Part 1 starts with the arrival of a Dutch sailing vessel that would change the future of the African continent: Jan von Riebeeck is supposed to establish a supply station for European ships sailing the long ocean routes, gathering riches from all over the world. Contact between the earliest settlers and the natives was initially peaceful: copper and tobacco were traded for cattle and sheep. But the influx of settlers from Europe into the “Promised Land” kept growing, and so did the demand for land and cattle, which started to worry the natives. The first conflicts arose. The White intruders did not care much for the people who had been living here for thousands of years, but fascinating rock paintings of the San provide impressive insights into their civilization. With the help of renowned archaeologist Ben Smith, the documentary will elucidate the mysterious symbolism behind these splendid works of art.
The once insignificant supply station at the Cape began to flourish. Labour was in short supply, and so the first slaves were bought. Expeditions into the hinterland secured more and more land for the “free burghers,” but resistance by the natives kept mounting. Hard times lay ahead, for both Blacks and Whites.