Tshameka and Reë
They are twin lion cubs from the country of South Africa, near Rustenburg and the World Cup Stadium. Tshameka is the brother—his name is Tswana for “play”. Reë is the sister, and her name is short for Reënboog (REEAHN-boo-ugch), which is Afrikaans for “rainbow”—South Africa is also known as the “Rainbow Nation”. The two cubs are inseparable, and a little bit mischievous. They love to play—anything will do, but especially soccer (or football, as they call it in South Africa). They also help Madala to drive the Land Rover—Tshameka mans the gear stick while Reë works the foot pedals.
Lions are found all over Africa. They live mostly in grasslands, but can also live in forests as well. Lions are the only cats that live in family groups. A group of lions is called a pride, and is made up of all the girl lions in a family and their children, and a few adult males. When baby lions who are boys grow up, they are kicked out of their pride to go and start their own. The males are the protectors of the family, and keep an eye on all the others in their pride. The girls do most of the hunting, which they bring back for the family to share. Lions do most of their hunting at night when it’s cool. They sleep during the day, and can sleep for up to 20 hours at one time! Lions are the tallest cats in the world.
South Africa is a country located at the very southern tip of Africa. The capital city of South Africa is Pretoria (pree-TOR-ee-ah). Many languages are spoken in South Africa, and the country has eleven official languages! They are Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu. The most common of these eleven are Zulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans. South Africa is a very diverse country—people come here from all over Africa and all over the world—so it is sometimes called the Rainbow Nation. Because there are so many different kinds of people in South Africa, there are many different religions—Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and tribal religions—just to name a few! One of South Africa’s most famous kinds of food is called a braai (brai). People bring many different kinds of meat and grill them over a fire—at a braai, being with your friends is just as important as the food! The money is South Africa is called the Rand.