by Temba Magorimbo
The word is probably Afrikaans.
Noun. 1. A short, heavy wooden club with a knob on one end, used especially by native peoples of South Africa for striking and throwing.
Definition of knobkerrie
A short wooden club with a knob at one end used as a missile or in close attack especially by Zulus of southern Africa Origin and Etymology of knobkerrie Afrikaans knopkierie, from knop knob + kierie club
In the villages the old male people would come together for a council meeting. Absolutely no females. Each one would be with a stick that had a knob. It was perfectly chosen from a shrub whilst still green which had a wooden knob. That's why it was called a knobkerrie. Its use varies in Africa. It can be used as a staff by someone walking. At a village council, elders would call in the boys. The reasons could be varied. Some would have taken liquor to excess.
Some would have been exchanging fists. Others would have slept on the job. Their cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys would have ravaged someone's field. Most cases brought to the village council were of the boys/men of valour.
These would be placed in the middle of the circular court. Every adult being the jury/judge would be sitted on wooden stools around them. For the council members, the defendants’ families supplied beer for roast, opaque home brewed beer and salted peanuts. There was nothing wrong except that each adult held a knobkerrie. The answers of the accused would enlist use of the either the stock or the bulb against the individual. The stock when used to parry between the legs of males standing would make them writhe and choose to crumble.
Those responsible or accused of making someone's daughter's stomach to grow would see use of knobkerrie stock or the bulbous part against their bodies especially legs. Questions would be asked. Like, if she was a flirt why did they partake of the fruit with others? Questions were hard to answer at times. Do you mean a supply of Lebena(R) biscuits every convenient time produced a 1, 75-kg human being?
Their answers would lead to yelps from the accused themselves. Those that procreated and accepted the result did not get this treatment. At times in this court would be men accused of crawling into the wrong hut thus they were found applying air pressure to someone's spouse. Bellows from victims surrounded by the councillors with sticks or knobs flying were not unfamiliar. The knobkerries could be made to fly with drastic results that required plaster treatment.
Infidelity was a friend of their use. At times some young one would report this treatment to the fair race that straddled power. Their forked nose uniformed detail officials would collect a few of the village crew for court hearings. Whether made to serve a custodial sentence or some knobkerries confiscated, whosoever had reported had to walk with eyes on the back. Shrubs grew well in summer replenishing stocks of confiscated knobkerries. I don't know why this shrub developed a bulging knob which was favoured at village disciplinary and council meetings.
It was not unusual for such who had squealed to walk into the night singing love songs. They would walk out needing hospital treatment. Several green stocks of shrubs would have been used on them by persons unknown. These knobkerries can be used e.g. to prevent taxi drivers taking the law into their own hands. Imagine taxi drivers guilty of reckless driving standing in line. Unaware the knobkerries would be used against their outstretched legs. Do you think most of them would keep standing?
Leon Schuster in South Africa used a cousin of the knobkerrie in Mr. Bones2 to play gwara-gwara a variant of golf. The gwara-gwara stick when placed between the legs of an unaware golfer worked wonders when jerked up fast, suddenly or urgently.
In the end an older man would emerge from an outside bathroom in the night all dressed up in his birthday suit running towards his roundavel. Bath water would have relieved a tired body. He would have a real knobkerrie which required treatment. Can these knobkerries be used against men who run from the bath enclosures at night without wearing anything but using their knobkerries and nuts as homing devices towards their sleeping quarters?
No knobkerries were harmed in writing this satirical piece.