Kimberley, from its earliest days, attracted people of diverse faiths which are still reflected by practising faith communities in the city. Pre-eminently these are various denominations of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, as well as other faiths. Traditional African beliefs continue as an element in the Zionist Christian Church (ZCC).
Kimberley is the seat of the Anglican Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman and also of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kimberley – previously the Apostolic Vicariate of Kimberley in Orange. Other denominations having churches in the city are the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Congregational Church, the Dutch Reformed Church (Afrikaans: Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk), the Baptist Church, the Afrikaans Baptist Church (Afrikaans: Afrikaanse Baptiste Kerk), the Apostolics, Pentecostalists. The Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa was first established in Kimberley.
Writers from the city or with strong Kimberley links include Diane Awerbuck, Benjamin Bennett, Lawrence Green, Dorian Haarhoff, Dan Jacobson, Z.K. Matthews, Sarah Gertrude Millin, Sol Plaatje, Olive Schreiner, A.H.M. Scholtz.
The city is served by both print media and community radio stations.
The earliest newspaper here was the Diamond Field, published initially at Pniel on 15 October 1870. Other early papers with the Diamond News and the Independent. The Diamond Fields Advertiser is Kimberley's current daily newspaper, published since 23 March 1878.
The Volksblad, with a free local supplement called Noordkaap, is read by Afrikaans-speaking readers.
Two community radio stations were founded in the 1990s:
Kimberley has contributed to much of cricket's history having supplied several international players. There was Nipper Nickelson, Xenophon Balaskas born in Kimberley to Greek parents and Ken Viljoen, Ronnie Draper and in more recent times Pat Symcox and the Proteas coach Micky Arthur.
Kimberley hosted a match from the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Elsie McDonald was a Springbok bowler.
Frank Dobbin known as Uncle Dobbin was a member of Paul Roos' original Springboks in the tour to the British Isles in 1906/1907. His memory lives in his old colonial-style home in Roper street, bearing a simple brass plaque with the name 'Dobbin'. Later Springboks to wear green and gold included Ian Kirkpatrick, Tommy Bedford and Gawie Visagie, brother of Ammosal-based Springbok flyhalf Piet Visagie. Kimberley is home to the GWK Griquas rugby team.
Richard Henyekane, South African footballer, comes from Kimberley.
Jimmy Tau is from Kimberley, born and grew up in the dusty streets of No. 5 in Makapane Street, Vergenoeg.
Karen Muir, born in Kimberley, became in 1965 the youngest person to break a world record in any sport. This age group record stands to this day. She set it in August 1965 at the junior world champions in Blackpool, England in the backstroke at the age of 12. She went on to break many more world records but was denied a role in world swimming when she lost the opportunity to represent her country at the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City as a result of South Africa being excluded due to its racial apartheid policies. Kimberley also saw a world record broken in the municipal pool which now bears Karen Muir's name. It was Johannesburg's Anne Fairlie who beat Karen Muir and Frances Kikki Caron in world record breaking time.
Bevil Rudd, Olympic medallist.
Brian Davis, son of civic leader Edgar Davis, was part of the 4x400 metres relay which won a gold medal at the Rome Olympics.
The first Maloof Money Cup World Skateboarding Championships were held in Kimberley in September 2011 and again in 2012. In 2013 a new event is taking over where the Maloof family left off called Kimberley Diamond Cup.
"Kimberley has had a profound effect on the course of history in Southern Africa. The discovery of diamonds there, more than a century ago, proved to be the first step in the transformation of South Africa from an agricultural into an industrial country. When gold and other minerals were later discovered to the north, there were already Kimberley men of vision and enterprise with the capital and technology to develop the new resources." - H.F. Oppenheimer, 1976. Foreword to Brian Roberts’ book, Kimberley, turbulent city.
Anthony Trollope visited Kimberley in 1877 and was notoriously put off by the heat, enervating and hideous, while the dust and the flies of the early mining town almost drove him mad:
"I sometimes thought that the people of Kimberley were proud of their flies and their dust."
Of the townscape, largely built of sun-dried brick, and of plank and canvas and corrugated iron sheets brought up by ox-wagon from the coast, he remarked:
"In Kimberley there are two buildings with a storey above the ground, and one of these is in the square: this is its only magnificence. There is no pavement. The roadway is all dust and holes. There is a market place in the midst which certainly is not magnificent. Around are the corrugated iron shops of the ordinary dealers in provisions. An uglier place I do not know how to imagine."
A.H.J. Bourne, a former headmaster of Kimberley Boys' High School, returned to the city in 1937, observing that: "The history of Kimberley would appear remarkable to any stranger who could not fail to think that some supermind was behind its destinies. In so short a time it has grown from bare veld."
In the early 1990s writer Dan Jacobson returned to Kimberley, where he had grown up in the 1930s, giving a sense of how things had changed:
"The people I had known had vanished; so had their language. That contributed to my ghostlike state. In my earliest years the whites of Kimberley spoke English only; Afrikaans was the tongue of the Cape Coloured people ... Now I was addressed in Afrikaans everywhere I went, by white, black, and Coloured alike".
Kimberley dull? – asked virtualtourist reviewer Catherine Reichardt: "Happily, the answer is a resounding 'No', provided that you have a passion for history - in which case Kimberley has it in spades, and you'll probably need to overnight to fully appreciate its attractions and charms. In many ways, exploring Kimberley and its heritage is like experiencing South African history in microcosm."
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