By: Lauri Kubuitsile
It is 1871 and Nthebolang and her mother must flee their home: her father has been accused of witchcraft and sentenced to death. For months they walk, sleeping in the open, living off the veld, until they are offered shelter in Ntsweng in the kingdom of Kgosi Sechele I. It is there, years later, that Nthebolang meets Beatrice, the wife of a cruel English missionary, and a woman who has had her share of perilous escapes. As a young girl, this light-skinned Koranna woman was mistaken for a kidnapped white child and bundled off to a mission station. After all this time, Beatrice still carries her father’s gift, a hunting knife, concealed under her clothing. But things are not settled in Ntsweng, where traditional beliefs and Christianity clash. The turmoil of Nthebolang’s childhood repeats itself when her beloved Motsumi is suspected of witchcraft. Will she be able to save him, or will he meet the same fate as her father? And is Beatrice a friend in whom she should place her trust? Lauri Kubuitsile’s But Deliver Us from Evil is at once a sensitive human drama and a chilling tale of evil power plays. Bringing to life a little-known yet fascinating pocket of Botswana’s colonial history, it is a story of struggle and belief, hatred and love.