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The men around him were the counselors who handled the affairs of Thembuland and who formed the highest Thembu Court of Justice.
Before my arrival at Mqhekezweni I had no higher ambitions than to have plenty of good food, nice clothes, to become a great hunter, a champion stick fighter, and the centre of a host of other adventures some printable others not. The idea of property and class had not become an obsession as yet. But even on that first day of my arrival, I felt like a tree that had been pulled out root and branch from the earth and flung mid stream into a strong current.
Children who come from poor homes, whose parents can neither read nor write, are exposed to many temptations when they suddenly find themselves in the midst of prosperity. Established beliefs, existing loyalties and even affectionate relationships may be undermined. During the first days at the royal residence I felt the slender foundations my parents had built in me beginning to shake with the impact of all the glitter that surrounded me. Life here made me acutely aware of the poverty in which I was born and bred.
A few days after our arrival my mother, my very first friend in life, returned to Qunu to resume the fight against poverty and growing physical and spiritual needs that would never be satisfied. I remained behind merry in the festive atmosphere of Mqekezweni, eating fairly good food, sleeping in comfort and looking like a polished piece of bronze in the new outfit the regent had bought me. Parting came without fuss. There were no sermons, moral or otherwise, no kisses and not even a