Roger Webster – Historian Storyteller

Roger Webster – Historian Storyteller is a well-known voice to South African Audiences, he has been broadcasting his “Fireside Chats” on SAFM for the last 15 years.  Roger’s historical and anecdotal tales based on the true history of South Africa, and not what we were taught in school, have made him a controversial and sought after speaker on the South African circuit.

His talks range from ancient aboriginal tales, the many slants on the history of South Africa prior to Jan van Riebeck to modern day issues including the land claims and land distribution and the renaming of streets. Book through Conference Speakers

Roger Webster - Historian Storyteller

Roger Webster – Historian Storyteller

Roger Webster – Historian Storyteller

Roger Webster is an extraordinary raconteur and has addressed various Chambers-of Commerce, Chambers of Mines, and numerous conferences for many blue chip companies as well as a private function for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey.

While Roger is predominantly a South African Historian, his bent lies in the telling of stories, not so much of the factual dates and information, but rather placing an emphasis on the deeds performed by the people that have made our Country what it is today. He believes that many heroic deeds, by both black and white South Africans have been forgotten, or, for political reasons have been brushed under the carpet. Roger Webster has an uncanny nose for stories and travels South Africa’s cities, towns and dorps researching, developing and fleshing out the tales that make a Nation remember who it is, and where it came from.

With the onset of land reform, Roger covers many aspects of what actually happened in bygone times which perhaps have coloured our present perceptions, and he pulls no punches.

Roger Webster is the author of 4 bestselling books based on his “Fireside Chats”.  These are Fireside Chats volumes 1 – 3 and the Illustrated Fireside Chats. He also co-authored a book called “Innocent Blood” which deals with the British execution of the 42 so-called Cape rebels during the Anglo-Boer war of 1899 to 1902.

Roger was the runner up for the CNA/bestseller award for 2002

Roger’s Talks

Maria Oosthuizen: the heroine of the old Zulus

Roger tells the story of how, single-handedly, a brave Afrikaans women, saved the lives of thousands of Zulu people during the outbreak of an epidemic, and she is purported to be the only white women ever, to be buried in the valley of the Kings.

The Dutch Reformed Church of Adelaide in the Eastern Cape

This is a very humorous story, which takes place during the Anglo Boer war, and relates how the church was restored, after the war. The restoration costs were borne by a party who had nothing at all to do with the church, and they didn’t even know that they had paid! The church still stands, in that state, to this day.

The tragic tale of Dina Chambers

This story unfolds in the now deserted frontier town of Schoemansdal in the Limpopo Province. The time is the 19 hundreds, and, it relates how, because of greed, power and fear, Dina Chambers, her husband and their entire families leave, and trek, through the wild, lion infested Eastern Transvaal, for Mocambique, following the path of the tragic Van Rensburg trek. The trials, the tribulations, the Tsetse fly, the mosquitoes, and the final arrival at the residence of the Governor of Mozambique at Sofala. The onset of the tragic death of her husband, and, the unbelievable return trek to her family in the Soutspanberg. This true story would make an epic film.

The SS Mendi

Another true story about a group of black South Africans who volunteered to fight in the 1st World war, and their absolutely heroic stand, on the deck of the doomed ship, their singing and chanting of their traditional war songs, as, in 1917, they slipped into their icy graves in the English channel. The reaction of their bereaved ones at home, and the reaction of the all white Parliament under Louis Botha.

Johannes Dinquanyane,the Pedi, and Mafolofolo

This tragic story tells the truth about the onset of missionaries in Sekukuneniland, the Botshabelo Mission station, converted Weslyan Pedi, and the expropriation of their lands by the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, culminating in the land being restored to the rightful owners in 1994. Follow CSI on Twitter

Roger Webster – Historian Storyteller

Ghost Ships of the Past-Lessons for Today’s Management

This is a factual occurrence in South African history. There were two Portuguese merchant vessels trading the spice and slave route around the Cape of Good Hope to India. The first one, the “SANTA ALBERTO” was wrecked in 1593 at Sunrise-on Sea, just near present day East London. The second, the “NOSSA SENHORA DA ALALAIA” was wrecked in 1647 at present day Cintsa Bay, just north of East London.

Both ships had hundreds of survivors on shore, and set out to reach Imhambane in Mocambique, then press on to Sofala to hopefully be picked up by passing Portuguese vessels. This is a long, ardious and treacherous walk of over one thousand kilometres through terrain that is unknown, especially to seafaring men. The first vessel crew, the SANTA ALBERTO, reach there destination in good time and suffer no loss of life during the entire journey (Only some slaves who asked permission to stay on with some of the local tribes, which was granted)

The second vessel crew, the ATALAIA, takes almost double the amount of time to reach the same destination, only 124 Portuguese and 40 slaves survived the journey, out of a total compliment of 325 people.

There circumstances were similar, there supplies, (or lack thereof), were similar, the composition or mix of people was similar, the tasks that lay ahead were similar, BUT, the management of the people, the management of the incidences faced along the way, were chalk and cheese from one ship to another, from day one.

This talk looks at the varied incidences faced by both parties along the entire route, and compares the two different methods of handling them all. People skills, ambassadorial skills (meeting new, and different peoples) division of tasks, interaction with some hostility etc.

The one method led to unmitigated success, whilst the other, to complete disaster. We later compare these various methods to the modern day working environment, and surprise, surprise, they are as applicable today, as they were then. The hard hitting part is that, even in times much harsher than today, the same learnable skills will turn a set of unfortunate circumstance into a success, if correctly applied.

Intro for Roger

After a career in Mining Engineering with Anglo and De Beers, as well as Stockbroking, Roger decided to write and do public speaking. Roger Webster – Historian Storyteller is now  a well-known voice to South African Audiences – he has been broadcasting his “Fireside Chats” on SAFM for the last 14 years, and has written 5 books, four of them best sellers..  Roger’s historical and anecdotal tales based on the true history of South Africa, and not what we were taught in school, have made him a controversial and sought after speaker on the South African circuit.  His talks range from ancient aboriginal tales, the many slants on the history of South Africa prior to Jan van Riebeck to modern day issues including the land claims and land distribution and the renaming of streets in our Cities.

Roger Webster is an extraordinary raconteur and has addressed various Chambers-of Commerce, Chambers of Mines, and numerous conferences for many blue chip companies as well as a private function for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freedman, Tina Turner etc.

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