The village of Ramotswa is central to Herman Charles Bosman’s world. In his short stories he recounts how farmers would gather at the Indian store to buy provisions, wait for the train or simply while away the afternoon “discussing politics, mealie crops and the miltsiekte.” The boers marvelled at the new-fangled items for sale, such as gramophones, paraffin candles in packets and the strange white grease that came in a tube for polishing plates and spoons (although some suggested it could be used for brushing teeth).
In his essay “Marico Revisited”, Bosman describes how he returned to the district two decades later and was, again, enraptured by the veld. He arrived at Ramatswa siding and stepped back into a world he had, in the interim, completely recast in fiction. That journey must have been a remarkable encounter with his own past. “I found, what I should have known all along, of course, that it was the present that was haunted and that the past was not full of ghosts.”