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Africans and the Zebra – Alternative History


Here’s a thought that has been bugging me for a while. Why did the Africans never domesticate the Zebra? Or the Elephant come to that?

There are some fairly good reasons put forward as to why this did not happen. The main one is that in Africa, the cradle of humanity, humans and Zebras etc evolved alongside each other for millennia. As such, the larger mammals –  herbivores included – developed a ‘fear’ of the human predator.

Imagine however, if one civilisation had managed to tame the Zebra and breed it, using it as cavalry. The Zulus, for example, were fearsome warriors in their time. If they had cavalry, just how much of Africa could they have conquered. Or, if one of their enemies had cavalry, would it have spelt the end of the Zulus?

I mentioned elephants at the start, but what really floats my boat is the idea of RHINO-based cavalry. Yes, they are short sighted and incredibly temperamental, but just think of the sight a line of charging Rhino would make as they slammed into their enemy’s ranks.

All of this, of course, gives me plenty of food for thought!

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7. Matthew was Features Editor, Technical Consultant and regular columnist for magazines such as ‘Fighters’, ‘Combat’, ‘TKD & Korean Martial Arts’ and ‘Traditional Karate’. These are the four leading martial arts magazines in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'Practical Taekwondo: Back to the Roots', which has been sold around the world. With regard to his martial arts background he has been studying martial arts since 1991. In 1995 he hosted Professor Rick Clark of the ADK and since then has been studying pressure points and their uses in the martial arts and on the street (initially as a Special Constable and as a Door Supervisor). All of this practical hands-on experience means that he is uniquely placed to write fight scenes that are not only plausible but some of which are based on personal or anecdotal experience. Matthew has had a number of short stories published by Fringe Works, KnightWatch Press, Anderfam Press and Emby Press.

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