Flippie Presens

Flippie Presens was born in Calvinia West in 1979. He shares in the community’s pride for their champion rieldans (riel dance) and drama performances and feels the community has the potential for great development.

Flippie Presens relates childhood memories of being raised by a single mother and of the gangsters of Calvinia. He also shares a story of Katjie Kekkel, a modern take on the legend of Kaatjie Kekkelbek.

Flippie Presens was born in Calvinia West in 1979 and is the youngest of eight children. He was a little boy at the height of Apartheid. His father disappeared when he was little and the apartheid police were not bothered to look for him. The children grew up with a single mother in difficult circumstances and went to live with their aunt. His aunt worked for a woman whose dog sat on the front seat of the car while his aunt sat at the back. He could not understand that, but was told not to ask questions. He matriculated in Calvinia and went to work in the Cape, but came back. Flippie says Calvinia has a lot of history. He feels that there is a lot of opportunity for the people of Calvinia to move forward. There are only two tarred roads in the township. They are a proud people are going to perform rieldans and drama at the Fraserburg Toneelfees. He says the Hantam can develop a lot, but the people must learn to move forward and not hold one another back.

Flippie talks about the gangsters in Calvinia who would wait outside the shop in Rooiplaatstraat to take the children’s change when their mothers sent them to the shops. The gangsters of today cannot compare to the gangsters when he was a little boy. He speaks of Kaatjie Kekkelbek – someone who stays at home and tells a husband if his wife speaks to another man during the day. Most women in the area were housekeepers to white households, and most men worked as gardeners. Flippie says if a man heard from Kaatjie Kekkelbek (a tattletale, and there were a few) that his wife had been seen speaking to another man, he would arrive home on payday, drunk, and hit her. Flippie says domestic violence was the order of the day in those times. He also tells of Bokkie Jooste, the only coloured policeman in Calvinia during Apartheid, who was the only policeman able to catch the gangsters.

I’m Flippie Presens. I was born 26 July 1979, the youngest of eight children.

And in Calvinia, when you look at the past, we’ll see, when I was born in 1979, apartheid was at its fiercest. Apartheid was at its worst. And mý father, according to the family, my mother and my family, they said, okay, they informed the apartheid police that my father had disappeared. Everyone disappeared. Probably went to buy soap. I can’t say that he disappeared on purpose, because in those days the apartheid police weren’t really interested to look for someone who went missing.

So I grew up and… single mother, eight children, so you can imagine what the conditions were like. And my ma lived for a while with a, with our auntie, we lived there in our auntie’s house. My auntie has now passed, my mother is still alive.

And every day in the dirt roads of Calvinia West, we saw how the white people in those days, they came, they brought – they said they were good miesieses*, then they brought the, they brought the domestic home. They were then good miesieses, because they brought them from the town to the location*. And and this woman, my auntie’s miesies, always had the dog in front and my auntie sat in the back. And that started to bother me in childhood. Why it had to be like that. Why did the dog sit in front and my auntie in the back.

But then they said, you mustn’t say anything, it’s apartheid and you don’t understand, you’re still a child. Okay, I left it there.

And I matriculated here. I went to work in the Cape. Returned to Calvinia and I could go back and work in the Cape if I wanted to, I can go anytime, but we who live in Calvinia have a history, we have (inaudible 02:14). The government does the little it can, but the youth feel that more could be done for the youth.

And you’ll see, we now have one or two tarred roads in the so-called location, we have one or two tarred roads, two, three roads that are paved. But at the moment we coloured people are in control, in the town, in the Hantam*, but we can’t really see in our community, or our areas where we live, that there is really development, that things are really going forward.

And, but we’re a proud nation, we have the riel* dancers in the community, we have the riel dancers. There are many things here that we can take forward, I myself want to take my own drama (inaudible 03:20). This year we’re going to take it to the Karoo Arts Festival at Fraserburg. So we have many things. But if only we… If we look at our history, we see we move forward and then there is always that way we have of wanting to hold each other back.

And I believe Calvinia can progress very far, not Calvinia, the Hantam, Loeriesfontein, Louisville and Brandvlei. We can progress very far, but we have to… that attitude, of wanting to hold each other back. I just think this is our problem. There are many young people here, ideas, business plans, but no one really comes forward to help them. So I appreciate the bit that you want to do. We hope we can, we hope we can. Maybe with your help. We can get somewhere.

Stories that you’ve heard about…?

There are many stories here. Look, there were gangsters here in this Calvinia. I was a small child, a small laaitie*, and this street is called Rooiplaat Street (?? 04:03) and they called it Hell (?? 04:06). Look, you knew, when your mother sent you to the shop, and you had to go to Hell Street, to the Lounge – we spoke of the Lounge shop – hmmf, you could be sure they would be standing around outside. They stood there, the guys stood around outside the Lounge shop. They were waiting for you. Your mother sent you. They were just waiting for you to go inside, to buy what you have to buy… that change when you came out. Now, when you got home, your mother didn’t want to hear about that skollie* who had taken my money, taken the money, taken the change. She just thought you, you’d taken it yourself. You could swear by everything that’s holy, you were going to get a hiding. And if you look at today, with the new law and all, I see children don’t get hidings today. That time you were actually scared when your mother sent you to the shop, then you knew, that guy was waiting for me at the shop.

But those same, as we called them at the time, skollies – they weren’t skollies, they were also people who looked after the previous speaker that was here, those guys looked after the community. The kind of thing that the young laaities get up to now, didn’t happen because the guys that we called skollies, they made sure that you didn’t bother this one, or you didn’t bother that one, or you didn’t go in there, or you didn’t go in there.

I in, in, and even the police often say nowadays, those days with those skollies, they could still, they could still handle them, but this new generation, the ones that now… their way of doing things cannot be compared to how those guys were. If they knew it was Flippie’s house – no, leave Flippie’s house, we aren’t going to burgle it. But with the new tik and all the stuff that we youth… that are in the community, the man doesn’t care, he just wants to satisfy his habit, so he doesn’t care.

Have you heard of Kaatjie Kekkelbek* (Little Catherine Chatterbox)?


Can you tell us what you heard?

I’ve heard a lot about Kaatjie Kekkelbek, but if we look at what… What was the “kekkel” [chatter] story again? Look, many times the, your mother was not a domestic, she was maybe a housewife, and in those days most of our fathers were (inaudible 06:18), fathers that had it, gardeners and such. Working in the white people’s gardens and so on. So the ones who were at home, Kaatjie Kekkelbek. They were the ones who, when you as husband, man – we saw your wife speaking to a friend, a male friend.

Now you have to know, when that man has come through the week, during the week he won’t say anything, he’s already heard what Kaatjie Kekkelbek said. He won’t say anything. On Friday, when he has been paid, then you can be sure, it is now the old police wagon, police van. Because that man has been paid, he comes home drinking. He has heard what Kaatjie Kekkelbek said. He doesn’t care what his wife has to say. So it is domestic violence. That was normal in those times. Domestic violence. So he only comes home to fight. He has finished, hasn’t he. He comes home drinking. Comes home drinking all the while. And so Kaatjie Kekkelbek – look, it wasn’t one person, it was persons. That in those days, and so on.

But as I say, Calvinia has a rich history.

Have you heard of Jan Thomas and those guys?

Jan Thomas? No. Maybe he knows Jan Thomas. I know Bokkie Jooste. Do you know Bokkie Jooste?

Tell us about Bokkie Jooste.

Bokkie Jooste was a coloured policeman. He’s still in the community. After he retired from the police, he worked at (inaudible 07:54). But Bokkie Jooste was, hah… it was the apartheid years. And he was a coloured policeman, among the white policemen. But look, you could be any skollie, whatever 28*, number, or 27* or 26*… So then the white policemen came to Calvinia West location. And when the white policeman got out, then those skollies, let’s call them skollies, then they stood fast. I was about ten, eleven years old at the time.

Then they stand fast. That white policeman can be whoever, or whatever, they’re not going to allow themselves to be taken. They open their knives, Okapi knives. But then George Jooste comes, Bokkie Jooste. Is a coloured policeman. When he stops, he also did karate-ka, he’s still, he’s a very fit, he’s still, he’s quite old, probably almost 70, speaking under correction now.

But when he stops, you can be whatever skollie and have whatever knife in your hand, together (??) and your balls get in a twist (?? inaudible 09:00) … are one, you’re in the back of the van.

So the, at the time the policemen spoke of the special, the white policemen. They just, when they heard, heard that the skollies were fighting in the location, they wouldn’t come, if he was off, they would first make sure, can’t we find him somewhere first that he can go with us, because the, the skollies, let us call them that, they didn’t take really take white policemen seriously, but he* had Bokkie Jooste there and he had a heart. You could be whatever, as I said, you could be whatever kind of skollie, when he came for you, he came for you. So, that is one that I know of. Mr Jooste. As they say, Bokkie Jooste.

Flippie Presens is in 1979 op Calvinia-wes gebore. Hy deel die gemeenskap se trots op hulle beroemde rieldans en drama-opvoerings en voel die gemeenskap het geweldige potensiaal vir ontwikkeling.

Flippie Presens deel herinneringe uit sy kinderdae. Sy ma was ’n enkelouer en het hom alleen grootgemaak. Hy vertel ook van die bendes op Calvinia asook ’n storie van Katjie Kekkel, ’n moderne weergawe van die legende van Kaatjie Kekkelbek.

Flippie Presens is in 1979 in Calvinia-wes gebore, die jongste van agt kinders. Hy was ’n klein seuntjie toe apartheid op sy ergste was. Sy pa het verdwyn en die apartheidpolisie het nie daarin belang gestel om hom te soek nie. Die kinders het met ’n enkelma in moeilike omstandighede grootgeword en hulle het vir ’n rukkie by ’n tannie van hom gaan bly. Sy tannie het vir ’n blanke vrou gewerk wie se hond op die voorste motorsitplek gesit het terwyl sy tannie agter moes sit. Hy kon dit nie verstaan nie, maar hulle het vir hom gesê om nie vrae te vra nie. Hy het op Calvinia gematrikuleer en toe in die Kaap gaan werk, maar later weer teruggekom. Flippie sê Calvinia het ’n ryk geskiedenis. Hy voel daar is baie geleenthede vir die mense van Calvinia om vooruit te gaan. Daar is net twee teerstrate in die “lokasie”. Hulle is ’n trotse nasie. Hulle het die rieldansers en hulle gaan ’n vertoning by die Fraserburg-toneelfees aanbied. Hy sê die Hantam kan baie ontwikkel, maar die mense moet leer om vorentoe te gaan en mekaar nie terug te hou nie.

Flippie vertel van die bendelede (skollies) in Calvinia wat buite die winkel in Rooiplaatstraat gewag het om die kinders se kleingeld af te vat as hulle ma’s hulle winkel toe gestuur het. Die skollies van vandag kan nie vergelyk word met dié van sy kinderdae nie. Hy vertel van Katjie Kekkel – iemand wat tuis gebly het en nie gaan werk het nie, en vir ’n man vertel het as sy vrou gedurende die dag met ’n ander man gepraat het. Talle vroue het by blanke huise gewerk en die meeste mans het as tuiniers gewerk. Flippie sê as ’n man by Katjie Kekkel (’n klikbek, en daar was ’n paar van hulle) hoor dat sy vrou met ’n ander man gepraat het, het hy op betaaldag dronk by die huis aangekom en haar geslaan. Flippie sê gesinsgeweld was destyds aan die orde van die dag. Hy vertel ook van Bokkie Jooste, die enigste bruin polisieman op Calvinia gedurende apartheid, en die enigste een wat die skollies kon vastrek.


Ek is Flippie Presens. Ek is gebore ses-en-twintig July 1979, die jongste van agt kinders.

Enne, in Calvinia, as jy kyk na die verlede, sal ons sien, soos ek gebore is in 1979, het toe’s apartheid op sy sterkste gewees. Was apartheid op sy ergste gewees. En, mý pa, volgens die familie, my ma en my familie, het gesê, oukei, hulle het die apartheidspolisie gaan ingee, my pa is verdwyn. Almal het verdwyn. Seker maar gaan seep koop, ek kan nie sê hy het aspris verdwyn nie, want die apartheidspolisie het nie rêrig daarin belanggestel daai tyd om iemand te gaan soek nie, as die persoon vermis word nie.

So, grootgeword, en, enkelma, agt kinders, so jy kan self dink hoe was die omstandighede. Enne, my ma het ’n tydjie gebly by ’n, by ons antie, ons het daar by ons antie se huis gebly. My antie is nou oorlede, my ma lewe nog.

Enne, elke dag het ons in die stofstrate van Calvinia-Wes gesien hoe die wit mense daai tyd, hulle’t gekom, hulle bring, hulle sê hulle is goeie miesiese, dan bring hulle die, die, hulle bring die huishulp huis toe. Hulle is dan goeie miesiese, want dan bring hulle uit die dorp uit na die lokasie toe. Enne, en dan’t dié vrou my antie se, se missies het altyd die hond voorin gehad en dan my antie agterop gesit. En dit het my van kleins af begin te pla. Hoekom dit so moet wees. Hoekom sit die hond dan nou voorin en my antie agterop.

Maar toe sê hulle, jy moenie praat nie, dis apartheid en jy verstaan nie, jy’s nog kind. Oukei, ek het dit maar daar gelos. Enne, hier gematrikuleer. Ek het in die Kaap gaan werk. Teruggekom Calvinia toe en ek kon weer in die Kaap loop werk, as ek kan, ek kan enige tyd gaan, maar ons wat in Calvinia bly het ’n geskiedenis, ons het (onhoorbaar 02:14) gehad. Die regering doen sy bietjie wat hy het, maar die jeugdiges voel ons nog, daar kan nog bietjie meer vir die jeug gedoen word.

En jy gaan nou sien, ons het een of twee teerstrate in die sogenaamde “lokasie”, het ons een of twee teerstrate, twee, drie strate wat gepaving is, maar op die oomblik is ons bruin mense in beheer, in die dorp, in die Hantam, maar ons kan nie rêrig sien in ons gemeenskap, of ons gebiede waar ons bly, is daar rêrig ontwikkeling nie, gaan dit rêrig vorentoe nie.

En, maar ons is ’n trotse nasie, ons het die rieldansers, in die gemeenskap, ons het die rieldansers. Hier’s baie dinge wat ons kan vorentoe vat, ek persoonlik self wil my eie drama (onhoorbaar 03). Ons gaan dié jaar Fraserburg se Karoo Kunstefees toe, so, ons het baie dinge, máár, dis as ons maar net, as ons kyk na ons geskiedenis, dan sien ons, ons gaan vorentoe beweeg, en dan is dit altyd maar net daai manier van dat ons mekaar wil terughou.

En ek glo Calvinia kan baie ver vorder, nie Calvinia nie, die Hantam, Loeriesfontien, Louisville, en, en, Brandvlei. Ons kan baie ver vorder, maar ons moet daai houding begin te, wat ons mekaar net wil terughou. Ek dink net, dis waar ons probleem lê. Hier’s baie jeugdiges, idees, sakeplanne, maar niemand kom rêrig na vore om hulle te help nie. So, ek is bly vir die bietjie wat jy wil doen. Ons hoop ons kan, ons hoop ons kan. Miskien met julle hulp. Kan ons weer kant toe kom.

Stories wat jy al gehoor het van…?

Hier’s baie stories. Kyk, hier was gangsters gewees in hierdie Calvinia. Ek was ’n klein kind, ’n laaitietjie, en dié straat heet Rooiplaatstraat (?? 04:03) en hulle’t hom genoem Hel (?? 04:06). Kyk hier, jy moet wéét, as jou ma vir jou winkel toe stuur en jy moet Helstraat toe na die Lounge, ons het gesê die Lounge se winkel, gmmf, jy kan maar weet, hulle staan buitekant. Hulle staan, die ouens dié staan hier rondom die Lounge se winkel. Hulle wag net vir jou. Jou ma het jou mos nou gestuur. Hulle wag net dat jy moet ingaan, koop wat jy moet koop, daai change wat jy uitkom. Nou, as jy by die huis kom, jou ma wil nie hoor van daai skollie het my geld, die geld afgevat nie, die change afgevat nie. Sy vat net so, jý, jy’t hom self vir jou gevat. Of jy nou hoe hoog sweer, of laag sweer, jy gaan pak kry, en as jy kyk in vandag se, soos met die nuwe wet en alles, ek sien die kinders kry nie vandag pak nie. Jy was daai tyd eintlik bang, as jou ma jou winkel toe stuur, dan’s jy weet, daai jong gaan my wag my by die winkel.

Maar, daai selfde, soos ons genoem het, daai tyd, skollies, dit was nie skollies nie, hulle’s is ook mense wat die gemeenskap, die vorige spreker wat hier was, daai manne het gekyk na die gemeenskap. Die klas goed wat die jong laaities nou aanvang, het nie gebeur nie, want die manne, wat ons gesê het skollies, hulle’t seker gemaak jy pla nie dié een, of jy pla nie daai een, of jy gaan nie in by daar, of jy gaan nie in by daar nie.

Ek in, in, en baie keer sê die, selfs die polisie sê vandag, hulle kan nog daai tyd met daai destydse skollies kan hulle nog hanteer het, maar dié nuwe generasie, die wat nou, hulle manier van dinge doen is nie ’n vergelyking met soos daai manne was nie. As julle nou geweet het dis Flippie se huis, nee, los Flippie se huis, ons gaan nie inbreek nie, maar met die nuwe tik en al die goed wat ons in die jeug, in die gemeenskap is, die man gee nie om nie, hy wil net sy habit bevredig, so hy gee nie om nie.

Het jy al gehoor van Kaatjie Kekkelbek? Kan jy vir ons sê wat jy gehoor het?

Ek het baie van Kaatjie Kekkelbek gehoor, maar as ons kyk na, wat, wat is die kekkelstorie gewees? Kyk, baie keer was, is die, is jou ma nie ’n huishulp was nie, was miskien ’n huisvrou, en die meeste van ons pa’s was daai tyd, (onhoorbaar 06:18) pa’s wat dit gehad het, tuinier, en so. Werk in die wit mense se tuine, en so. So dié wat by die huis was, Kaatjie Kekkelbek. Hulle was dié wat vir jou, as jy as man, jong, ons het gesien jou vrou staan daar gesels met ’n vriend, ’n mansvriend. Nou moet jy weet, as daai man deur die week gekom het, hy gaan deur die week niks sê nie, hy’t klaar gehoor wat Kaatjie Kekkelbek gesê het. Hy gaan niks sê nie. Vrydag, as hy gepay het, dan kan jy maar weet, dis nou die ou polisiewa, vangwa, hier’s hy. Want daai man kom klaar gepay, hy kom sommer so drink-drink aan. Hy’t net gehoor wat Kaatjie Kekkelbek sê. Hy’t niks te doen met wat sy vrou sê nie. So, dis gesinsgeweld. Dit was in die orde van die dag daai tyd gewees. Gesinsgeweld. So, hy kom baklei net. Hy’s mos nou klaar. Hy kom sommer suip-suip. Kom ek sê sommer so. Kom sommer suip-suip aan. Enne, so Kaatjie Kekkelbek, kyk dit was nie een persoon nie, dit was persone. Wat daai tyd, en so aan.

Maar, soos ek sê, Calvinia het ’n ryk geskiedenis.

Het jy al gehoor van Jan Thomas, en dié manne?

Jan Thomas? Nee. Hy sal miskien vir Jan Thomas ken. Ek ken vir Bokkie Jooste. Ken jy vir Bokkie Jooste?

Vertel ons van Bokkie Jooste.

Bokkie Jooste was ’n bruin polisieman. Hy’s nog steeds in die gemeenskap. Nadat hy afgetree het uit die polisie uit, het hy by (onhoorbaar 07:54) gewerk. Maar Bokkie Jooste was, ha … dit was apartheidsjare. En hy was ’n bruin polisieman, tussen die wit polisiemanne. Maar kyk, jy kan maar watse skollie was, watse agt-en-twintigs, nommer, of sewe-en-twintig of ses-en-twintig, dan kom die blanke polisiemanne in hierdie Calvinia-Wes-lokasie. En as die blanke polisieman uitklim, dan staan daai skollies, ons sê maar skollies, dan staan hulle vas. Ek is maar daai tyd so tien, elf jaar oud.

Dan staan hulle vas. Daai blanke polisieman kan maar wie wees, of wat wees, hulle gaan nie vir hulle laat vat nie. Hulle skiet hulle messe oop, oukapie-messe oop. Maar dan kom George Jooste, Bokkie Jooste. Is ’n bruin polisieman. As hy gestop het, hy’t karate-ka ook gedoen, hy’s nou nog, hy’s ’n baie fikse, hy’s steeds, hy’s ’n redelike ouderdom, seker amper sewentig, onder korreksie nou.

Maar as hy gestop het, jy kan maar watse skollie en watse mes in jou hand het, sy bymekaarkom, en jou bolle knoop (?? onhoorbaar 09:00), is een, is agter in die van. So het, die polisiemanne het daai tyd net gepraat van die special, die wit polisiemanne. Hulle’t net, as hulle weet, hoor dat die skollies baklei in die lokasie, hulle gaan nie sommer gekom het nie, tensy hy’s af, hulle sal eers seker maak, kan ons nie vir hom eers iewers in die hande kry dat hy saam met ons kom nie, want die, die skollies, sal ons maar sê, hulle’t nie die wit polisiemanne rêrig kop toe gevat nie, maar hy’t Bokkie Jooste daar gehad en hy’t ’n hart gehad. Jy kan maar watse, soos ek gesê het, jy kan maar watse skollie was, as hy gekom het vir jou, dan kom hy vir jou. So, dis een wat ek ken daarvan. Meneer Jooste. Soos hulle sê, Bokkie Jooste.