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Alfred Kernell

Alfred Kernell was born in Lambert’s Bay and was 60 years old at the time of the interview. He lives in Lambert’s Bay and owns a business there.

Alfred Kernell speaks of his family and his education. He tells of skeletons that were found 5 km from the town that are thought to be of a Khoi family. Alfred says that, as a Christian, he does not believe in paljas (magic).

Alfred Kernell was 60 years old at the time of the interview and was born in Lambert’s bay. He has lived there for most of his life. He attended primary school in Lambert’s Bay and high school in Malmesbury. He got a diploma in accounting through UNISA and eventually started his own business in Lambert’s Bay. His father is from Okiep in the Northern Cape and his mother is from Lambert’s Bay. He is one of nine children and his oldest brother lives in Australia. His family works predominantly in education.

Alfred tells us that men on a farm about 5km from Lambert’s Bay were digging manholes and found skeletons, presumably of the Khoi. It was thought to be a family who died of sickness or was killed. Alfred’s parents were Christian and did not encourage stories of paljas (magic), saying God would protect them from such things.

 

I’m Alfred Kernell, I’m a native of Lamberts Bay. Age, I’m 60 years old this year and ehh, I’ve been in Lamberts Bay all these years, worked in Vredenburg, I’m back in my hometown, Lamberts Bay. Anything else?

How you grew up.

I went to high school in  primary school in Lamberts Bay, high school in Malmesbury. After high school I went to work in Sishen, then Saldanha. And during this time I studied at the University of South Africa, did a diploma in bookkeeping and after working in Vredenburg I started my own business. I‘m still a businessman.

Where do your parents come from?

My parents, my father is originally from O’Kiep, from the Northern Cape, and mother is a native of Lamberts Bay. We’re nine children in the family. My family is mostly in education. The eldest brother lives in Australia, the others are all in South Africa.

You often talk to the old people of your hometown, Lamberts Bay. Tell me about the older people of Lamberts Bay.

What do you mean?

What the old people told you, stories about the sea, stories about things that happened here on the sea.

Yes, many of the old people in Lamberts Bay are still alive.

Tell me the story that you told me just now.

I was told a story about… Outside Lamberts Bay, about five kilometres outside Lamberts Bay, an uncle was building manholes on a farm. And during the excavations they found  skeletons, human skeletons that indicated that it could be Bushmen. There is more than one skeleton, it looks like a family that had a type of illness, or that had been killed in one way or another. We would really like to know  what type of people it was. And  I approached Patrick Hanekom to shed a bit of light on the matter. And he promised me that he would come with experts to go have a look,  who it had been, why the people had been buried there.

Not far from there, about a kilometre from there, are many Bushman drawings, in caves where the Bushmen lived. So, there are indications that it could possibly be skeletons of the Bushmen, which makes it very interesting for us because we believe this was Bushman country. It was also, it still is Bushman country. So  to shed a bit of light on the case we contacted Patrick and he thinks he’s going to follow it up for us. So… What else?

Your family is from Namaqualand originally. Did your father and them maybe tell stories, like ghost stories, that you can remember?

Now, Patrick, let me think. Uhm… ghost stories…

Any stories about Bushman drawings, or any stories about mythical creatures like the human jackal, or paljas*, or people that can paljas and so on?

Yes, let me just, let’s just record this, in between. My parents were very much opposed to things like that, poljas and those things. From early on we were made aware that such things existed, if you believed in them, you know…

How did they tell you?

Look  there were lots of stories about sorcery and stuff in my childhood but our parents… People were very religious, from early on they made us aware that  they didn’t believe in it. They said that if you were religious and believed in God, then, then you weren’t open for things like that. Do you understand? So we didn’t pay much attention as children. It didn’t really exist for us.

My father always told us that – my father comes from an area where copper was mined and  the Bushmen, they were the people who took the settlers and showed them where the copper and stuff were, and could be mined. Yes, I heard this from my father himself. And I know the Northern Cape well, Namaqualand, O’Kiep and surroundings, I know all those copper mines, I often went to watch, as a child I often went to watch how the copper was mined and so on. So yes, what else, Patrick?

Alfred Kernell is in Lambertsbaai gebore en was 60 jaar oud ten tyde van die onderhoud. Hy woon in Lambertsbaai en besit ’n sakeonderneming daar.

Alfred vertel van sy familie en sy studies. Hy vertel van geraamtes wat 5 km buite die dorp gevind is, waarskynlik die oorskot van ’n Khoi-gesin. Alfred sê as ’n Christen glo hy nie aan paljas nie.

Alfred Kernell was 60 jaar oud ten tyde van die onderhoud. Hy is in Lambertsbaai gebore en het die grootste deel van sy lewe daar gewoon. Hy was daar op laerskool, maar het sy hoërskoolloopbaan op Malmesbury voltooi. Later het hy ’n diploma in rekeningkunde deur Unisa verwerf en uiteindelik sy eie besigheid op Lambertsbaai begin. Sy pa is oorspronklik van Okiep in die Noordkaap en sy ma is ’n boorling van Lambertsbaai. Hy is een van nege kinders en sy oudste broer woon in Australië. Sy familie is meestal in die onderwys.

Alfred vertel dat ’n oom so 5 km buite Lambertsbaai besig was om mangate op sy plaas te bou toe hulle op geraamtes afkom, waarskynlik van die Khoi. Dit wou voorkom dat dit ’n familie was wat deur een of ander siekte of op ’n ander manier uitgewis is. Alfred se ouers was baie Christelik en het nie stories van paljas en toordery aangemoedig nie. Hulle het gesê as jy aan God glo is jy nie vatbaar vir sulke goed nie.

Ek is Alfred Kernell, ek is ’n boorling van Lambertsbaai. Ouderdom, ek is sestig jaar dié jaar, enne, ek is al die jare op Lambertsbaai, was werksaam op Vredenburg, ek is terug in my tuisdorp, Lambertsbaai. Wat nog?

Hoe jy opgegroot het.

Ek het hoërskool geloop op,  laerskool op Lambertsbaai, hoërskool op Malmesbury. Daar’t ek ná hoërskool gaan werk op Shishen, daarvan op Saldanha. En in dié tyd het ek gestudeer by die Universiteit van Suid-Afrika, ’n diploma gedoen in rekeningkunde en, ná werk op Vredenburg het ek my eie besigheid begin. Op die oomblik is ek nog steeds ’n besigheidsman.

Sê my, Alfred, van waar af is jou ouers?

My ouers, my pa is oorspronklik van O’Kiep, van die Noord-Kaap, en my ma is ’n boorling van Lambertsbaai.  ons is nege kinders in die gesin. My familie is meesal in die onderwys,  die oudste broer woon in Australië, enne, ja, ons ander is almal in Suid-Afrika.

Jy praat mos baie saam met oumense op die tuisdorp, Lambertsbaai. Vertel vir my van die ouer mense op Lambertsbaai.

Soos wat nou?

Wat oumense vir jou vertel het, wat jy nog kan onthou, stories van die see, stories van goeters wat hier gebeur het op die see.

Ja, op Lambertsbaai is nog baie van die oumense wat leef.

Vertel vir my die storie wat jy nou vir my vertel het. Gaan maar aan.

Vir my is ’n storie vertel van, uhh … Buitekant Lambertsbaai, omtrent so vyf kilometer buitekant Lambertsbaai was ’n oom besig om op ’n plaas mangate te bou. En met die uitgrawe van die grond het hulle op,  geraamtes, menslike geraamtes afgekom wat aandui dat dit kan Boesmans wees. Dis meer as een geraamte, dit wil voorkom of dit ’n familie was wat ’n tipe siekte gehad het, of uitgewis was, deur een of ander vorm. Ons sal graag wil weet,  wat, watse tipe mense dit was. En,  ek het vir Patrick Hanekom genader om vir ons so ’n bietjie lig op die saak te werp. Enne, hy het my belowe hy sal uitkom met die kundige mense, om te gaan kyk,  wie dit was, hoekom die mense daar begrawe was.

Nie ver daarvandaan nie, omtrent ’n kilometer daarvandaan, is baie Boesmantekeninge, in grotte waar die Boesmans in gewoon het. So, moontlik is daar aanduidings dat dit die, geraamtes van die Boesmans kan wees, wat dit is vir ons baie interessant maak, want,  ons glo dit was Boesmanwêreld; dit was ook, dit is nog steeds Boesmanwêreld. So,  om so ’n bietjie lig op die saak te werp het ons nou vir Patrick kontak, enne, hy dink hy gaan vir ons werk daarvan maak. So …. Wat nog?

Oorspronklik is julle familie van Namakwaland. Het jou pa-hulle miskien stories vertel, soos spookstories en dies meer wat jy kan onthou?

Nou Patrick, lat ek eers mooi dink. Uhm … spookstories …

Enige stories van Boesmantekeninge, of enige stories van mitiese kreature soos die mensjakkals, of die paljas, of mense wat kan paljas, of dies meer?

Ja, lat ek ook net gou dit, dat ons dit net gou opneem, so tussenin. Dis nou iets waa-, waarteen my ouers baie gekant was, dié poljas, en goed. Ons is van kleins af bewus gemaak sulke goed bestaan, as jy glo, jy weet …

Hoe’t hulle vir jou vertel?

Ja, kyk,  in my kinderdae het daar baie stories rondgeloop van toordery en goed, maar ons ouers … Mense was baie Christelik, hulle’t vir ons vroeg bewus gemaak dat,   hulle glo nie aan dit nie. Hulle sê as jy gelowig is en jy glo aan God, dan, dan is jy nie vatbaar vir sulke goed nie. Verstaan. So, as kind het ons ons nie veel daaraan gesteur nie. By ons het dit eintlik nie bestaan nie. My pa het altyd vertel dat – my pa kom uit ’n,   area uit waar koper ontgin is, en,   die Boesmans, dit was die mense wat die, setlaars geneem het en uitwys het waar koper en goed is, en kan ge-ontgin word. Ja, dis ’n storie wat ek by my pa self gehoor het. En, ek ken die Noord-Kaap goed, Namakwaland, O’kiep se wêreld, ek ken al daai kopermyne, ek het baie gaan kyk, as kind het ek baie gaan rondkyk hoe die koper gemyn word, en so. So, uhm, ja, wat is daar nog, Patrick?