September 13, 2013
Friday the 13th Superstitions: Top 3 #LoveCape Town myths busted
Leani is a jack of all trades, master of some.
Interested in anything and everything from test cricket to playing the guitar and harmonica (at the same time), nature conservation and Vietnamese cooking, she tries to learn as much as possible about everything under the sun.
Being a journalism graduate and lover of life, she gets a kick from going on mini-adventures and creatively unlocking and packaging them with words and photos. And what better way to showcase the magic of the Mother City?
Her happy place is brewing a cup of coffee on a gas stove, stuck on a mountain somewhere with her husband and friends after a hike… and then spotting a Verreaux eagle, of course.
Will something bad really happen to you on Friday the 13th September in #LoveCapeTown?
Through years gone by, storytellers in Cape Town have exchanged a rich variety of unique myths that has been carried across from generation to generation. Have a look at three of the most interesting legends around and decide for yourself – truth or tale, busted or brilliant?
So you thought that the enchanted dragon only features in Eastern folklores? Think again, as our very own Nganyamba (the Great Dragon of the Sea) might be right underneath the V&A Waterfront. According to African legend, Qamata was the creator of the world and when wanting to create land, Nganyamba got angry and asked Goddess Djobela for help who recruited four giants to fight the battle. After suffering defeat, the giants’ dying wish was to be turned into mountains. She listened and today, the giant of the South, Umlindid Wemingizimu, is what we call Table Mountain.
Back in the 1500s a Portuguese poet Camoens started speaking about an encounter with the god, Adamastor. It goes like this – explorer, Vasco De Gama and his convoy was on their way to the Cape when a big, dark cloud appeared in front of them. The massive human-like figure with ‘its mouth coal black, teeth yellow with decay’ warned them not to continue sailing around the Cape of Storms and redirected their way. The gods punished Adamastor for his actions and turned him into the mountain at Cape Point to forever guard the Southern seas.
The famous legend has it that retired Dutch pirate, Jan Van Hunks and his wife lived on the slopes of Devil’s Peak and oh, he just loved to smoke.
One day a weird looking man paid him a visit and challenged him to a smoking contest. This went on for days until Van Hunks out-smoked the stranger. But the celebrations didn’t start too soon as the stranger revealed his identity - it was the devil himself and he wasn’t too happy with his defeat. In an instant, they both vanished into a puff of smoke.
So as the South-Easter starts blowing the white table cloth over Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain, look up and imagine old Van Hunks with his pipe … or maybe Umlindid Wemingizimu letting off some steam?