Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Afrikaans, ons erfenis

Die Erfenisdagvure is tot 'n groot mate gedemp deur die chaos in ANC geledere. Baie wonder natuurlik, so rondom die braaivleisvure, wat lê nou voor. Miskien is die tydsberekening van Erfenis dag, 'n blessing in disguise vir ons om weer te luister na ons stories, so om die vuur.

Een substorie is uiteraard die Afrikaanse storie. Dis nie die tyd en plek om weer na te gaan wie se taal dit is nie. Taal, so lyk dit vir my, is anyway nie die eiendom van individue, of groepe of die elite in society nie. Taal groei, gryp aan en kleef aan 'n mens; 'n mens sou eerder kon waag dat ons plek-plek die eiendom van 'n taal word. Jy probeer weghardloop, maar dan haal jou skaduwee jou in. Jy hoor 'n uitdrukking, lees iets en jy ruik jou ouma se kombuis, die rook van die koolstoof en bakbrood, of jy hoor die hoederhaan vroeg in die oggend. Op daai moment weet jy: dis die huis, dis waar ek hoort.

'n Ander angle sou wees om tog ter wille van perspektief, doodeenvoudig vir Herman Gilliomee aan te haal as hy skryf oor die onstaan van Afrikaans: 'Gedurende die eerste sewentig jaar van die nedersetting het slawe en Khoi-khoi-bediendes waarskynlik die grootste rol in die ontwikkeling van die taal gespeel' (2004:42)

of

'Afrikaans is die eerste keer in gedrukte vorm gebruik in Arabiese gebedeboeke wat in die 1840s en 1850s vir die Moslemgemeenskap in Kaapstad opgestel is' (:176)

Gilliomee haal verder vir J.H.H. de Waal aan wat aandui dat destyds, 'n seker elite koloniste Afrikaans beskou het as 'n verarmde dialek, ontaarde Hollands, 'n onverstaanbare Kreoolse taal en les bes, 'n 'Hotnotstaal' sonder enige toekoms.

Interessant hoedat ons stories, dit wat ons ge-erf het, 'n mens nie net kan terugvat nie, maar ook vorentoe.

Bron:
Giliomee, H. Die Afrikaners: 'n Biografie. Tafelberg Uitgewers. Kaapstad. 2004.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Movie on the life of Sandra Laing


"In apartheid-era South Africa, a country where race meant everything, Sandra Laing was a poster child for injustice, classified "colored" even though her parents were white.

Kicked out of an all-white boarding school because of the color of her skin, Laing was later reclassified white in response to her parents' legal campaign. But in a viciously racist society, her family rejected her when she fell in love with a black man, leaving her to start her life anew.

Her story has now become a movie, "Skin," which opened to a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival this week....."

Read more on the Washington Post

Another story in the film on BBC News

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bruin initiative and being proudly South African

A lot has been said about Bruin Belange Inisiatief, (CCI) and that it is a reversal to an outdated, old South African identity, a relic of the past, best left behind. Apart from an emotional bitter attack from Jonathan Jansen, which unfortunately said more about himself then about BBI; 'on the ground' there is a positive vibe about this initiative.

Yes, of course, BBI need to hear and take heed of the voices of caution. It cannot become home to bitter and opportunistic ethnic revivalism, a place for some racist and vile characters, with rotting political carcasses as a kind of Lazarus-moment. From those in charge of BBI this is evidently not the intention and hopefully the movement will be able to steer clear of these types.

What is critical at this juncture of our South African transformation process, is the mobilization of all communities under the banner of our constitution. This is a time to revive the notions of self-help and self-pride, in order to build sustainable communities. These notions are nothing new and some-one like Steve Biko, but also other post-colonial thinkers saw these as critical to the restoration of the dignity of Africa. This re-building of the self, also include movementbuilding, which will sustain the ideas and the cultural transformation that we all seek. It is at this point where new initiatives and social movements will be crucial and we will see more and more of these staking their claim.

The question is whether a notion like bruin-ness (coloured-ness) could be or should be harnessed in this quest ? What has happened to black-ness or to our South African-ness or even African-ness. These are the fundamental questions that BBI will have to deal with concisively and it would be fascinating to hear the leadership speak out on these. At least from one perspective it could be argued that these are still valid, but that we, given the current political configurations, can only speak of these in a hyphenated mode, i.e. referring to coloured-South Africans, or coloured- Africans, etc, This type of language, although with and evident resemblance to old colonial and apartheid nomenclature, is of course inadequate. The language of our current legislation is inadequate. This remains exclusivist, in terms of which the bruin (coloured) can never be African, but also the mixed-ness of 'Áfricans' and Afrikaners is negated. Should these initiatives base their struggle on progressive and post-colonial identifications, transcending old conceptualizations of race and ethnicity and which appreciate this open-ness, then we may see possibly the first subversion of apartheid-type language. This may be hopeful and worth pursuing.

What will this mean for the ordinary farm worker, in Paarl or the unemployed youngsters of Eldos? It will mean that she is not marginal or invisible in the new SA, but that she is embedded in the colour-ful tapestry of a proud movement, who works towards justice for all people, because its black and white that are in our blood.