The Buffalo Hunters
By Nicholas Williamson
An allegoric prose poetic cyber story, regarding murder, brutal lust and equally brutal retribution: from Zone One in the
emerging Azanian Konfederacy in Afrika
Publisher’s warning: this text contains material that is sexually explicit and violently graphic. Thus the text is not suitable for those who are not yet adult.
NOte: The full text of Williamson’s cult novel: The Buffalo Hunters, will be found under that heading [Buffalo Hunters] in the “categories” section of the blog. What follows here in this section is a brief introduction to the novel.
The Buffalo Hunters are a murderous gang of motorcar hijackers: modern hunters who hunt
the urban savannahs of Zone One for BMW’s, Merc’s and Audi’s…Afrika’s new “Buffaloes”
They are on the run, after offending a local warlord in their area, and need to hide out across town. They cross to the east side of South Central Zone One aka Jozi and stop off at a bar in the neighbourhood in search of a hostage: a tribute for whoever gives them sanctuary.
It is Saturday night at the Battered Connection, a bar in a post-gentrified neighbourhood where men plot murder inside, drug gangs menace the streets beyond; where modern day trackers stalk the stalkers, and ‘nice’ girls walk at their peril of being jackrolled, i.e. hijacked into a passing vehicle, gang raped and murdered.
The reader will encounter five separate casts of characters in five unrelated stories, which together generate a “Rashomon” style plot, where each cast plays out its own drama oblivious of the loops and intersections with the other parallel players.
During an intense twelve hours the lives of these many unrelated players intersect in a masterly collection of interwoven stories that collide collectively to a bloody and violent confrontation.
The Buffalo Hunters is a brutal piece of poetic metaphor and is not recommended for children or those of a squeamish disposition.
Some readers have found it funny and ironic while others read it the first time with distrust and then once they realised what they had read went back and read it again. Some wrote to say they found the violent imagery poetically beautiful.
The Buffalo Hunters is a landmark piece of
South African writing.
Note for the offshore Reader
This prose poem disguised as crime fiction is set in post-revolutionary Azania in the heart of the great gold yielding province Zone One in Afrika. Every attempt has been made to modify the use of Azanian specific English language but this may have been a failure because we live in Zone One and so may not know that you don’t know our words. Therefore provision will be made to deal with your questions and a glossary is attached [see main file]for those words that we are sure you may not find in your local dictionary. If we miss any let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll update the glossary.
For those who are unfamiliar with Zone One.
Zone One is an urban state in the southern part of Afrika. It is often called the Place of Gold.
In 1885 when gold was first discovered there, Zone One did not exist. By 2001 it had more than seven million residents, all of whom came in search of fortune which most failed to find.
Thus Zone One is one of Earth’s most urbanized political zones. It is the wealthiest, most industrialized, most politically aware; suburbanized yet radicalized and revolutionary place in sub-Saharan Afrika.
Above all things, Zone One is a place of opportunity. This is a rare thing for Afrika (and also, presumably, in much of the offshore world); where progress in life is more commonly determined by relationships to, or with, the great and/or important persons of society. Notwithstanding that, these relationships do of course count too in Zone One, as they would count for instance in New York even though New York is, according to legend, a place of opportunity.
Zone One is a unique Megalopolis for two reasons: It is situated two thousand metres above sea level on a plain [called the Highveld] dotted with low level rolling hills. Its centre is watered by a multitude of small, now choked, streams that turn into raging torrents after a lightning thrashed Highveld storm, and pour from their highest points along a two hundred-kilometre crescent shaped ridge, the Ridge of Gold, which bisects Zone One. Because of the altitude little other than sparsely treed thorn bush punctuates its natural surface.
As a result of this, when the first, modern, successful, gold seekers plundered the hills of their new domain, following the great gold rush of 1886, they did what successful people always do: they displayed their newly acquired wealth. Those who built mansions on the north facing ridges found themselves facing a barren treeless landscape. So a group of disgruntled (rich) women in South Central Zone One, aka Jozi, decided to give themselves a better view from the ridge tops and hired a gang of woodcutters who planted three million trees. Those who came later, and built homes on the northern plains of South Central Zone One have planted more than three million more. In a deforesting world Jozi is a rare place.
Modern Zone One is a Mall infested, mining/ industrial complex: experienced, wealthy and sophisticated. It has also, huge pockets of urbanised poor: many homeless, destitute and desperate, many simply working poor, who supplement their lifestyles doing crime. Whole regions of Zone One are little more than shopping malls for stolen goods. Speaking of shopping there are those who say that Zone One is simply one big Shopping Mall: that Zone One is a place where people work, gamble and shop.
The region has also always been violent. In 1896, at the height of the great gold rush, which brought it into existence, the ‘Star’ (a still extant newspaper of the region) described Jozi as “a place without law”. More people are murdered daily in Zone One than anywhere else on earth (except perhaps Bogotá). Rape is a way of life. Freedom and democracy, so hard won in 1994 now include the right to kill, maim and pillage and to restrict these things means curbing liberty and a return to the hated police state that residents had before: and to do such a thing would require great subtlety.
So it will be a while before we can do that. In the meantime, in an attempt to curb violent lawlessness, whole suburban regions of Zone One are sealed off from their neighbours and passing traffic in a mass, voluntary act of totalitarian restriction. These trends are hinted at in the Buffalo Hunters which is set in the period immediately after the revolution.
Until the last decade of the twentieth century Zone One was also the heart of the world’s last, sanctioned “Slave State”. Power may now be in the hands of the people, names have been changed; the place has the most humane Constitution on Earth and a flood of laws have been passed outlawing a range of things from the use of racial epithets, to tobacco smoking in public, or using mobile phones (Zonies call them cell’phones) while driving in your “buffalo”; but much else remains unchanged and Zone One is still a place without much law, although it now has many more lawyers. It is not a place for the squeamish.
Of course those who love “Jozi” or the “Big J” as South Central Zone One is also often called, figure it to be the coolest place on earth with year round sunshine, (well most of the time), blue skies (mostly), the worlds greatest cultivated forest, awesome casino’s and a shopaholic’s paradise. They do not, however, forget about the shadows that lurk, as they always have, in the deepest recesses of revolutionary night.
Note about the writer
Nicholas Williamson is an Anglo-Afrikan poet, who lives in the African Union with his wife and daughter and a pack of dogs. Two adult children live elsewhere.
In the year of the Revolution, 1994 in the most southern part of Afrika; he survived a full-on close quarter gunfight with a gang of radicals-turned-criminals: a gunfight in which his assailants fired seventeen bullets at him at point blank range and hit him four times, and he fired thirteen back at them, also at point blank range, and hit them nine times: so he won: a Pyrric victory. The Buffalo Hunters was written as an exorcism of that event.
His injuries though, meant a change of lifestyle in a most absolute sense and while recovering in the Intensive care ward of a local hospital he conceived of The Azanian Quartet© a body of work which would span the reach of the Revolution in Azania [or if you are uncomfortable with this: South Africa]using the ways of poetry to write a fictional prose set, starting with the Buffalo Hunters.
Nicholas is an ‘Anglo’ because he was born in Britain in October 1946; his parents migrated to Southern Africa in the Winter of 1947 so it was 1948 before he knew that a year had a summer in it; and that particular summer a fascist government, which had as its purpose the formal enslavement of a large part of its citizenry, took control of the territory. As a result they took the place where he lived unwillingly, on a forty-six year journey into wintery futility: violent and nugatory.
The journey culminated in the capitulation of that regime and in the People’s Revolution of 1994 a Revolution that marked one of the great liberating revolutions of the modern age: it is also a revolution that is incomplete… and like all revolutions it has unleashed a frenzy of violence that may well take a century to abate…if it ever does.
In that year (1994), in the spring, the author was born again, in Afrika, after he was cut down by a fusillade of bullets in a gunfight with a gang of disturbed humans. No rational reason for the assault was ever determined. The event took place on the 11th of September: the anniversary of the assassination, by the former fascist police, of one of the liberation struggle’s greatest heroes and a date which has subsequently become a general date of infamy on the planet.
So the writer is suspended between two personae: the one which grew up and survived as an Outsider in a Police State, through the second half of the twentieth century, a condition which eviscerates the soul; and the one that survived attempted murder, at the hands of those who were liberated.
Nicholas Williamson is an economics graduate and former businessperson who no longer practices those arcane arts, preferring instead the greater truth in fiction.
The Buffalo Hunters© is Part One of the Azanian Quartet. Part Two: The Ashanti Raider© will be available shortly and Part three: the futuristic Jonker Memorandum© will be available later this year in serialised form.
What is the Azanian Quartet?
The Azanian Quartet is generally inspired by Nietzsche’s idea of “Eternal Recurrence” and was specifically inspired by what happened during a neighbourhood gunfight one Sunday morning at seven thirty: and by a series of dreams that followed.
Azania is the name given to Southern Africa on ancient Ptolemaic maps.
The Buffalo Hunters