The discovery and existence of Homo Naledi has shed light on the origins and diversity of the human lineage. Initially discovered in 2013 in the ‘Rising Star’ cave located in the Cradle of Human World Heritage site, the official reveal was held at Maropeng Centre by the team led by Wits Professor Lee Berger.
Wits Vuvuzela sat down with Homo Naledi to catch up on some of the history of the last 2.5 million years.
Many people are fascinated by your name. Can you tell us the meaning behind it?
The name ‘Naledi’ means ‘star’ in Sesotho. The scientists are saying that my bones were ‘found’ in a chamber cave (my lofty home) named ‘Dinaledi’ at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Also, seeing that I am causing many talks in the media, I consider myself a ‘rising star’.
It must be really great to be found after a 2.5 million year hiatus. What’s it like mingling with all your grandchildren?
My long sleep was so peaceful. So much has changed now. I mean what’s this wheel thing that everyone has been using for the last 10 000 years? Other than that it’s good to be getting all this media attention, and it’s been good giving humans something to talk about, other than themselves.
Speaking of the media, #HomoNaledi was trending on twitter. How was that experience?
To grab such attention from humans was nothing short of amazing. Although I knew I always had it in me, I mean have you seen me? But grabbing such attention after a marathon 2.5 million year game of hide and seek is really fun. I am warming up to the reception.
You have been described as the most primitive member of our kind. Any thoughts on that?
First of all, have you seen my slender body? I am 1.5 metres tall and I weigh about 45 kilograms. I am said to have ‘human-like features’, my carved fingers, my teeth and my small feet, and my legs are to die for. All I’m saying is that I am flawless, like Beyoncé would say.
Your facial expression has been used for quite a lot of memes on social media, your thoughts about that?
I think it’s hilarious, as long as I am giving humans something to laugh about.