Durban - Cyril Ramaphosa loves cattle so much he has written a book about the beasts.
The deputy president, who is campaigning to become ANC president at the party's December elective conference, has taken time out to wax lyrical about his passion and love for cattle, especially the Ankole cattle breed from Uganda, known for their soaring horns.
According to publishing company Jacana, Ramaphosa was instrumental in bringing the Ankole cattle to South Africa, where they are flourishing.
Supplying the text, he and photographer Daniel Naude, have combined forces to produce a hard cover book, "Cattle of the Ages, Stories and Portraits of the Ankole Cattle of Southern Africa" which goes on sale in November.
The politician and businessman "reflects on the legacy bequeathed him by his father, Samuel Ramaphosa, who had to leave behind his cattle herd in Venda to find work as a migrant worker in Johannesburg.
"Life in the city was tough and demanding, weakening Samuel’s links with his ancestral origins and causing the loss of his herd. The love of cattle runs deep in South Africans and Cyril is doing more than restoring his father’s loss, he is resuscitating a new pride for South Africans with these remarkable cattle," says Jacana.
The Ankole breed has taken over from the Nguni as the breed of the moment.
Naude fell in love with the breed while photographing cattle around the world. Jacana says his prints, of the Ankole in particular, have been bought by Paul Allen of Microsoft, Mary Slack of the Oppenheimer family and president Jacob Zuma.
According to Jacana the "photographic collection moves a little from the classic portraits of single animals Naude is known for and here we find portraits of the herd, images encapsulating the movement of these cattle who carry their horns like crowns and the interactions between the beasts."
The Independent on Saturday