Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
After talking to the lion hunter, Li Du got to know what he was like.
He was a delicate egoist. He was ambitious and intelligent, and he knew how to make the most of his environment for himself.
It was clear that he had succeeded, that he had entered the upper classes of South Africa, and that he could hire large numbers of white men to work and serve him.
The lion hunters arranged some activities for them, but they did not take place in the villa.
His words were, “I don’t want any black people to come here except me, and these events require my race to participate, so we have to go somewhere else.”
Li Du was disgusted and afraid by this man’s attitude towards his compatriots, so he didn’t respond enthusiastically. He just dealt with it and said they were too tired to take part in the activity.
The lion hunter realized this, and from that point onwards rarely talked about the state of South Africa and his views on his fellow race.
After a two-day rest, Li Du and the others set out to visit his mine.
There were many diamond mines in South Africa, the most famous of which was the Kimberley diamond mine. This mine had been closed for hundreds of years, but its legend still existed in the diamond industry.
The mine was dug in 1866 and closed in 1914, so it had been around for less than half a century. The Kimberley mine was the largest hand-dug mine in the world. It was 1,097 meters deep, 1.6 kilometers wide, and covered an area of 17 hectares.
But South Africans hated this place. Imagine how much effort it would have taken a century and a half ago for black people to dig out such mine by hand and body. How many people had died in it?
South Africans had a saying: “If you want to hear the cry of the dead, go to the Kimberley cemetery and wait.”
For struggling South African miners, the Kimberley pit was a pit of the dead. They did not get rich from diamonds but instead lost many relatives because of them.
The lion hunter’s mine was located in the Limpopo province, about 800 kilometers north from Johannesburgfar away.
After two days of rest, they were ready to visit. The lion hunters had a helicopter ready so that they could fly there in three or four hours.
The helicopter, which was silver-white and could accommodate two pilots and sixteen passengers, was around fourteen meters long and four meters high.
Big Ivan saw it and said, “Zhi-15. Boss, this is made in China.”
“Yeah,” said the lion hunter as he smoked a cigar. “Chinese planes. Chinese goods are very popular in South Africa, man. This plane is very exciting,” he laughed, “come on.”
Li Du did not study helicopters and did not understand this thing. He learned after listening to big Ivan that when he was in the middle school, there had been a huge domestic spread of the Zhi-15.
As a middle-schooler, after reading the information of the Zhi-15, Li Du had joked with his classmates that he would buy a Zhi-15 in the future to support national construction.
At that time, it was reported in the news that Chinese helicopters had encountered resistance from the overseas market. The quality of the helicopters were fine and the prices were low, but Europe and the United States tried their best to block their market.
He didn’t know how the Zhi-15 performed, but from the look and cockpit configuration, it was a more sophisticated helicopter model.
Big Ivan introduced the model to Li Du, saying that the helicopter’s safety was very good and in accordance with the latest airworthiness standards to develop. It had a five-blade ball hinge main propeller system and had met the most stringent certification standards with the fuselage structure.
What he could feel was that the cabin of the helicopter was very spacious, and the decorations were luxurious. Of course, it was a kind of rough luxury, almost a patchwork of famous goods with no function.
But judging by the attitude of the lion hunter toward the helicopter, this kind of pointless decoration was just what it needed.
Li Du adjusted the curve of the seat. He can sit comfortably because of its wide feet and horizontal space. The seat had a massage feature, and as the helicopter took off it started to work, easing the discomfort of flying in the aircraft.
The helicopter also had large windows that they didn’t have to lean toward to get a good view of the city.
The helicopter flew north and soon left the urban area. As the helicopter climbed and they cleared the tallest buildings, it was hard to see anything.
On the way up they met some hot air balloons. South Africa was the hot air balloon lover’s paradise, and it held balloon competitions every year.
The balloon flew high, and they almost seemed close enough to touch it.
Limpopo was one of the nine provinces of South Africa, formerly known as the north of Transvaal, and was famous for its agriculture. With an area of 123,900 square kilometers, the province was known as the land of legend. Contrary to people’s understanding of Africa, there were no deserts in this area, but many forests.
The forest in Limpopo province was called the Ancient Forest. It was full of ruins and deserted things. Trout could be seen everywhere in the water.
It was also known as the “virgin land” of Africa because its face had not changed in at least half a century.
However, with the discovery of some gold mines here in recent years, the local ecological environment had begun to suffer damage. If gold mines were bought by some big companies in Europe and America, they had to pay more attention to international environmental protection standards. If it were developed by local Africans, they didn’t need to deal with as many protocols and so the environment suffered.
A few hours later, the helicopter began to descend and approach the destination.
Looking out from the window, Li Du first saw some tall baobabs dotted sparsely among the bushes. He also saw baobabs on Seagull Island, but they were not as tall as the baobabs here.
In the distance, a cloud of bluish dust covered the mine. The dust in the air was the product of crushing the rocks in the Kimberley mine when they had mined the diamonds.
Kimberlite is a type of volcanic lava that comes from the insides of the earth and has now frozen. Diamonds are hidden in it, so to get them you have to mine them.
Ledoux had known about this before. About thirty or forty years ago, a French prospecting team discovered a surprising amount of diamond veins in this area. That was when people realized that there were diamond veins hidden here.
At the time, however, South Africa was still in the hands of the British. Black South Africans were pursuing their legal rights, and the dawn of self-government was beginning.
Discerning South Africans realized that the British would eventually leave, the whites would leave, and that the mine would eventually belong to them. So black leaders called on the local people to protect the areas where the mines were located. They confronted the white people and there were many bloody clashes. They were not allowed to exploit these areas.
After a lot of hard work, the diamond mines in Limpopo province were saved by the local people. Then, the history of black governance began in South Africa.