Wrenched from his home, this outcast prince chose hope over bitterness

 

Meshack Nkadimang is the son of a chief. But there was nothing his father could do to prevent his people from being evicted from their land. In 1964, his community was swept aside in apartheid’s forced removals. Chief Nkadimang refused to leave, imploring those around him to stand up for their homes. He was beaten near death for his actions. Attempting to aid his father, sling in hand, the younger Nkadimang was subjected to the same treatment. The giant won this battle of David and Goliath.

The community was dispersed, with most families ending up some 10 kilometres from their ancestral home, where they remained until they were moved again in 1977. This time they were dumped near Kuruman. Nkadimang was just a child when he experienced the uprooting of everything he knew for the first time. The second time round destroyed any hope that he had left in politicians. And even though the government that walked all over his life has been out of power for over two decades, Nkadimang has learnt to rely on himself. Making the best of his imposed home, he developed into an entrepreneur, now running multiple businesses.

He restores old cars, creates art and runs a successful hotel. The latter, which he designed and built in 2004, is Nkadimang’s pride and joy. Hotel Kgalagadi is the exultation of a self-made man who had every reason to give up or wait for others to undo the injustices inflicted upon him. He and his family were treated as though they were worthless, but bitterness is not an emotion that Nkadimang is willing to let dictate his life. Instead, he has chosen to make his own way, leaning on the community around him for support. His attitude is remarkable, and his prosperity is the product of forward-thinking action – a true South African success story.