Anny van Rooi

Anny van Rooi was 48 years old at the time of the interview and was born in the Cederberg. She lives in Algeria, where she owns property.

Anny van Rooi speaks fondly of her childhood. She remembers how children went swimming at Jaap se Gat and learned to swim by being pushed into the water by the older boys. Anny says the world and its people were much kinder then than they are today.

Anny van Rooi was born in the Cederberg and was 48 years old at the time of the interview. She is married with two children and one foster child. She attended Grootkloof Primêr in Algeria and tells of how they carried rocks from the river to build and decorate the school building – it is as it stands today because of their handiwork. After school, Anny worked in the old age home in Citrusdal and moved back to Algeria when her parents passed away. She now has a property there and strives to create a life that is better for her children. She had a wonderful childhood and played a lot. After school the children would go swimming at Jaap se Gat, where they all learned to swim by being pushed into the water. They also played games on the old rugby field and then went home to fetch wood for the fire. Her grandmother would give her lees lekkers, or reading sweets, that said things like “kiss me” or “I love you”. Anny says it was lovely. Her father farmed with sheep and cattle but later sold his livestock as it became too expensive, and he went to work for Cape Nature. Anny remembers her mother singing songs to them that she learned at Sunday school and reciting poems. Through tough times they trusted in God to provide, and Anny says the world today is much less kind in comparison. People are envious of one another and do not wish one another well.


I’m Anny van Rooi. I was born in the Cederberg. I’m 48 years old. I’m today married to Ryno (?? 00:20) Titus. I have two children from the marriage and I have a child out of wedlock, who grew up at my parents, her name is Aurionel (?? 00:30). I went to school at Algeria Grootkloof Primary. The first principal we had at the school was Mister Huis (?? 00:37), many years ago. I can’t remember the year when I started school but it was wonderful. As the school is now, Algeria Grootkloof Primary, we carried rocks from the river to build the school and to decorate it. Today you see what Algeria Grootkloof Primary school looks like as a result of our hands. And today we are very grateful that our children can still go to school there.

Our principal’s name at the present mo-, our principal’s name at the present moment is Mister Hanekom. He is very good to our children. He and I went to school together. We are brother, like cousins, but we are sister and brother.

Later on I went to work at the old age home in Citrusdal. I worked there for 11 years. I nursed there, and I wanted to, it was years ago, my parents died and I came back to Algeria. And at the present moment I’m here permanently. I’m married here. I live here, and we got the place and got our houses and we are very grateful for that.

Today we teach the young people, we want to open a door for them to a better future. Our years have been set aside when the younger generation must take over, thank you.

What was your childhood like, what did you do?

In my childhood we played a lot, in the afternoon after school we went to swim there below in Jaap se Gat [Hole]. Tolla and Neil, and Kôbie and Thomas, and Jacques and Spekkie are the people who learnt to swim in Jaap se Gat. If you couldn’t swim… They asked you whether you could swim and if you said you couldn’t swim, they took us and threw us into Jaap se Gat. Because of that, because of them, we learnt to swim. We were thrown in like explosives, explosives were the… inside duiwelsbrood [devil’s bread] as we call it today, but today it’s mushrooms, isn’t it? It was like an explosive, then we ran, we swam naked. Oh dear, it was, it was beautiful. In the afternoon we went to the rugby field, went to the old rugby field, we went to play there, Paulien was always the lion and then we had Simba boerewors*, then she’d, “Simba-a-a boerewors”, then she caught us and tore us apart, she was actually the leopard. And after hours we carried in wood, collected firewood, we took a lot of firewood to Grandma Hanna. Grandma Hanna was Grandpa Petrus’s ma. When we got there, we got the name of Jantjie (?? 03:21). Everyone was called Jantjie. We carried in kindling, we were given sugar lumps – sugar lumps were sugar that had hardened – or word candy with very beautiful names: “Kiss me”, “I love you”, “Say you, say me”. It was so wonderful. It was a lovable grandma.

My pa and my ma brought me up as Mantie and Bysie. Mantie and Bysie were very strict, especially my ma. My ma just had to stomp hard on the floor and say “Hey”, then you knew you had to watch your step. And she never liked quarrelling, she always lived in peace with people. At the bottom of the garden my pa, he gardened, he farmed with livestock, sheep, had cattle; later on we sold the livestock because he couldn’t afford it, but in… He worked for Cape Nature, he worked there for many years and he retired there and he didn’t live long before he died. And we appreciate everything that he did for us, thank you.

Tell us how your mother and them told you about where they grew up, what Auntie Griet told you.

Oh yes, my ma, my ma grew up in, my ma’s principal’s name was Mister Pieterse. Evenings we sat around the table, then Ma told us stories. She said she didn’t always go to school. She was part of a small group: Auntie Rose was her friend, and Auntie Anna, and then there was Auntie Hannetjie, who has passed away. They were a circle of friends, Ma said. And while they were at school, they always asked what the other one had on her bread. Everyone had to say what they had on their bread. And then they went and asked Auntie Margie, who now, Auntie Hannetjie, then Auntie Hannetjie said she had butter and bread, my ma always had fat and bread, and then they came to Auntie Rose, then Auntie Rose said she had only bread, and then they got to Auntie Anna, then Anna always said, “We have fine teeth on the bread, not fine cracklings, but fine teeth.” And it was a wonderful joy for them, they always laughed so much when Anna said that.

And my ma told us, they went to Sunday school with Mister Pieterse. They developed, developed into, they learnt many things in their confirmation class. And she always sang “Twee klein kaboutertjies” [“Two Small Gnomes”] to us and recited rhymes. And she gave names to Awie’s children, gave names to her sister’s children. She said Tolla, she called Patrick Tolla, and she called Kobie Jantjie, and Boetie she called Boetjie, and Neil she called Neiltjie, and they grew up with the names. And Jacques was called Ou Boesie, and Spekkie was called Ou Bul, and I was called Ounooi*, and Nooientjie’s name was just Klimmeid*, because she, she looked like a small klimmeid.

We learnt a lot from her. Sussie, my Auntie Sussie also came to stay with us. I looked after her. My pa and them looked after her, and I looked after her. Sussie was very cute. Sussie taught us many things about Eikeboom. During the holidays, in the afternoon, we had to walk from here all the way to Eikeboom. Sunday afternoons, as soon as we’d finished eating, we walked with the old pillow covers on our backs and the old covers, hessian covers, the old flour covers, we washed them. Our clothes were put in them and we walked to Eikeboom. On the way, as we walked along the paths, Spekkie threw [stones at] all the buttons on the phone lines, those white buttons, at the birds, because the birds sat on them. When we got to Eikeboom, everything was broken, then Sussie scolded him, but the Lord was good, we came through.

We didn’t have much on Sondays, had much food. On Sundays we ate blue bean soup but we trusted in the Lord and we did many things… It was wonderful, we endured the hard times, no matter what came our way…

How do those years compare with today?

Those years were prosperous years. We were content with little, we were able to rest. But today we’re so hostile with each other, we don’t want to give each other anything, we want to live past each other. We don’t grant each other anything.

Anny van Rooi is in die Sederberge gebore en was 48 jaar oud ten tyde van die onderhoud. Sy woon op Algeria, waar sy grond besit.

Anny vertel van haar wonderlike kinderjare. Sy onthou hoe die kinders by Jaap se Gat gaan swem het. Hulle het leer swem deurdat die ouer seuns hulle in die water ingestamp het. Anny sê die wêreld en sy mense het destyds baie meer omgegee as vandag.

Anny van Rooi is in die Sederberge gebore en was 48 jaar oud ten tyde van die onderhoud. Sy is getroud met twee kinders en een pleegkind. Sy het by Grootkloof Primêr op Algeria skoolgegaan en vertel hoe hulle klippe van die rivier af aangedra het om die skoolgebou te bou en te versier – soos dit vandag lyk, is te danke aan hulle handewerk. Na skool het Anny by die ouetehuis op Citrusdal gewerk, maar na haar ouers dood is, het sy teruggetrek Algeria toe. Sy besit nou ’n eiendom daar en strewe daarna om vir haar kinders ’n beter lewe te skep. Sy het wonderlike kinderjare gehad en het baie gespeel. Na skool het die kinders by Jaap se Gat gaan swem. Hulle het almal daar leer swem omdat hulle in die water ingestamp is. Hulle het ook speletjies op die ou rugbyveld gespeel en daarna huis toe gegaan om vuurmaakhout op te tel. Haar ouma het vir hulle leeslekkers gegee waarop daar woord soos “Kiss me” en “I love you” gestaan het. Anny sê dit was wonderlik. Haar pa het met skape en beeste geboer, maar het later sy vee verkoop omdat dit te duur geraak het, en vir CapeNature gaan werk. Anny onthou haar ma het vir hulle liedjies gesing wat sy by die Sondagskool geleer het, en gedigte opgesê. Wanneer dit swaar gegaan het, het hulle op God vertrou om te voorsien. Anny sê in vergelyking met destyds gee die wêreld vandag baie minder om. Mense is afgunstig op mekaar en gun mekaar niks.


Ek is Anny van Rooi, ek is gebore in Sederberge, ek is agt-en-veertig jaar oud, ek is vandag getroud, met Ryno (?? 00:20) Titus, ek het twee kinders uit die huwelik uit, en,  ek het ’n voorkind wat by sy, by my ouers grootgeraak het, haar naam is Aurionel (?? 00:30). Ek het in Algeria Grootkloof Primêr skoolgegaan. Ons eerste skoolhoof wat ons by gegaan het, was Meneer Huis (?? 00:37), lang jare terug, ek kan nie nou die jaar onthou nie toe ek begin het skoolgaan nie, maar dit was wonderlik gewees. Soos die skool nou is, Algeria, Grootkloof Primêr, het ons klippe uit die rivier uit aangedra om die skool te kan bou en te verfraai. Jy sien vandag hoe lyk Algeria Grootkloof Primêr-skool as gevolg van ons hande. En vandag is ons baie dankbaar vir ons kinders wat vandag daar skool gaan nog.

Ons skoolhoof se naam is op die eidel-, eidel-, ons skoolhoof se naam op die eidelikse naam is meneer Hanekom. Hy’s baie goed vir ons kinders. Ek en hy het saam skoolgegaan. Ons is broer, soos neef en niggie, maar ons is suster en broer, en  ek het lateraan gaan werk, by die ouetehuis gaan werk, te Citrusdal. Ek het vir elf jaar daar gewerk, ek het verpleeg daarso, en ek wil, dis jare wat verby is, is my ouers oorlede, en ek is terug in Algeria en ek is nou op die huidige oomblik is ek nou permanent hierso, ek is getroud hierso. Ek is woonagtig hierso,  en, ons het die plek gekry en ons huisies gekry en ons is baie dankbaar daarvoor.

Ons leer vandag vir die jongmense, ons wil vir hulle ’n deur oopmaak vir ’n beter toekoms. Ons jare is agteruitgesit toe die jongere geslag moet oorneem, baie dankie.

Vertel vir ons hoe jou kinderjare hier gewees het, wat julle hier gedoen het?

In my kinderjare het ons,   baie gespeel, ons het namiddae uit die skool uit gekom en dan’t ons daar onder in Jaap se Gat gaan swem. Tolla en Neil, en Kôbie en Thomas, en Jacques en Spekkie, is mos die mense wat in Jaap se Gat leer swem het. As jy nie kan geswem het nie, hulle’t vir jou gevra of jy kan swem, en jy sê, jy kan nie swem nie, dan’t hulle vir ons gevat en dan het hulle vir ons in Jaap se Gat gegooi en daardeur, deur hulle het ons geleer om te swem vandag. Ons was soos plofstof gegooi, plofstof was die,   woonagtig te duiwelsbrood, soos ons dit vandag noem, maar vandag is dit mos nou sampioene. Dit was soos ’n plofstof, dan hardloop ons, ons het kaal geswem, O aarde, dit was, dit was pragtig gewees. Om namiddaguur het ons rugbyveld toe gegaan, ons ou rugbyveld toe gegaan, ons het daar gaan speel. Paulien was altyd die leeu gewees en dan het ons Simba-boerewors, dan kom sy so: “Simba-a-a boerewors,” dan’t sy vir ons gevang en dan het sy ons uitmekaar verskeur, sy was eintlik die leopard gewees, en after hours het ons dan nou hout ingedra, vuurhoutjies gaan breek, ons het baie vuurmaakgoed gebring vir Ouma Hanna. Ouma Hanna was Oupa Petrus se ma gewees, tot ons daar gekom het, ons het die naam van Jantjie (?? 03:21) gekry. Almal was genoem van die naam van Jantjie. Fynhouttakkies het ons ingedra, ons was suikerklontjies gegee, dit was suiker wat hard geword het was klontjies, of leeslekkers, met baie mooi name: “Kiss me”, “I love you”, “Say you, say me”. Dit was so wonderlik. Dit was ’n liewe ouma gewees.

En,  my pa en my ma het my grootgemaak as Mantie en Bysie. Mantie en Bysie was baie streng, veral my ma. My ma kan byvoorbeeld op die vloer getrap het en gesê het “Hei”, dan moet jy geweet het jy moet in jou spore getrap het, en sy’t nooit van onenigheid gehou nie, sy’t altyd in vrede gelewe met mense. My pa het onder in die tuin, het tuin gemaak, hy’t geboer met vee, skape, beeste gehad; latertyd het ons die vee verkoop, omdat hy dit nie kon bekostig nie, maar in, hy’t by Cape Nature gewerk, vir jare lank het hy daar gewerk en hy’t daar afgetree en hy’t nie lank gelewe nie, toe’t hy gesterwe. Enne, ons waardeer alles wat hy vir ons gedoen het, baie dankie.

Vertel vir ons wat jou ma-hulle vir jou vertel het van waar hulle opgegroot het en dies meer, wat antie Griet vir julle vertel het.

O ja, my ma het mos in, my ma het opgegroot in, my ma se skoolhoof se naam was altyd Meneer Pieterse. Saans het ons om die tafel gesit, dan het Ma vir ons storietjies vertel. Sy sê sy het nie altyd skoolgegaan nie, sy was ’n groepie gewees: antie Rose was haar vriendin gewees, en dan is antie Anna, en dan was dit oorlê antie Hannetjie gewees, hulle was so vriendekringe gewees, Ma sê. En onderwyl daar skool was, het hulle altyd gevra wat het jy op die brood. En elkeen moes gesê het wat hulle op die brood het. En dan kom hulle nou en vra nou vir antie Margie, wat nou antie Hannetjie het, dan sê antie Hannetjie nou sy het botter en brood, my ma het altyd vet en brood gehad, en dan kom hulle by antie Rose, sê antie Rose het kaal brood gehad, en dan kom hulle by antie Anna, dan’t Anna altyd gesê: “Ons het fyn tandjies op die brood, nie fyn kaiings nie, maar fyn tandjies.” En dit was ’n wonderlike vreugde vir hulle, dan’t hulle so gelag daaroor omdat Anna so gesê het.

En my ma sê, hulle het daar by Meneer Pieterse het hulle Sondagskool gegaan. Hulle het,   ontwikkel in  in hulle  katkisasieklas en hulle het baie dinge geleer daarso, en altyd het sy gesing vir ons “Twee klein kaboutertjies” en resitasies opgesê. En sy’t die name van Awie se kinders ook gegee, haar suster se kinders ook gegee. Sy’t vir Tolla gesê, het sy, vir Patrick het sy gesê,  Tolla, en vir Kobie het sy gesê Jantjie, en vir Boetie het sy gesê Boetjie, en vir Neil het sy gesê Neiltjie, en so het hulle maar opgegroei met die name, en vir Jacques was gesê Ou Boesie, en vir Spekkie is gesê Ou Bul, en vir my is Ounooi gesê, en Nooientjie se naam was maar gewees Klimmeid, omdat sy soos ’n klimmeidjie gelyk het.

En,  ons het baie geleer by haar. Sussie, my antie Sussie het mos ook by ons kom bly, ek het na haar gekyk. My pa-hulle het na haar gekyk, en ek het na haar gekyk. Sussie was tog te oulikies gewees. Sussie het vir ons baie dinge geleer van Eikeboom. Namiddagure as dit vakansietye is, dan moes ons gestap het hiervan af tot binne-in Eikeboom. Sondag-namiddag, sodra ons klaar geëet het, het ons maar met die ou slope agter ons rug geloop en die ou slope, goiingslope, die ou meelslope het ons uitgewas. Ons klere was daarin gestop gewees en ons moes Eikeboom toe geloop het. Op pad, soos ons loop met die paaie, gooi Spekkie al die foundrade se knoppies, daai wit knoppies af, op die voëltjies af, want die voëltjies het daarop gesit. As ons by Eikeboom kom, dan is alles afgegooi, dan skel Sussie so vir hom, maar die Here was goed gewees, ons is deur.

Sondae het ons nie baie gehad nie, en kos gehad, daar bo nie. Sondae was dit maar blou boontjiesop wat ons geëet het, maar ons het die Here vertrou en ons het baie dinge … dit was wonderlik gewees, ons swaar jare het ons maar deurgevat, ongeag wat ons op ons pad gekom het.

Hoe vergelyk daai jare met nou se jare?

Daai jare was ’n voorspoedige jare, met min was ons tevrede gewees, ons kon uitgerus het. Maar vandag is ons so vyandig onder mekaar, ons wil nie vir mekaar gee nie, ons wil verby mekaar lewe. Ons gun mekaar niks nie.