tragelaphus strepsiceros
Setswana name: Tholo

The animals came, big and small. Fierce and smart. They came in many forms. The lion in its all beautiful, combed blond and black mane. The aggressive and never mess with me honey badger. The calm and collected leopard, the ever-laughing hyena, and not forgetting the trickster, Mr Hare himself, and the hustler, the black-backed jackal. They came and honoured the Chief’s call. Guess what? In the end, the Chief still felt that no one was suitable for his daughter.

On his way back to lifting stones and checking for scorpions underneath, the baboon saw Kudu. Kudu was browsing his way around the bushes. Baboon called out to Kudu and asked him if he had been to the meeting. Kudu said not. Without wasting any more time, he headed to Koroga village. Chief Paipo was still sitting there with his face cupped in his hands. His eyes welled up with tears at the thought that no one was suitable for his daughter.

Everyone was chattering in disagreement and disappointment. Then there was this deafening silence that made Chief Paipo raise his head.

When he looked up, he saw a tall, handsome, well-groomed, shiny striped animal with a white moustache. He walked gently with his horns twisted behind his head as their weight pulled it backwards. Everyone was making way for him. The Chief beamed with a smile. He jumped from his royal chair, threw his hands in the air and said, “This could do!”. And the crowd cheered ‘coulddo’Kuuduuu!’ and this animal was called ‘Kudu’.

Using totems is one standard way of conserving animals. Every tribe respect its totem animal by not eating it. Kudu is a totem (traditional sacred animal) for the Barolong and Batlhaping tribes.

Folklore by the Fire | Traditional beliefs around the Kudu

We gather around the campfire as Training Manager David Havemann pulls us into the world of Tales and Fables of Africa. In this episode, the tale of the African People and their traditional beliefs around the kudu gets told.

About the Author: 

Jocasta Bobeng is an EcoTraining Head Instructor at MASHATU GAME RESERVE, BOTSWANA.Jocasta studied Professional Tour Guiding at Botswana Wildlife Training Institute in 2001. She worked as a Professional Guide and Nature Educator for several Community Trusts. In 2007 she graduated with a Diploma in Primary Education from Francistown College of Education. After teaching for a while, she turned to the field of professional guiding and training guides, where she worked in various lodges.

About the Author:
Picture of Jocasta Bobeng

Jocasta Bobeng

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