MY DAD'S TWO BUFFALOES
By Paul Kleynhans, Pretoria, South Africa
The farm Twee Buffels (Two Buffaloes) where I was born is about
30km east of Lichtenburg in the North West province in South Africa.
According to my dad who has now passed away there was a farmer in
very late 1800s that killed the two buffaloes with a 303 "Lametford"
( don't know the correct spelling) rifle. He killed both of them
with one shot and since that day that farm was named in Afrikaans
Some maps in South Africa displayed the name a few years ago as
the name made the Guinness Book of Records as the longest name for a
farm. I don't know if this record still stands.
In the 1950s, my father, Paul Petrus Kleynhans, bought the farm
and lived there with my family. We lived on the farm till 1965. My
dad was a well known farmer in the Lichtenburg district. He
developed the farm and built a church for the farmworkers on the
Because my mother was very fond of gardening she spend most of
her time in the gardens around the old house. I can still remember
vividly when it snowed there in 1964 (very rare for that area.)
One evening we had a severe storm on the farm and my father was
very concerned about the newly built tractor shed and as he walked
out of the house he heard a massive noise like an explosion. The
house was covered in dust and he realized that the roof of the
entire house had been blown off.
He gathered all of us in the car. We had a 64 Chevrolet Impala
and the wind was so strong that it felt like a boat on the sea. The
next day - it was on a Sunday - the whole community helped to repair
and replace the roof on our house. I can't really remember this but
that is what my sisters have told me.
I am 44 years old and the youngest of five children in our
family. I together with my brother and his wife started a business
in Pretoria 4 years ago. This is really amazing as my dad always
used to drill it in our heads to work together as a team as he had
some insight in the future.
Today my brother is my best friend and we get along very well as
he is the technical guy and myself the administrative guy in our
business which is called High Standard Projects.
I am married to Madelene, a teacher, and we have two boys, Reuben
12 and Calvin 7. They are diamonds in my life.
A few years ago I had a very strange dream and I saw my brother
and myself running with a burning torch holding it on high together,
and three years after the dream we started the business and the
computer programme we have a logo of a burning torch...
I am so proud of my family because we have a great story of our
own! Briefly I'll tell you. My parents were very poor when they were
young but my dad worked hard and became one of the wealthiest
farmers in the former "Western Transvaal."
My parents were a very handsome couple and three daughters were
born. My dad was a bit sad because he had no boys to inherit his
farms. In those days it was practice that only a boy could inherit a
Five years after our youngest sister was born, my brother saw the
light, to my dads delight and one and a half years later I was born.
My dad was so happy and said that my brother and I were the two
buffaloes of "Twee Buffels" which is the direct translation.
As my dad expanded his farms he started to entrust white managers
to run his farms. My dad helped so many people financially. At that
time my dad worked on a beautiful farm in the Limpopo province with
the means to buy it if it was profitable.
It was then that my oldest sister discovered that the rest of my
dads farms were not given attention to. These white managers that my
dad had were jealous of my dads progress and because they had
signing rights on my dads account they bought tractors and
implements worth hundreds of thousands of rands and sold it in the
When my dad discovered what happened all creditors slammed on my
dad and he asked for postponement of the outstanding accounts until
the harvest was in and they wouldn't.
My dad discovered there was a plot against him and after he sold
about everything he had, R16000 was all that was outstanding. They
wouldn't give him grace. We lost everything when I was about 9 years
old. We moved to a neighbouring town and worked for another rich
I respect my parents so much as they never turned to alchohol in
the hard times, they never held grudges, never let bitter took over.
They stood with us through thick and thin. It was not nice being a
very well off family and it was hard to see how my parents struggled
to make ends meet.
In later years, I had difficulty making peace of what happened to
us as I was robbed from being able to go to university as we had no
funds. My sisters were married but it was my brother and I who
I was a salesman who worked on a commission basis only, and it
was tough to provide for all the needs in our family. The only thing
that kept me going was my faith in God and the love for my family.
Then one night I had another dream. In the dream I saw a small
boat in the ocean and it was busy sinking and I saw myself helping
this little boat to get to the docks. The boat broke into pieces and
I saw myself and my wife clinging onto one of the pieces that was
flying through the air. We landed on dry ground without any harm to
I wondered about this boat and then someone came to me in the
dream. I couldn't see his face and I told him what happened. He said
to me that the little boat was never our boat and he said to me:
"Look, that boat is for you" - he showed me a passenger liner that
was docked in a harbour. It was a glorious sight to see as it was
shining with lights all over. I turned around to the man who spoke
to me but he was gone and the dream ended.
I held onto that dream and 2 years after the dream, my brother
approached me to ask if I would manage the business that they were
going to open in Pretoria. Today, I am one of the owners of the
business and we are very successful. Both dreams came to life and
now the "Two Buffaloes" have restored the family name and we now
have more than what we ever could have asked for.
My mother is still alive and is still the saint she has always
been, but my dad passed away before he could see his two buffaloes
in their business. It would have made him so proud, but you never
know, maybe he already knows...
All the people who contributed to my father's downfall died
before him or lost more than he did as he never sued or persecuted
those people. And now, the two buffaloes of "Twee Buffels" are alive
and well today.
We still have black and white photos of the farm Tweebuffels and
some 8mm films. I want to take my wife and 2 boys to the farm very
soon and will see if I can get a photo of a noticeboard displaying
the name. I will keep in touch.