The great South African explorer and author, Kingsley Holgate, who was on a visit of the Seychelles islands, was hosted to a special evening on Monday, August 22, by the Seychelles Minister for Social Development and Culture, Mr. Bernard Shamlaye.
Held at the Constance Ephelia Resort & Spa, the special reception was attended by Seychelles former President Sir James Mancham; the deputy CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Elsia Grandcourt; and the tourism board’s consultant, Glynn Burridge; alongside other government officials and tourism partners.
Mr. Holgate, who was accompanied by his wife Gillian and son Ross, arrived in Seychelles on August 17 and left the islands on August 23. The Holgates were visiting Seychelles as the last stop of their epic tour of Africa that has taken them over 30 years to complete and led them to every country of the continent.
Mr. Holgate will write about his visit in Seychelles in his travelogue, “Mamma Africa,” dedicating the last chapter, which will be entitled, “Seychelles: saving the best til’ last,” to the mid-ocean Creole islands. Speaking at the cocktail reception, Minister Shamlaye thanked Mr. Holgate and his family for their visit to Seychelles and for the inclusion of the islands in his travelogue.
“We look forward to the publication of your new book, and I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you for your visit and for featuring Seychelles prominently in the memoires of your extraordinary travels,” said Minister Shamlaye, “I hope this journey has been a pleasant and enjoyable one, filled with experiences worthy of inclusion in the last chapter of the forthcoming travelogue of Africa, ‘Mamma Africa,’ which is the culmination of more than 30 years of travels around the continent,” added Minister Shamlaye.
Also speaking at the reception was Mrs. Elsia Grandcourt of the Seychelles Tourism Board, who welcomed all guests present and took the opportunity to express the tourism board’s gratitude to all trade partners who have assisted with the visit of Mr. Holgate and his family.
On his part, Mr. Holgate performed the ceremonial thanksgiving and cleansing ritual for Seychelles with his Zulu Calabash.
The Zulu Calabash, which is taken everywhere by the Holgate’s on their world travels, is the most traveled Zulu artifact ever, and forms part of an important ceremony of ritual cleansing of every place they travel. They once filled water from the Cape of Good Hope and took it with them on their travels through Africa, finally emptying it in the waters off Alexandria, in Egypt.
During the special evening held in his honor in Seychelles, Mr. Holgate emptied water from the Calabash, signifying the safe end of their journey and offering thanks for the same and a wish that Seychelles remains pure.