Harriet April

Harriet April was born in Clanwilliam and was 45 years old when the interview was conducted. She moved to Tulbagh with her family when she was eight years old and returned to Clanwilliam in 1997. Her father, Appie April, was the conservator at the Clanwilliam Museum. When he died Harriet April started working as the curator at the museum.

Harriet April speaks about her father’s involvement in the community in starting the youth brigade, establishing the land claims committee, and other projects. She also shares her opinion on the museum and its role in the community.

Harriet April was born in Clanwilliam in 1971 and moved to Tulbagh with her family in 1979, when she was eight years old. She attended primary and high school in Ceres. Her father built a home for their family in Clanwilliam, which they could move to when he retired, as they did in 1997. Upon moving back to Clanwilliam, Harriet’s father, Appie April, realised there was not much happening in terms of community development and consequently started the youth brigade. It was seen as important for the spiritual development of the youth. They took part in competitions and were involved with the community. When Harriet’s father questioned the church’s funding of the program, they kicked the youth brigade out. They then started an NGO named Eland that was involved with schools and started groups such as trompoppies. In 1998 Harriet’s father established the land claims committee. It was then that Harriet realised that she has a heritage, comes from somewhere and has a place she can be proud of.

Harriet describes how her father was physically attacked one day, as he was very outspoken about the Apartheid regime. He was strictly monitored at his job as a warden. He took the assault case to court in Calvinia and won.

In 2014 Harriet’s father passed away and she had to start working. She got the job as curator at the Clanwilliam Museum and says it was quite difficult at first, as she had to do a lot of research and reading up. She also knew that the history the museum was presenting was not entirely true. Visitors and tourists asked her to tell a story of her personal experiences, something more authentic. There has not been much interaction between the museum, and the community and the history that is currently exhibited there is not a representation of the entire community. People express this directly or simply leave the museum, even after paying the entrance fee. Harriet thinks that many who visit do not find what they expect a museum to be.

Harriet emphasizes that interaction is important in the museum and believes that the stories of the community should be captured in the form of a DVD or book. The community has to be present. 

Harriet talks Patrick through a presentation about how to improve the museum and its services. Locals should be treated as tourists as well, and a target market must be identified. There could be a heritage route on which a trained guide takes groups on walks or in a little bus, showing where people of the area lived in the past. In certain homes traditional foods can be served, such as Khoi foods, stews and moerkoffie, and the Nama rieldans could be performed. This is a way of uplifting the community and valuing its culture as well. Guesthouses in the coloured area of Clanwilliam could host visitors in a “house visit” manner, showcasing their ways and lifestyle. Harriet thinks that Patrick’s Time Travel workshop is a great idea.

Harriet says that the people of Clanwilliam do not know that they have a culture or that they, too, come from somewhere. She tells us about the time she went to the local library to find books about her own history and could find only two small children’s books. This was an emotional experience for her, as it feels as if her people never existed – and children must know where they came from.


We can start, okay. I give permission that this recording may be done and  I’m in my right mind and  yes, so we can continue.

Okay, my name is Harriet April. I was born in Clanwilliam. When I was eight years old, we moved, we moved to Tulbagh. It was in about 1979, more or less. And  I was still in primary school and I went to school there, went to high school in Ceres because Tulbagh didn’t have a coloured high school at the time. In the mornings we went by bus to Ceres, stayed in the residence later on, and finished school. Matriculated there. The school’s name was Fred Gaum. And lived in Tulbagh. My pa built us a small house in Clanwilliam later on, with the idea that when he retired, we would return to Clanwilliam, which then also happened.

In 1976, sorry, ’96, ’97, we came back. My pa retired. And then we came to Clanwilliam and said that nothing was happening here with regards to, ah, development, community development for our people, and my pa started the Youth Brigade and we had four pillars on which we,  started the organisation, in the church, because it was important for our spiritual foundation. And we carried on, did well, participated in competitions, was involved in social conditions, that type of thing.

Until the church kicked us out, when my pa started asking questions about the brigade’s money, but we decided we would not take it lying down, because it is so important to do something, to have a strategy to, to develop children and people, and  if people can only realise that, there are things that they could do, and they didn’t have the knowledge. And then we started a non-governmental organisation, its name was Eland (??02:18), where we worked with the Brigade, where we started with the drum majorettes, where we started working inside the school, and outside the school with Project Hope, which was fantastic.

And  in 1998 my pa revived the Land Claims Committee, where I also became involved, and  I realised I came from somewhere, I had a culture I could be proud of. But unfortunately the  politics destroyed the whole good thing, this very powerful structure that we had  politics came and destroyed everything. So, yes, that’s it in a nutshell.

Okay, tell us stories about Clanwilliam that your father told you.

Okay. Uhm…

What is was like, and…

I’ll, I’ll tell you this one. He said that when he was growing up, his, my pa’s one brother was a, made matric, but grew up at my pa and them’s auntie in Stellenbosch. And he was a teacher, he was studying to be a teacher. And my grandpa, for example, had to do two jobs to get him through college, and my pa was in Standard 8. Grade 8, now Standard 6, but that time in matric. And my pa said, when it was exam at the end of the year, or exam time, June, September… November, then the, I don’t know what the name of the policeman was but he had these long shoes. Then he came in, in full uniform, he brought the papers, with his gun at his side, and then you were very scared, it was a big man. And he said it was also their way in those times, they actually wanted to unsettle you so that you wouldn’t get anywhere, or further. Yes. But he was someone who didn’t allow anyone to get the better of him, and things like that. It only inspired him. To, to make something of his school career. He didn’t pass matric, or made it, but he became a warden, and he, he was the first coloured warden who went from here to Kroonstad, got his training there, got it, came back and he started working here, here where I’m now sitting, he worked as a warden. Not for long because he was victimised a lot at the time, monitored, they watched him all the time, because he was an outspoken person. And it was the time of apartheid, you know, and you had to keep your mouth shut. But he didn’t, not at all.

And just like that they brutally assaulted him, on the Saturday, when he was coming from the Doppies [small drinks] bar. They called my grandma, my ma. I was small, I can, I can remember that incident, and, but my grandpa, my grandpa, my pa’s pa worked for Doctor Theron, who was a surgeon. I think he was a surgeon who worked with children, children’s illnesses and so on. But anyhow, he was also a man who didn’t care about apartheid, he let you in at his front door, let you sit at his table, and my grandpa worked for him on the farm Matjies-, Matjiesrivier, I think, Matjiesrivier, yes. And then Doctor Theron and them, the friends he had, they took my pa to Calvinia, at that time you still went to Calvinia. And a case was opened and my pa won the case, and then he stopped being a warden. So.

Tell us how you started here at the museum and what the job entails.

Okay. In 2014, after my pa’s death  I had to go work, because my ma was a pensioner, my sister was All Pay. I had to get out, had to contribute something, and then I saw the advert in Kontrei, applied, didn’t know what it was, knew the (inaudible 06:15), and I tried my luck. I just wanted to work, and I got the job. And  yes, it was in another capacity and as I said this morning  I’ll say it again now, it was a bit difficult for me. Because when I got here, I saw the stuff inside here and I had to, I had to take in the knowledge, I had to read, and read up, and I had to represent something that I knew was not the true state of affairs. But there are ways and means, and  the Lord works so wonderfully. That, that 2014, when I started here, it was December  visitors came here, from overseas, from South Africa, and they would ask you, “We researched your town, tell us more about your side, your history, we don’t want to see what we’re seeing here, tell us more.” And so I found my other, found another angle to present things when people come, depending on what they expect from you and ask of you. And, and this is very ironic, last year we did a tourism course on “excellence”, and what was the other one? “Customer service care” was the first one we wrote the exam on, and one of the things that was so powerful for me  that we learnt, was the reason why people visited South Africa. “Diversity” is one of the, of the factors, and that is what people come looking for when they come in here and then, yes. But I enjoy my work a lot. I enjoy people, I like people and  yes, you can really be yourself. In my work, yes.

What kind of visitor do you get here? Many local visitors, or…?

Okay. Local, no. Oh golly, it’s actually very sad that our people don’t want to come here. They probably have their reasons. Most of the visitors are from overseas, and from other provinces. But from the area, from the town, no, not at all. Very few. I can almost name them on my fingers, and we have tried the schools – we went to the schools, reached out, but there isn’t really any interaction. So I don’t know, somehow it has to do with, people don’t… I have no idea what the reason is, but we mostly get overseas tourists and from upcountry, yes.

Do you think the history that is currently here represents the whole Clanwilliam community?

No, not at all. Not at all, and that is what people come to tell you. When they have walked through and come back, some people just turn around, they say it isn’t representative, and, and it’s wonderful when people are not a problem at all, they walk out. They’ve already paid but… they’re simply not satisfied. So. Many times I think it has to do with people who know what is expected of a museum, how it should be, and then they are people…

What is the future of the museum? Something else that they could do?

When I look at what has been happening here recently, I can put it like this  I have my doubts, and  yes, that up and (inaudible 09:53), I don’t know. I don’t foresee that in the next five years, yes, I don’t know, something is just not completely… I think that maybe the committee is not completely open with me about it, I’m just picking up something…

What do you think should be done to get local people more involved here, also so that they know more about the museum?

I’m now going to start, it’s a very good question because  last year I was in Ceres, at that museum, and wow, what those people do there, I thought – I was at the tourism office, heard how they get the community involved, inside the museum, it was, wow, it was fantastic. And they also gave me a mandate to continue, not to do something specific, but there are ways in which you can do it, and I have ideas that I already, or I have a proposal, and up to today I haven’t had the chance to present it to them. They know about it, so… There are many ways, and you have to have interaction with your community, because three months ago I was at the museum in Moorreesburg, there has to be interaction everywhere, because that is what a tourist wants when he enters the museum, because they are looking for it, yes. Because at the end of the day the museum has to represent the history of the whole community, both sides, and it is about diversity.

How should we get the older community here in Clanwilliam involved with the history of Clanwilliam?

U-u-u-hm, you know, I don’t have a problem with that, but I think that at the end of the day it’s, it’s import- – yes, we have to get those stories, and we have to record it, especially in the form of books, and on a DVD that you can watch – but at the end of the day it’s about, for me it’s about the interaction, the connection between the museum and the community must be there all the time.

Is there maybe a history of Dirk Ligter and those guys here?

No, no, not at all.

Here I have a proposal for the museum. The purpose of this is… We had to do a proposal last year, on the course  to make people more aware of the museum – your learners, your local, especially your local people, also your tourists – make them aware of what they can find in the museum, what they can experience. They shouldn’t simply come, walk around and see the stuff here and read, and then leave – no, we must also have a vision and a mission. We must be able to have a target group, because with the vision and mission you can make the tourist aware of  hey, there was history here. We’re also going to make it a heritage route, and at the end of the day we will also  we can appoint people. We get someone that you train as a tour guide, we get a bus, we make the place very pretty, then we lead from the front and we take people and we take them through the history of where our people lived. And that person, he goes for training, he receives training, and thus we create employment at the end of the day.

And we don’t focus only on flower time, or when there are festivals, but right through the year, so that there can be footsteps to your museum. You get your learners in who get a representative history in the museum. For example, you teach them about a stone that the San people used to make something. You, you let the child touch the stone and then he, he or she knows at the end of the day how people used the stone.

And then  we’re for example going to  we identify houses, for example in our community, you know, where we focus on the Khoi, or the San history, where we take the tourist to those three specific houses uhm. There people will experience the food and the dishes of the Khoi people, something similar, like the roosterbrood* we’re famous for, the stews that our people, in the black pot, and the moerkoffie [coffee made by placing ground coffee in a flannel or muslin bag suspended from the rim of a pot and boiling water in the pot], that type of thing. There is someone who, they, we get children who can maybe do the Nama dances, the riel dances. Or who can sing well. That kind of… but we must begin to put the focus on our people, so that our people can also know it. This is also a way that they can be uplifted, yes, because that is what happened in Elands Bay where the Griquas, the Griqua tradition and culture  is now the focus.

So when the tourist goes, he goes to Elandsbaai, he is also aware of, there are also guest houses in coloured communities where he can go, where you, they call it  “house visits”, where people can go and be part of a family, and how they get up, and what they do, and everything, and sit with them, sit with them at table. So why can’t we also do it here?

It’s not yet happening…

It’s not yet happening in Clanwilliam, and that is actually my whole idea, in the schools, outside the schools, in your community, even outside, your local tourist, or your local people, you have to know they are as much of a tourist. Yes.

What do you think of me maybe organising a day with the oldest inhabitants of Clanwilliam and surrounding places, and with a school that they bring the children, and have them tell the old stories, what Clanwilliam looked like in the past, how life used to be here? How do you think, will it…?

I think, I think, and I know, it will be a very good thing, because if we look at how our people are dying out, the stories are disappearing, I think it is something that you actually have to do as soon as possible, I would say. And that the children are also there, with them, and that they can hear, because let me tell you something interesting – last year they asked me to be a guest speaker at the Heritage Day. It was organised by the Western Cape government and  and I told the guy from the municipality  I wasn’t going to speak about heritage, I would speak about my heritage. And what made me very sad that day, the 24th of September in the community hall, was that our people of Clanwilliam don’t know that they have a culture. That they come from somewhere. And beforehand I went to the library, for information, and I told the minister, the provincial minister, I was very sad, I was very disappointed that I had gone to the library and I had found two little books, like these that the Grade Rs and Grade 1s read, with information about my history, and to me it was, it was very sad to me, and I  I borrowed a few books, wrote down the references and  highlighted stuff, and then I said, I was going to talk from the heart, speak from the heart. Because it is very, very emotional for me, because we, we were here, our people bled here, died here, and it is as if has never happened.

So, that day I specifically spoke to the people of Clanwilliam, the people of the Cedarberg, said that you have to start making your children proud, so that they can know they come from somewhere. Take the Xhosas. Those people live their culture, their children know they come from somewhere, there is tradition and tradition. Why not us as well? That is why our children suffer, and then they like saying, the life of our people, that is the tradition. That is not tradition, it is an ugly habit that was learnt over the years, because we don’t exist. At first we were too coloured, and now I suppose we are too black, but we are nowhere. But we were the first people in South Africa. And what was so wonderful to me that day – when I walked into that hall and saw the Khoi people sitting there, in their traditional clothing, then I felt I belonged to something. I could identify with what I saw there. But our children who were there probably didn’t know what it was, or why, they probably only saw the clothes – okay, those are the Khoi people – but they don’t know that’s where they come from. And that is, I think for me it is more about raising awareness about where we come from. We were here, that is the most important thing.

Harriet April is op Clanwilliam gebore en was 45 jaar oud ten tyde van die onderhoud. Toe sy agt jaar oud was, het sy saam met haar familie na Tulbagh verhuis. In 1997 het sy teruggekeer Clanwilliam toe. Haar pa, Appie April, was bewaarder by die Clanwilliam Museum. Na sy dood het Harriet as kurator by die museum begin werk.

Harriet vertel van haar pa se betrokkenheid by die gemeenskap: hy het ’n Jeugbrigade begin, die grondeisekomitee gestig en ander projekte die lig laat sien. Sy deel ook haar mening oor die museum en die rol wat die museum in die gemeenskap speel.

Harriet April is in 1971 op Clanwilliam gebore en het in 1979 saam met haar familie na Tulbagh verhuis. Sy was toe agt jaar oud. Sy was daar op laerskool, maar op Ceres in die hoërskool. Haar pa, Appie April, het vir hulle gesin ’n huis op Clanwilliam gebou vir wanneer hy eendag aftree, en in 1997 het hulle soontoe getrek. By sy terugkeer na Clanwilliam het Harriet se pa besef daar gaan nie veel aan wat gemeenskapsontwikkeling betref nie, daarom het hy die Jeugbrigade begin. Dit was belangrik vir die geestelike ontwikkeling van die jeug. Hulle het aan kompetisies deelgeneem en was betrokke by die gemeenskap. Toe Harriet se pa by die kerk navraag doen oor die Jeugbrigade se gelde, het die kerk hulle uitgeskop. Toe het hulle ’n nieregeringsorganisasie genaamd Eland gestig wat by die skole betrokke was en groepe soos die trompoppies begin het. In 1998 het Harriet se pa die grondeisekomitee gestig. Dit was toe dat Harriet besef het sy het ’n erfenis, dat sy iewers vandaan kom en dat sy ’n plek het waarop sy trots kan wees.

Harriet beskryf hoe haar pa eendag aangerand is omdat hy baie uitgesproke was oor die apartheidregering. Hy is streng gemonitor by sy werk as bewaarder. Hy het ’n saak van aanranding by die hof op Calvinia aanhangig gemaak en die saak gewen.

In 2014 is Harriet se pa dood en moes sy gaan werk soek. Sy het die pos as kurator by die Clanwilliam Museum gekry. Sy sê dit was nogal moeilik aan die begin omdat sy baie navorsing en leeswerk moes doen. Sy het ook besef dat die geskiedenis wat in die museum uitgebeeld word, nie heeltemal korrek was nie. Besoekers en toeriste het haar gevra om hulle van haar persoonlike ondervindings te vertel, hulle wou iets meer outentiek hoor. Daar is nie veel interaksie tussen die museum en die gemeenskap nie, en die geskiedenis wat tans daar uitgebeeld word is nie verteenwoordigend van die hele gemeenskap en hulle geskiedenis nie. Mense sê dit prontuit of stap net eenvoudig uit, al het hulle reeds die toegangsgeld betaal. Harriet meen van die mense wat die museum besoek vind nie wat hulle verwag om in ’n museum te vind nie.

Harriet beklemtoon dat dit belangrik is om interaksie te hê met die gemeenskap en sy glo dat die stories van die gemeenskap in boekvorm of op ’n DVD vasgevang moet word. Die gemeenskap moet betrokke wees.

Harriet vertel vir Patrick met behulp van ’n voorlegging hoe die museum en sy dienste verbeter kan word. Hulle moet plaaslike inwoners ook as toeriste behandel en ’n teikenmark identifiseer. Daar kan ’n erfenisroete wees waarop ’n opgeleide gids groepe toeriste te voet of in ’n bussie vergesel en vir hulle wys waar mense van die omgewing in die verlede gebly het. Tradisionele disse kan in sekere huise voorgesit word, soos Khoi-geregte, bredies en moerkoffie, en kinders kan die Namas se rieldans doen. Dit is ’n manier om die gemeenskap op te hef en terselfdertyd erkenning aan hulle kultuur te gee. Gastehuise in die bruin deel van Clanwilliam kan besoekers tydens “huisbesoeke” onthaal en so die mense aan hulle gewoontes en lewenstyl bekend stel. Harriet dink Patrick se Time Travel-werkswinkel is ’n baie goeie idee.

Harriet sê die mense van Clanwilliam weet nie dat hulle ’n kultuur het en dat hulle ook van iewers af kom nie. Sy vertel hoe sy na die plaaslike biblioteek toe is om boeke oor haar eie geskiedenis te gaan soek en toe net twee dun kinderboekies kon kry. Dit was vir haar ’n emosionele ervaring, want dit het gevoel asof haar mense nooit bestaan het nie – en kinders moet weet waar hulle vandaan kom.

Kan maar begin, oukei. Ek gee toestemming dat hierdie opname mag gedoen word, enne, ek is by my volle positiewe, enne, ja, so ons kan maar voortgaan.

Oukei, my naam is Harriet April. Ek is gebore in Clanwilliam. Ek was agt jaar oud toe vertrek ons, verhuis ons na Tulbagh. Dit was so in 1979, om en by. Enne, ek was nog op laerskool, enne, daar skoolgegaan, hoërskool toe gegaan, in Ceres, want Tulbagh het nog nie daai tyd ’n bruin hoërskool gehad nie, en dan het ons soggens met die bus gegaan Ceres toe, lateraan by die koshuis gebly, en skool klaargemaak. Matrikuleer daarso. Fred Gaum was die skool se naam. En gebly in Tulbagh. My pa het later vir ons ’n huisietjie in Clanwilliam gebou, met die doel as hy eendag daar aftree, dan kom ons terug Clanwilliam toe, wat toe ook so gebeur het.

In 1976, ekskuus, ’96, ’97, het ons teruggekom. My pa het afgetree. En toe het ons Clanwilliam toe gekom en gesê dat hier sal niks gebeur wat betref, ah, ontwikkeling, gemeenskapsontwikkeling vir ons mense nie, en my pa het die Jeugbrigade begin en ons het vier pilare gehad waarop ons,  die organisasie begin het in die kerk, omdat dit belangrik was vir onse geestelike fondasie. En ons het aangegaan, goed aangegaan, deelgeneem aan kompetisies, betrokke gewees by sosiale omstandighede, al daai tipe van goed.

Totdat die kerk ons uitgeskop het, toe my pa beginne vrae vra oor die brigade se gelde, maar besluit ons gaan nie plat lê nie, want dit is so belangrik om iets te doen, ’n strateeg te hê om, om kinders en mense te ontwikkel en, en,  as mense net kan weet, daar is goed wat jy kan doen en hulle het nie die kennis gehad nie. En toe het ons ’n nieregeringsorganisasie begin, Eland (??02:18) was sy naam, wat ons die brigade ook gevat het daarso, waar ons begin het met die trompoppies, waar ons begin het om binne die skool te werk, en buite die skool met Project Hope, wat fantasties was.

Enne, 1998 het my pa die Grondeise-komitee weer beginne, waar ek ook betrokke geraak het, enne, besef het, maar ek kom van iewers, ek het ’n kultuur waarop ek trots kan wees. Maar ongelukkig het die,  politiek die hele goeie ding, hierdie baie powerful structure wat ons gehad het,  het die politiek alles kom verongeluk. So, ja, dit is sommer so in ’n neutedop saamgevat.

Oukei, vertel vir ons stories van Clanwilliam wat jou pa vir jou vertel het.


Hoe dit gewees het, en …

Ek gaan, ek gaan vir u dié ene vertel. Hy’t gesê, toe hy nou grootgeword het, sy, my pa se een broer was ’n, het matriek gemaak, maar by my pa-hulle se antie in Stellenbosch grootgeword. En hy was ’n onderwyser, hy’t studeer vir onderwyser. En my oupa, byvoorbeeld, moes twee werke doen om hom deur die kollege te kry, en my pa was in standerd ag. graad ag, of nou standerd ses, maar daai tyd in matriek. En dan het my pa vertel, as dit nou die einde van die jaar eksamen, of eksamentyd, Junie, September … Novembermaand, en dan kom die, ek weet nie wat was die poliesman se naam nie, maar hy’t sulke lang skoene gehad. Dan’t hy ingekom, met sy hele uniform, hy bring nou die vraestelle, en met sy gun aan sy sy, en dan, jy is so vreesbevange, en dis ’n groot man. En hy sê, dit was ook ’n manier daai tyd hoe hulle jou eintlik wou ontwrig het om iets, of iewers te kom. Ja. Maar soos hy was mos nou iemand wat nie vir hom laat onderkry het nie, en sulke goed nie. En dit het hom net aangespoor. En om, om iets te maak van sy skoolloopbaan. Hy het toe nie matriek geslaag nie, of gemaak nie, maar hy het ’n bewaarder geword, waar hy, hy was die eerste bruin bewaarder wat gegaan hiervan af Kroonstad toe, sy opleiding daar gekom, gekry het, teruggekom het en hy het hier beginne werk, hier waar ek nou sit, het hy gewerk as ’n bewaarder, ook nie vir lank nie, want hy was mos daai tyd baie geviktimiseer, gemonitor, hulle het hom baie dopgehou, want hy was mos iemand wat outspoken was. En dit was mos apartheidsjare en jy moes maar jou mond gehou het, maar hy het glad nie.

En sommer so dat hulle hom brutaal aangerand het, op die Saterdag terwyl hy van die Doppies-bar af gekom het. Hulle het my ouma geroep, my ma, ek was klein, ek kan dit, daai insident kan ek onthou, en, maar my oupa, my oupa, my pa se pa het by dokter Theron gewerk, wat ’n chirurg was, ek dink hy was ’n chirurg wat met kinders, kindersiektes en so, maar anyhow. Dit was ook ’n man wat nie omgegee het van apartheid nie, hy het jou by die voordeur laat inkom, by die tafel laat sit, en my oupa het by hom gewerk op die plaas Matjies-, Matjiesrivier, dink ek, Matjiesrivier, ja. En toe dokter Theron hulle, die, sy vriende wat hy gehad het, en hulle het my pa gevat Calvinia toe, daai tyd gaan jy nog Calvinia toe. En daar is ’n saak hangende gemaak, en my pa het die saak toe gewen, en toe’t hy sommer die bewaarderskap ook gelos. So.

Vertel vir ons hoe jy hier begin het by die museum, en wat die werk behels.

Oukei. Ek het, ek het in twintig veertien, na my pa se dood,  moes ek gaan werk, want my ma is ’n pensioenaris, my suster is All Pay, ek moes uitspring, moes net ietsie by te dra, en toe sien ek die advertensie in die Kontrei, aansoek gedoen, nie geweet wat dit is nie, geweet die (onhoorbaar 06:15), en ek vat toe maar die kans. Ek wil toe nou net werk, en ek kry toe die werk. Enne, ja, dit was maar net iets in ’n ander hoedanigheid, en, soos ek vanoggend tereg gesê het,  ek sal dit nou weer sê, was dit vir my ’n bietjie moeilik. Want dit, toe ek hier kom, sien ek die goed hier binne en ek moes my nou,  die kennis moes ek nou inneem, ek moes lees, en oplees, en ek moes iets verteenwoordig wat ek weet dis nie die ware toedrag van sake nie, maar daar’s mos maniere, enne, die Vader werk so wonderlik. Daai, daai twintig veertien, toe ek hier begin het, dit was Desember,  kom hier besoekers, van oorsee, van Suid-Afrika, dan vra hulle vir jou: “Ons het navorsing gedoen oor jou dorp, vertel vir ons meer julle kant, julle geskiedenis, ons wil nie dit sien wat ons hier sien nie, vertel ons meer.” En so het ek my ander, ’n ander angle gekry, van hoe om die ding aan te bied. As mense kom, afhangende mos nou wat hulle van jou verwag en hulle van jou vra. En, en, wat baie ironies is, verlede jaar het ons ’n kursus gedoen oor toerisme. So dis “excellence”, en wat is die ander een? “Customer service care” was die eerste een waarvoor ons die eksamen geskryf het en een van die dinge wat toe nou vir my so powerful was,  wat ons geleer het, was hoekom mense Suid-Afrika kom besoek. Diversity is een van die, van die faktore, en dit is wat mense kom soek wanneer hulle hier inkom en dan, ja. Maar ek geniet baie my werk. Ek geniet mense, ek hou van mense, enne, ja, dan kan ek my lekker uitlewe. In my werk, ja.

Vertel vir ons watter tipe besoekers kry jy hierso. Baie plaaslike besoekers, of …?

Oukei. Plaaslik, nee. O jene, dit is eintlik baie hartseer dat ons mense nie hiernatoe wil kom nie, hulle het seker maar hulle redes. Die meeste besoekers wat ons kry, is maar van oorsee af, en van ander provinsies. Maar uit die area uit, uit die dorp uit, nee, glad nie. Baie min. Ek kan amper op my vingers noem, en ons het al probeer na die skole, ons het gegaan na die skole toe, uitgereik, maar daar’s nie interaksie regtig nie. So, ek weet nie, iewers het dit maar ook, iets wat mense nie … Ek weet glad nie wat die rede is nie, maar meestal die oorsese toeriste en uit die binneland, ja.

Dink u die geskiedenis wat tans hier is, beeld die hele gemeenskap van Clanwilliam uit?

Nee, glad nie. Glad nie, en dit is wat mense vir jou kom sê, en as hulle deurgestap het en hulle kom terug, party mense draai sommer om, en dan wat hulle sê, dis nie verteenwoordigend nie, en, en wonderlik is mense wat glad nie ’n probleem is nie, dan stap hulle uit. Hulle het klaar betaal, maar dan, hulle is net nie tevrede nie. So. Ek dink baie keer het dit ook te make met mense wat weet wat verwag word in ’n museum, hoe dit moet wees, en dan’s hulle die mense …

Wat is die toekoms van die museum? Iets anders wat hulle kan doen?

As ek nou moet vat, dit wat nou die afgelope tyd hier aangegaan het, kan ek dit so stel,  het ek ook maar my bedenkinge, enne, ja, daai op en (inaudible 09:53) ek weet nie. Ek sien dit nie vir die volgende vyf jaar, ja, ek weet nie, iets is net nie vir my heeltemal … Ek dink, miskien is die komitee nie met my baie oop nie, daaroor nie, maar ek tel net iets op.

Hoe dink u, wat moet gedoen word om plaaslike mense meer betrokke te kry hierso, en ook lat hulle meer weet van die museum?

Ek gaan nou gou begin, dis ’n baie goeie vraag, want,  verlede jaar was ek in Ceres, by daai museum. En sjoe, wat daai mense doen daarso is, ek het gedog – ek was by die toerismekantoortjie in, hoor hoe hulle die gemeenskap betrokke kry, binne die museum. Dit was – jô, jô – dit was fantasties gewees. En hulle het vir my ook ’n mandaat gegee om voort te gaan, nie iets spesifieks so te doen nie, maar daar is mos maniere wat jy kan doen en ek sit met idees wat ek al, of ek het ’n voorlegging, en tot op vandag toe het ek nooit die kans gehad om dit aan hulle voor te lê nie. Hulle weet daarvan, so … Daar’s verskriklik baie maniere, en jy moet interaksie hê met jou gemeenskap, want ek was drie maande gelede by Moorreesburg se museum, oral, moet interaksie plaasvind, want dit is wat ’n toeris verlang as hy binne die museum gaan kom, want hulle soek dit, ja. Want die museum moet aan die einde van die dag die geskiedenis van gemeenskap, beide kante, verteenwoordig, en dit gaan oor diversity.

Nou hoe dink u moet ons die ouer gemeenskap hier in Clanwilliam betrokke kry met die geskiedenis van Clanwilliam?

U-u-u-hm, wee’ jy, ek het nie ’n probleem daarmee nie, maar ek dink aan die einde van die dag gaan dit, gaan dit belang-, – ja, daai stories moet ons ook kry, en ons moet dit vasvang, hetsy, veral in ’n boekvorm, en op ’n DVD wat jy kan kyk – maar aan die einde van die dag gaan dit, gaan dit vir my oor die interaksie wat daar is, die skakeling tussen die museum en die gemeenskap moet daar gedurig wees.

Is hier miskien ’n geskiedenis van Dirk Ligter en dié manne?

Nee, nee, glad nie.

Ek sit hier met ’n voorlegging vir die museum. Die doel van hierdie ding is ons moes ’n voorlegging doen verlede jaar met die kursus, enne,  om, om die mense meer bewus te maak van die museum, van jou leerders, jou plaaslike, veral jou plaaslike mense, ook jou toeris, maak hulle bewus van wat hulle binne-in die museum kan kry, wat hulle kan ervaar en dan moet hulle nie net inkom, stap en sien hier is goedjies en lees, en dan gaan jy uit nie. Nee, ons moet ook ’n visie en ’n missie hê. Ons moet ’n teikengroep kan hê, want met jou visie en jou missie kan jy die toeris bewus maak van,  man, hier was ’n geskiedenis, ons gaan dit ook ’n heritage route vat, maar aan die einde van die dag gaan ons ook mense,  kan ons mense aanstel. Ons kry iemand wat jy oplei as ’n toergids, jy, ons kry ’n bussie, ons maak die plek baie pragtig, dan trek ons van voor af en ons vat mense en ons vat hulle deur die geskiedenis van wáár óns mense gebly het. En daai persoon, hy gaan vir opleiding, hy kry training, en so skep ons werk aan die einde van die dag.

En dan fokus ons nie net op blommetyd of wanneer dit feeste is nie, maar ook dwarsdeur die jaar, dat daar voetstappe na jou museum kan wees. Jy kry jou leerders in wat die geskiedenis verteenwoordigend kry in die museum. Jy leer hulle byvoorbeeld van, daar’s ’n klippie wat die San-mense gebruik het om iets te maak. Jy, jy lat dan die kind aan die klippie vat en dan hy, hy of sy weet dan aan die einde van die dag hoekom dié mense daai tyd die klippie gebruik het.

En dan,  ons gaan byvoorbeeld,   ons identifiseer byvoorbeeld huise uit, in ons gemeenskap, nè, wat ons op die Khoi- of die San-geskiedenis fokus, waar ons die toeris vat tot daai drie spesifieke huise, uhm. Mense gaan daar gaan ervaar die kos, en die disse wat die Khoi-mense, so iets soortgelyk, soos die roosterbrood waarvoor ons bekend is, die bredies waarvan ons mense, in die swartpot, en die moerkoffie, al daai tipe van goed. Daar’s iemand wat, hulle, ons kry kinders wat miskien die Nama-danse kan doen, die rieldanse. Of goed kan sing. Sulke tipe van … maar dat die fokus beginne plaas word op óns mense, en dat ons mense ook kan weet, uit dit uit is daar ook vir ons ’n manier waarop hulle kan ge-uplift word, ja, want dit is wat in Elandsbaai gebeur het, waar hulle die Griekwas – die Griekwa-tradisie en -kultuur,  is nou die fokuspunt.

So, as die toeris gaan, hy gaan Elandsbaai toe, maar hy is tog ook bewus van, daar is ook gastehuise in bruin gemeenskappe waarnatoe ons kan gaan, waar jy, hulle noem dit,  “house visits”, enne, waar mense kan gaan en gaan deel wees van ’n huisgesin, en hoe hulle opstaan en wat hulle doen en alles, en sit met hulle, sit met hulle aan tafel. So, hoekom kan ons dit nie hier ook doen nie?

Dit gebeur nog nie …

Dit gebeur nog nie op Clanwilliam nie, en dit is eintlik my hele gedagte. In die skole, buite die skole, in jou gemeenskap, selfs buitekant, maar jou plaaslike toeris, of jou plaaslike mense moet jy weet, is net so ’n toeris. Ja.

Wat dink u as ek so ’n dag miskien kan reël met van die oudste inwoners hier van Clanwilliam en omliggende plekke, en dan nou weer met ’n skool dat hulle weer van daai skoolkinders, en dat hulle die ou stories kom vertel, hoe Clanwilliam destyds gelyk het, hoe die lewe hier gewees het? Hoe dink u, sal dit …?

Ek dink, ek dink, ek dink dit en ek weet dit, dit sal ’n baie goeie ding wees, want as ons kyk hoe ons mense uitsterf, en die stories gaan tot niet, dink ek dit is iets wat jy amper moet verhaas, sal ek sê. Maar dat die kinders ook daar sit, met hulle, en dat hulle kan hoor, want kom ek vertel nou vir u ’n interessantheid. Verlede jaar het hulle vir my gevra om ’n gasspreker te wees by die Erfenisdag. En, dit was deur die Wes-Kaapse regering gereël, enne, en ek sê toe vir die outjie van die munisipaliteit,  ek gaan nie oor erfenis praat nie, ek gaan oor mý erfenis praat. En wat vir my baie hartseer was daai dag, vier-en-twintigste September in die gemeenskapsaal, óns mense van Clanwilliam weet nie hulle het ’n kultuur nie. Dat hulle iewers vanaf kom. En ek het vooraf het ek gegaan na die biblioteek toe, vir inligting, en ek sê dit vir die minister, die provinsiale minister, ek is baie hartseer, ek is báie teleurgesteld dat ek kom in die biblioteek en ek kry twee klein boekies, soos dié wat die graad R en graad een lees, met inligting oor mý geskiedenis en dit was vir my, dit was vir my baie hartseer, en ek het,  goedjies uitgeneem, die bronne neergeskryf, enne, goed ge-highlight, en toe sê ek: I’m going to talk from the heart, uit my hart uit praat, want dit is te, ’n te emosionele ding vir my gewees, want ons, ons was hier, ons mense het hier gebloei, hier gesterf, en dit was of dit nooit bestaan het nie.

So, daai dag het ek spesifiek gepraat met Clanwilliam, Sederberg se mense, dat julle moet julle kinders beginne trots maak, sodat húlle kan weet hulle kom iewers vandaan. Vat die Xhosas. Daai mense leef hul kultuur uit, hulle kinders weet hulle kom iewers vandaan, daar’s tradisie en tradisie. Hoekom nie ons ook nie? Dis hoekom ons kinders ly, en dan wil hulle sê, die lewe van ons mense, dis die tradisie. Dis nie tradisie nie, dis ’n lelike aanwendsel wat ons oor die jare aangeleer het, because we don’t exist. Ons was eers te bruin, en nou is ons seker weer te swart, maar ons is nêrens, maar ons was die eerste mense in, in Suid-Afrika. En, wat vir my so wonderlik was, daai spesifiek dag, toe ek instap by daai saal en ek sien daar sit die Khoi-mense, met hulle tradisionele kleredrag, toe voel ek, ek behoort aan iets. Toe kon ek vir my vereenselwig met dit wat ek daar sien. Maar ons kinders wat daar was, het seker nie geweet wat dit was, of hoekom, hulle het seker die klere net gesien, oukei, dis die Khoi-mense, maar hulle weet nie hulle kom daarvandaan nie. En dit is, ek dink vir my gaan dit meer oor bewusmaking van waar ons vandaan kom, ons wás hierso, daai’s die belangrikste.