Helena Joubert

Helena Joubert was born in an area known as Die Rug in 1958. She talks about growing up on Klipgat farm, doing her chores and skipping school. Helena left home and started work at a young age.

Helena Joubert shares her experiences of the different families she worked for in Vredendal, Cape Town and Sea Point. She was given her house in Algeria in 2010 and only recently retired.

Helena Joubert was born in Die Rug in 1958 and lived there until 1964, when she moved to Kleinhoek with her family. In 1966 she started going to school at Grootkloof NG Laerskool. She says she and her friend (or brother?) Paul would only go to school for about two weeks a month, and otherwise just stayed away from home during school hours. Somebody told on them one day and they got the hidings of their lives. Paul blamed her for them not going to school, so she got a worse hiding than him. They would leave home for school and once they got to the poort Paul would complain that his legs were sore and he couldn’t take another step. When he failed the year his parents told him he had to start working. Helena went to live with her grandmother. When her grandmother started to receive a pension Helena had to move, as her grandmother could not have any dependants.

Helena quit school in Standard 4 because her parents could not afford for her to continue. They always had enough food, and her chores entailed going to fetch small pieces of wood for the fire. She went home to Klipgat for the holidays, where life was a lot harder. Her family had little food and money. They received second hand clothes from Capetonians, which her mother fixed and washed for them to wear. Her mother walked with a walking stick and slept on a mattress stuffed with corn leaves. One day she bought herself a sponge mattress with the money she made from cutting buchu. They had to carry buckets of water to water the garden at Klipgat, and they played dollhouse with what they found in the veld.

When Helena was 13 years old she moved to Vredendal to work for a family, looking after their child. She she cried for two months and did not even know how to make a bed properly. The people she worked for were teachers and were neat in a way that she was not familiar with. They taught her to work for them in a way they liked. Helena says she worked like a slave for them. When the family dropped Helena off at the poort, they paid Helena’s mother R16 for all Helena’s work. She then went to work in Cape Town for R5 a month, and the mother of the family said she would buy her clothes. When she was 16 years old she was let go. Moving back home, she went to work in a hotel for R8 a week, but made a lot more money with tips. She had to clean eight rooms a day and then wash dishes in the afternoon. After this job she returned to Cape Town to work for a family in Sea Point, where she also took care of a child. The mother said to Helena that the child was more like Helena’s than her own. She went walking with the child by the beach and chatted to the many other housekeepers, who went to walk the dogs of the families they worked for. She made a friend called Jacqui and another friend from Heuningvlei. Most housekeepers were from the countryside. She would visit Jacqui on Fridays, babysit and then go back to Jacqui’s to continue the party. Helena went to Newlands one morning to watch the Currie Cup.

Helena walked the Sea Point beaches flat in the evenings, when all the housekeepers went for walks. She received a First Aid diploma. After Helena and her friends went out partying, white people would always follow them in the streets. She went home to the kloof eventually and tells of how she hitchhiked home one day after going to the dentist.

When Helena got married she stayed at home and got contracts to wash and iron. She got her house in 2010, and her husband passed away in 2013. She continued his contract work until it ended. Helena worked to give her daughter pocket money and money for clothes while she was at university. Now her daughter works and Helena does not need to work anymore.


My name is, I was actually born Helena Johanna Magrieta Joubert. I was born here at the, on the Rug [Back], how did they, on the Rug, in 1958, on the 20th of December. Then… Can I continue, Patrick? I can still remember that, I lived there, and probably around 1964, my ma and my pa, we moved to Kleinhoek. And there I lived and from there I went to school in 1966, and it was at Grootkloof Primary. The school was previously called Grootkloof DRC Primary School.

Me and Paul were still together, we were the last two who were still going to school. We played truant a lot. Paul would have sore legs, then we stayed out of school for about two, two weeks in a month, and then two weeks again the next month. Then we lied to my ma and them – we’d been at school, we’d done our homework along the way. One day Sus came to the shop, then Kaatjie and Tol and them asked, “But where are Hanna and Paul, Miemie?” We hadn’t been to school. Then Miemie said, “They walk to school every day, and every afternoon when school closes for the day, they come home.”

So it came to light, and Ma, Miemie told Ma, and we got the hiding of our lives and… But then we had to go to school again, and we got to school, and Master Pietersen, Paul was in his class and I was, I think Miss Honnie was my teacher, and just before break I was called by the principal. Paul had already told his story and Paul had said that I didn’t want to come to school. And I was still small, beforehand he’d already warned me, “Open your mouth, me and you are alone on the way, and then you are on your own, we’ll scare you with the tortoise.”

I still said, “You yourself are scared of the tortoise, [laughs] you yourself are scared of the tortoise.”

But anyhow. Paul had turned everything on me and he also got a hiding but not as badly as me, because it was I, wasn’t it, because, his… We would walk just up to the, to below the Poort, then he’d say, “Hanna, man, my legs are sore now, I can’t walk another step.”

Whether it was true, or whether it wasn’t true, up to today I can’t say, but then my parents thought… He failed Standard 7 at the end of the year, and the next year he* said, “You’ll now go and work, you can’t go on like this. Hanna will go to school on her own.”

So it came that I had to walk to school on my own. At the time I was living with Grandma Hanna, who has passed away, here next to the river, close to where we’re living now. There I, I don’t know how long I stayed there, because then Grandma Hanna got a pension and in those years people were still terribly serious about doing the right thing, and if you got a state grant, you couldn’t have boarders as well.

Auntie Katriena said, “Ma has to send that child away from Ma.”

So it came about that Ma then asked Grandma Drieka. Grandma Drieka and them were then living at Witoog. Then I went to Witoog to Grandma Drieka. Bet was still at school as well. Jan Dassie was only half a boarder. We, us three went to school together. I completed my school career in 1972, 1971, or thereabouts. Grandma Drieka was angry with my ma because I didn’t go to school any longer but there was simply no money, and Grandma Drieka only asked one rand per month for me, and I got more than enough food. There were no problems. And the only work we had to do was like picking up kindling, and wood, carrying wood. I really liked living there. That year Lena, in that year Lena Jaat (?? 05:07) was born. Auntie Bysie came from Eikeboom because Grandma Drieka acted as midwife.

And just the, I can remember it well, in the March of one year, the night Lena was born, then it was school holiday, then I went home. Klipgat, to Klipgat. But it was terrible in Kleinhoek, those were not nice years, those years. We had a hard time, because there wasn’t much food, food had to, because my father didn’t have, only had these temporary jobs. Forestry had a fire season in the winter in those years, then Pa would ask ask whether Pa could help for three months, then they employed Pa in a temporary position. Pa guided the mountaineers and he worked at the farmers. So money was scarce. Scarce. Those years, you could wear old clothes, which your mother got from the Cape people, then you had to wash it so that you could wear it. We didn’t really wear mended clothes, but the men wore mended clothes.

One morning, I was already working in the Cape, I’ll never forget it. Ma and Pa and Paul, and Wittes, they were busy preparing to go to Boegoeberg [Buchu* Mountain]. It was early January, we were still at home, I was working in the Cape then, we were still in bed in the metses (?? 06:44), that is the kitchen because the house and the kitchen were not connected. They were quarrelling, there in the kitchen. Ma always had a kierie, Old Klasie used to say, “Old Paul, where is your wife going with the kierie?”

Then Pa would say, “Baas* Klasie, when that woman puts down that kierie, she has me.”

That morning, we were still lying down but we were awake, we listened to how they were packing, because it was, they were going high into Jadouw’s mountain for two weeks to cut buchu. And Paul said to Ma, “Ma walks around fancily dressed and I have to walk around in rags.”

But anyhow, they went to cut buchu. Those years my ma and them, we also got money. My ma, those years we still had mattresses stuffed with coir and mealie leaves and chaff. So my ma took some of that buchu money and bought a sponge mattress for herself, here from, from old Tielman. When Ma saw old Mieta one day, old Mieta said, “Old Hanna, I hear you’re lying on a sponge mattress, which I can’t lie on.”

Then Ma said, “Nooi*, if Nooi can’t buy one for Nooi, then it’s Nooi’s own doing.”

So we… Terrible… We were also responsible for Uncle Neels and them, and Uncle Dan and them, cleaned up a bit there because they were only men, and, but Uncle Neels kneaded himself, askoek*, he kneaded an askoek every day. During the mornings the guy was busy in the cave and in the afternoons he worked in the garden. My late pa had children, the gardens below the water, below the spring belonged to them. My late pa’s garden was above the spring. So we always had to look after the sweet potatoes and the mealies, and fetch water. The buckets of water were so heavy that you could actually feel how tired you were, but you wanted to finish watering the garden because you wanted to go and play, because it was, those years there weren’t phones and me and Jantjies and Sus, we played doll’s house together. There weren’t any dolls, only old cloths wound together and rocks were the homes, and all the old broken crockery we’d picked up, that was the dishes, and we placed stones, those were the settee couches, and tables and things we had there.

And what I also can remember very well, we could, we did the washing at the spring and we lived quite far from the spring. The heavy basins with washing that you had to carry to the washing line. Jantjies always helped me. We… Paul was already working then, at the time, yes. When I came from the Cape, yes, Paul was already working for Forestry. During the week, here in the Forestry town, he… and we were alone there. Jantjies wasn’t working, but Jantjies got me to do the washing and to carry stuff, to fetch wood, because we had those outside ovens, you still had to bake in them. Baking took place on Fridays. You had to, first you had to knead, then you had to fetch your load of wood in the veld, then you had to make a fire, and then you put the bread in the pan, and when it had risen, the oven had to be ready, warm, then you put it in, and… In winter it was difficult, then you had to dry out the oven first because the oven was wet and you had to spend most of the morning in the bushes looking for firewood and… The oven had to get warm, and dry. So it was also, those were nice years but actually also hard years.

But I wasn’t actually there a lot, I was mostly away to work, because if you no longer went to school, you had to work. When I was 13 years old I had to go work in Vredendal. Looking after children. I cried for two months because I didn’t even know how to make a bed properly and those people were teachers, and those people only wanted, were very neat, and this was something we didn’t know. But that was how I learnt. The, old Gree (?? 11:56), who has passed away, worked at Mister Pietersen before Koekenaap. I worked for the Baylies at Vergenoeg in Vredendal, and then one day I realised that old Gree had already gone home. But this teacher knew, because they were friends with Mister Pietersen and them, and so it happened that the Baylie girl heard and she then told me about Magrieta having already gone home. I think, they didn’t say anything to me, one day this woman came to me, the woman asked me, “Helena, don’t you want to, are you going to stay with us, soon it is school holiday, are you going home?”

So I said, “I’ll think about it.”

But I didn’t think I would stay because she didn’t know that I knew that old Gree was gone. She told me nothing. Her pa asked the same question, and she said I was going home. So I pleaded and I looked after the baby, actually worked like a slave in that house. And early in December the school closed and on the Saturday they brought me home. Dropped me there in the Poort, because we didn’t have, they didn’t have a road to drive on. She said that they would return in the afternoon and my ma had to be waiting next to the road. I took the message without having received a cent. I’d worked there for two months. They came that afternoon, and my ma was also next to the road, then they told my ma that they paid me eight rand per month, I got 16 rand for the two months. Then Ma told them, “But you could give ten rand now.” So Ma took the money. I stayed home again. I was still 13 years old. Miss Pietersen said to me, “Lena, you’ve become fat in Vredendal.” At the time I didn’t even have breasts.

Thus it also happened that, thus I worked. Auntie Hanna, who lived in town, came one day, she asked whether I would come to look after Esmie. Esmie was a baby and she was working at the hotel. Later I grew up and then she said she didn’t need me any more. So I again… Auntie Maria Doep came from the Cape, I had to come look after his* children, Christie and Dawid and – they were at school but Gina and Lyn were still small. There I, I can no longer remember but I worked there for a couple of years. For five rand per month. They promised my ma they would buy clothes for me, clothes were cheaper in the Cape, and thus it came about, and I actually grew up there. I confirmed, was confirmed there. Then Auntie Maria lost her job and told me, she didn’t have jobs any more.

Then I just came home again, I think I was 16 or thereabouts, then I just came home again. The next, but I stayed here, it was December, in February Auntie Hanna and old Theunis came again, from town. The hotel had work for me. I could just pack, packed and went with them. I worked in the hotel. Oh Lord, we worked really hard, we got eight rand per week. But our tips were very nice. I was a chambermaid and worked in the dining room. Then your tips were far more than your week’s pay. It was probably all they knew, but old Nancy, old Reinhold’s wife, didn’t like me much because I was too white. But she at least made sure that I – one evening it happened that, I don’t know what kind of people it was but they wanted to take photos of me. Then the others servants there said, “Hanna, one of these days you’ll be in the film.”

I just said, “But I didn’t say anything.”

But in this way I, I enjoyed working there. In the flower season we got lots of people. In the morning you got there at about nine o’clock in your – I was actually a chamber maid, as I said – in your room and you had up to eight rooms that you had to clean by afternoon. You were unable to do them all, because in the afternoon you had to be in the kitchen, washing dishes. After, after, after you’d finished it was close to three o’clock, then you had to go back and clean your rooms further, because the hotel was fully booked. The busses just kept coming.

One day, in room number two, it was actually our most beautiful room, I found a woman’s ring. We’d been told to hand it in at Reception. And I took the ring, delivered it, we had, I continued with my work and our forewoman, I don’t know what she was exactly, came to me one day. She told me the people who’d been in Room number two, where I’d found the ring, left something for me at Reception. She asked her daughter, they were English, “Do you know Hanna?”

Then the girl said, “Yes, Mommy, I know her, that is the girl with the red cheeks.”

So I was a beautiful woman, as they… I finished there, I can’t quite remember when, but in October, November, Uncle Willie found work for me at Smit and Co. There I walked and walked and walked. Delivered. Just yesterday I told Lena, it was walking until you got to rooibos* tea. Delivering things. To the post office, to the bank. Everywhere. I enjoyed working there as well, but then I lost lodging. I didn’t go back to work the following year, they were actually terribly, terribly disappointed, but I didn’t want to be there any more, and in the middle of that time, a few months at home, then I went back to the Cape to work.

First I was, worked in Brooklyn, only for a few days, because my room was in the room where the missies* and the oubaas* slept. Couldn’t even take my chommie* or someone there, so I only worked there for 18 days, then I left. Went to Auntie Maria. Auntie Maria stayed at a woman, missies* Barries, and charred. She worked for the fancy Jewish people, Newlands, Rondebosch, Constantia, she worked around there.

One day she called her house, asked whether I’d found work. I said no and she said she had a job for me, in Sea Point. I also enjoyed working there, the godmother also came to work there later on. I also looked after a child, I loved that child so much. That woman eventually said that the child wasn’t hers, the child was mine. In the morning, before we did anything – I didn’t live at the flat where I worked, I had to walk but it wasn’t too far and when I got there, I only gave the child his porridge, then we dressed the child and, not in winter, in summer, hadn’t done any housework yet, then we hit the road and, we only lived one street from the beach, we walked around on the beachfront, there you found other servants walking the missies’ dogs. Yes, at around ten o’clock we were back home, then the child had to sleep and I had to work.

At one o’clock I finished, then I was on lunchtime, started again at four o’clock. Thus I got to know Auntie Marie of Heuningvlei. She worked close by. My godmother also worked there and I had a friend, Jackie. I walked, I… between Main Road and High Level, she worked at the end of High Level Road. The bus drivers knew me well because I walked so often on the road, then they gave me a lift. So then I visited here. Sometimes we were rowdy, on Friday afternoons, nearly every Friday evening I had to do babysitting. Yes. When I got to Jackie in the afternoon, Jackie had our drinks ready for us. There we sat with a beer, the other he* kept. We were light on petrol, you quickly felt you were getting tipsy, and then I still had to go do babysitting.

In the evenings the ma brought, they didn’t want me to walk alone at night, then they brought me home. When it got to around eight o’clock, they were sometimes already back. Then we went back to Jackie, the stuff was waiting there.

Once, it was in 1979, Province and Northern Transvaal were playing, Blue Bulls and Province at Newlands. We thought, no but, so we organised to go to Newlands. On the Friday evening we prepared our food, and if you were at Newlands there was, it wasn’t yet like it is now, there were cooldrinks and stuff for sale, but we didn’t want to,we didn’t earn a lot of money, so we took our food and… On Saturday morning we had a taxi, we loaded it. Dawid, Dawid who has passed away, and Godmother, they, you know (inaudible 23:21), it’s just around the corner, they worked there. In the evening we’d had a party and when we got there on the Saturday morning, they were still sleeping. We said, “You’re not going to sleep. Newlands. We have a bus and a train to catch.” They were up and ready, but we were in such a hurry, we didn’t walk, we jogged. But we got the bus in Sea Point and we were on our way to the Cape, to the station. There we got the train, and at Newlands we had to stand in a queue. That queue was so drunk, it just wanted to fall over. One of Jackie’s brothers came from Mamre, they got the police that morning, let us get to Naas Botha tonight, today is the day that we get him. We were Province people, we had to watch all the opening games, we were sitting on this, this cement, I don’t know what one calls it. There are no seats, but it was also nice, also like stands and seats on the cement. We watched all the opening games and those years they kicked off at around three o’clock. That day they drew the game, it was the final, the Currie Cup, so they shared the cup. Naas Botha put a last drop goal through the posts. Province had been in the lead, but then it was like that. We went home, terribly disappointed that we had to share the Currie Cup, but that was just how it was.

We, we also walked everywhere on Sea Point’s beaches at night. There were a huge number of servants working there, everyone was from the country. I did Home, I did First Aid with a woman, I can’t remember the woman’s name, at a church building, my diploma I got from St Johns. The lessons were in Sea Point, but when you had to get your certificate, you had to go to St Johns, to the Cape. Got the certificate, and Margaret, that was my, not my flatmate, my roommate, each one of us had a room; Clara was from Worcester, and Margaret was from Beaufort West and I was from Clanwilliam. Diane was Clara’s sister, also from Worcester. We went out a lot, and then the, in those years Sea Point was full of white people. At night, when we came from the jolling* place, the white people followed us, then they would say, it wasn’t them, it was me that the ghosts wanted. We just never, we just kept in the shadows of the trees, then they couldn’t see us.

So I came home in those years when I had Redly (?? 26:37), and then we again came to (inaudible 26:38), that was around 1981. But then Paul was working for Forestry and I kept house again. Then it happened one day that, one has to say, Paul had to move. Again to the Kloof. We were happy because then you were close to everything, it was no longer so far, because going to the shop was quite another story. If you had to go to the shop, we had to, everyone had a child, me and Sus, each had a child, (inaudible 27:14), we had to carry the stuff from the road. Paul came to fetch the flour and the sugar and those things, because you had to buy for the month, you didn’t buy for the week, you bought for a month. Bags of sugar, and sacks of flour, and everything that you could buy, you had to buy for the month, but sometimes it happened that you went to the shop again on Saturdays, and what you had run out of… We enjoyed living there. It was just that you were far from everything. If you had to go to town, you had to walk to the Kloof for a lift. You, and you had to start early in the morning.

Also, one day, I’d already had Tryntjie, such toothache, Oh Lord. I don’t know how to, let’s just say I had to get the tooth out. I went to (inaudible 28:13), old Henkie and them were going to town, when I got there, they said that old Henkie had gone the previous day, had already gone to town. I told Auntie Selma (?? 28:21) I wasn’t going to walk back home again, I was going to hike at the tarred road. The river was still full, I had to walk along the ridges on top where the bridge is. But I managed to cross and there I was at the tarred road. At least I got, I wasn’t a hiker but I was scared. So I stood there and later on, someone stopped. It was the son of Stukkies (?? 28:49) who had died, I don’t know what his name is. He would give me a lift, he said, but he was only going to Twiekire (?? 28:56). I said that Twiekire was close by, when we got to Twiekire, he said he would take me to (inaudible 29:01). I was so grateful because one didn’t find such people any more. At about one o’clock I was finished at the dentist and again had to hike to the One-seven, hike. I then thought I wasn’t going to just stand there, I would start walking, later on I started walking, I was already at Caltex. There. Asked there, “People, don’t you know of someone who is going in that direction.” Said no, so I started walking again.

Later I was at the Vrede road stall, it was orange season, there were oranges. They gave me a lot of oranges. But there was also a young boer*. He said I should stand there, many people came past there. The one who was doing the selling, doing the selling, he had to ask, ask a lift from the people who came to buy stuff there. But later on I realised that the child wasn’t opening his mouth, I would have to ask myself. But the young boer had also said that if it I hadn’t found a lift by five o’clock, he would take me himself. And of course I knew what, what that meant. I’d heard. A white man arrived. Alone in the car. He also stopped there, I asked him whether I could get a lift to the turn-off to Algeria. He said his car was full. I’d already seen he was alone, so I knew, you’re a boer, you won’t give me a lift. Then I sat, a bit scared because I had already insulted them. Later on I saw a car with a man and a woman and a big white dog. I then thought, I’m going to ask these people whether I can’t go with them. Then the woman said to me it won’t be a problem, as long as I could sit with the dog. I thought, Madam, the dog can sit on top of me. Because I was grateful for the opportunity, because it was getting late and it was August, it got dark early, and when I got to the One-seven, it was still a long way home. Dropped there, thanked the people, took to the road again. Got to the bridge, Olifants River Bridge, there came a blue Kombi* thing. I thought, these were white people. They stopped, then they asked, “Where are you going?” I said, no, I’m going to Kleinhoek. They asked whether I wanted to come along and I said the Lord was with me that day. Given a lift, then it was some of the Moutons, from Eselbank. They were just as white as, you’d think those were white people, you know. Me, dropped me in the Poort. It wasn’t even dusk yet when I got home. If, if the Lord walks with you, then he walks with you, because what would that boer not have gotten up to with me?

So it happened that we moved back to the Kloof. Let’s leave it at that. The late Auntie Elie said I was leading Uncle Koos on. This led to a lot of quarrelling and fighting. Then Van der Merwe said either me or Sus had to go work. We were, no one was married at the time, you know. Mike was still at Forestry at the top here, research… So I went to work for him. Then, I don’t know how long I worked there, but I worked there until he moved, three days per week I worked there. Then Mike moved. Willem Basson was then still a clerk and I was, then Essie asked me to come work for them, and I worked there. Until I got married. They moved back to Clanwilliam, then I was only a housewife, as long as I was married to Dirk. In 2007 Dirk retired, then registered as a contractor. From there, the jobs, he got many small jobs. First Neels had, that was 2007, December, we got a contract for washing and ironing, Dirk worked at paving and in the camp. And every now and then, old Rheeders was still here, area manager, also every now and then, that awning that he, that dinges* Dirk erected, and he did erosion work at the camping site and I washed and ironed, and… until we got houses, in 2010. Then Dirk worked again at the, first for Lounert (?? 34:37), thereafter for the Hanekoms, up to 2013, then Dirk died.

Then, six months of the contract still remained, Patrick Lyn (?? 34:54) and them were still in charge above here at, manager… They then told me to register myself as a contractor. Did so in 2014. Then I continued my work, because they gave me permission to continue up to March 2014. First of April I had my own contract for washing and ironing and in 2016 I finished. Those were also difficult years for me because my child, the one was at university and she had loans, but pocket money and clothes and transport money, that one had to expect. It was difficult but we helped, where she lived. And in 2015 she, and in 2015 she finished. It was also the year that I didn’t get another contract, and yes, so I said to myself, the next year, she was working after all, I no longer had to work because my working days were over. I also looked after Henry. When I didn’t get a contract again, I said I’d finished working, was going to sit at home.

Helena Joubert is in 1958 op ’n plek bekend as Die Rug gebore. Sy vertel dat sy op die plaas Klipgat grootgeword het, hoe sy take moes verrig en stokkies gedraai het. Helena was nog baie jonk toe sy begin werk het.

Sy vertel van die verskillende families vir wie sy op Vredendal, in Kaapstad en in Seepunt gewerk het. Sy het haar huis op Algeria in 2010 gekry en het onlangs afgetree.

Helena Joubert is in 1958 op Die Rug gebore en het daar gewoon tot 1964, toe sy saam met haar familie Kleinhoek toe getrek het. In 1966 het sy by Grootkloof NG Laerskool begin skoolgaan. Sy sê sy en haar vriend (of broer?) Paul het net so twee weke per maand skoolgegaan, die res van die tyd het hulle bloot gedurende skoolure van die huis af weggebly. Eendag het iemand hulle verklik en hulle het die pak van hulle lewe gekry. Paul het gesê dis alles haar skuld, dat sy nie wou skool toe kom nie, toe kry sy nog ’n groter pak as hy by die skool. Hulle is soggens vroeg van die huis af weg skool toe, maar wanneer hulle by die Poort kom, het Paul gesê sy bene pyn verskriklik en dat hy nie ’n tree verder kon loop nie. Toe hy daardie jaar nie deurkom nie, het sy ouers gesê hy moet gaan werk. Helena het by haar ouma gaan bly. Toe haar ouma ’n pensioen begin kry kon Helena nie langer daar bly nie, want haar ouma mag nie loseerders gehad het nie.

Helena is in standerd 4 uit die skool, want haar ouers kon nie bekostig om haar verder te laat leer nie. Hulle het altyd genoeg kos gehad en een van haar take was om dun houtjies vir die vuur te gaan optel. Vakansietye is sy Klipgat toe, waar die lewe baie moeiliker was. Haar familie het min kos gehad en geld was skraps. Hulle het tweedehandse klere by die Kapenaars gekry wat haar ma heelgemaak en uitgewas het sodat hulle dit kon dra. Haar ma het met ’n kierie geloop en op ’n mielieblaarmatras geslaap. Eendag het sy egter van die boegoegeld gevat en vir haar ’n sponsmatras gekoop. Hulle moes die tuin op Klipgat met emmers nat dra, en het almal saam pophuis gespeel met goedjies wat hulle in die veld opgetel het.

Sy was 13 jaar oud toe sy op Vredendal moes gaan werk om ’n gesin se kind op te pas. Sy het vir twee maande lank gehuil, want sy het nie eers geweet hoe om ’n bed behoorlik op te maak nie. Die mense waarvoor sy gewerk het was onderwysers en hulle was netjies op ’n manier wat sy nie geken het nie. Hulle het haar geleer om alles te doen soos hulle daarvan hou. Helena sê sy het soos ’n slaaf vir hulle gewerk. Toe die gesin vir Helena huis toe neem, het hulle haar by die Poort afgelaai en vir haar ma R16 gegee vir die werk wat sy gedoen het. Sy het ’n hele paar jaar in die Kaap gewerk, vir R5 per maand. Die ma van die gesin het vir haar klere gekoop. Toe sy 16 jaar oud was, het hulle haar laat gaan en het sy huis toe gekom. Sy het vir R8 per week in ’n hotel op die dorp gewerk, maar heelwat geld uit fooitjies gemaak. Sy moes elk dag agt kamers skoonmaak en dan in die middag die skottelgoed was. Daarna is sy terug Kaapstad toe waar sy ’n familie in Seepunt se kind opgepas het. Die kind se ma het vir Helena gesê die kind is meer soos Helena se kind as haar eie. Sy het met die kind langs die strand gaan stap en talle ander bediendes ontmoet wat met hulle werkgewers se honde gaan stap het. Sy het vriende gemaak met Jacqui, en ’n tannie van Heuningvlei leer ken. Die meeste bediendes het van die platteland af gekom. Vrydagmiddae het sy by Jacqui gaan kuier, teruggegaan om die kind op te pas, en dan weer teruggekeer na Jacqui se plek om verder te kuier. Helena is een oggend Nuweland toe om na ’n Curriebekerwedstryd te gaan kyk.

Helena en die ander bediendes het Seepunt se strande snags plat geloop. Sy het ’n Diploma in Noodhulp verwerf. Wanneer Helena en haar vriende die aand terugkom van ’n jolplek af, het die witmense hulle gevolg. Sy is uiteindelik terug Kloof toe en vertel hoe sy eendag huis toe geryloop het nadat sy by die tandarts was.

Toe Helena getroud is, was sy ’n huisvrou. Sy het ’n kontrak gekry om was- en strykwerk te doen. In 2010 het sy haar huis gekry, maar haar man is in 2013 oorlede. Sy het voortgegaan met sy kontrak totdat dit afgehandel was. Helena het gewerk om vir haar dogter sakgeld en geld vir klere te gee terwyl sy op universiteit was. Nou werk haar dogter en Helena hoef nie meer te werk nie.


My naam is, ek is eintlik gebore Helena Johanna Magrieta Joubert. Ek is gebore hier by die, op die Rug, hoe’t hulle, op die Rug, 1958, die twintigste Desember. Daarvandae … kan ek maar aangaan, Patrick? Daarvandaan kan ek nog getuig, daar’t ek gebly, en seker so 1964 het my ma en my pa, nou toe’t ons oor getrek na Kleinhoek toe. En daar het ek nou gebly en daarvandaan het ek in 1966 het ek skool toe gekom en het was by Grootkloof Primêr gewees,  Grootkloof NGK Laerskool was die skool voorheen gewees.

Ek en Paul was nog saam, ons was die laaste twee wat nog skool toe gegaan het. Ons het verskriklik stokkiesgedraai, want dan’t Paul pynbene gehad, dan’t ons omtrent twee, twee weke, ’n maand uit die skool uit gebly en dan die ander maand weer twee weke. Dan gaan lieg ons vir my ma-hulle – ons was by die skool, ons doen onse huiswerk langs die pad. Daar, eendag toe kom Sus winkel toe, toe vra Kaatjie en Tol-hulle: “Maar waar, Miemie, maar waar’s Hanna en Paul dan?”

Ons was nooit by die skool nie. Toe sê Miemie: “Nee, maar hulle loop elke dag skool toe, en hulle kom elke agtermiddag skooluitgaantyd, dan kom hulle huis toe.”

So’t dit nou aan die lig gekom, en Ma, Miemie het nou vir Ma loop vertel, en ons het nou daar ’n drag slae gekry van onse lewe, en … Maar nou moet ons mos weer skool toe kom, en ons het nou skool toe gekom, en miester Pietersen het, Paul is nou by dié in die klas en ek is, ek dink amper juffrou Honnie is my juffrou, en dan nou so voor pousetyd hier word ek nou geroep, na die hoof toe. Daar het Paul nou sy storie al vertel en Paul sê dis ek wat nie wil skool toe kom nie. Ek is mos nou klein, vooraf het hy my al gewaarsku: “Maak jou mond oop, ek en jy is alleen langs die pad, en dan’s jy op jou, ons maak vir jou bang met die skilpad.”

Toe sê ek nog: “Jy’s dan self bang vir die skilpad, [lag] jy’s dan self bang vir die skilpad.”

Maar ewentwil. Daar’t Paul als op my gedraai, en hy’t ook pak gekry, maar nie soveel soos ek nie, want dis mos nou ek, want sy, ons loop net tot by die, by die, onder die Poort, dan sê hy: “Hanna, man, my bene pyn nou, ek kan nou nie ’n tree verder loop nie.”

Of dit nou waar was, of dit nou nie waar was, sal ek nou nie tot vandag toe nie weet nie, maar toe dink my ma-hulle … Hy druip toe standerd sewe aan die einde van die kwa-, jaar, en die volgende jaar toe sê hy: “Jy sal nou loop werk, want jy kan nie so nie, Hanna sal maar alleen skool toe gaan.”

So’t dit gekom lat ek toe nou alleen skool toe loop. Ek bly toe by oorlê Ouma Hanna, hier langs die rivier, sommer net hier naby, waar ons nou bly. Daar’t ek, weet nou nie hoe lank ek daar gebly het nie, want toe kry Ouma Hanna nou pensioen en daardie jare was die mense mos nou nog verskriklik op die gereg gewees, en as jy ’n staatstoelae kry, dan moet jy nie nog ’n loseerders nie.

Antie Katriena het daar gesê: “Ma moet dat daai kjênd wegkom van Ma af.”

So’t dit gekom lat Ma toe vir Ouma Drieka vra. Ouma Drieka-hulle bly daai tyd,  Witoog. Toe’t ek Witoog toe gegaan na Ouma Drieka. Bet was ook nog op skool gewees. Jan Dassie het net half ingebly. Ons het, ons drie het saam skool toe gekom,  my skoolloopbaan het ek gevoltooi in neëntien twee-en-, een-en-sewentig, daar rondom. Ouma Drieka vir my ma kwaad gewees oor ek nie daar verder skool toe gegaan het nie, maar daar was eenvoudig net nie geld nie, en Ouma Drieka het maar een rand per maand vir my gevra, en kos het ek oorgenoeg gekry. Daar was nie fout nie. En al werkies wat ons gedoen het was maar soos dun hout optel, en hout, dis hout dra. Ek het vreeslik lekker daar gebly. Dié jaar is Lena, in daai jaar is Lena Jaat (?? 05:07) gebore. Antie Bysie het nog uit Eikeboom uit gekom, om dat Ouma Drieka die babatjie gevang het.

En net die, ek kan goed onthou, die een jaar se Maart, daai nag is Lena gebore, toe is dit skoolvakansie, toe gaan ek mos nou huis toe. Klipgat, oor Klipgat toe. Maar vreeslik in, Kleinhoek, daar was nie lekkere jare, in daai jare nie. Ons swaar gekry, want daar was nie so baie kos gewees nie, kos moes maar, want my pa het nie, maar so ’n tydelike werkies gehad,  brandseisoene het die Bosbou mos daai jare in die winter gehad, dan’t Pa kom vra of Pa vir die drie maande kan help, dan’t hulle vir Pa in diens geneem vir die tydelike pos. Die bergklimmers Pa gevat en by die boere gewerk. So, geld was min. Skraps. Daai jare was, jy kan ou klere, wat jou ma by die Kaapnaars gekry het, dan moet jou ma dit uitwas lat jy dit kan dra. Ons het maar nie eintlik gelap geloop nie, maar die mansmense het gelap gedra.

Een môre, ek het al in die Kaap gewerk, sal dit nooit vergeet nie. Ma en Pa en Paul, en Wittes, hulle het nou aan het regmaak vir Boegoeberg toe. Dis nou vroeë Januarie, ons het nou nog by die huis, ek werk daai tyd in die Kaap, ons lê nou nog in die metses (?? 06:44), dis nou in die kombuis, want die huis en die kombuis was nie bymekaar nie, hulle is nou aan’t stry, daar in die kombuis in. Ma het altyd ’n kierie gehad, want Ou Klasie het altyd gesê: “Ou Paul, waar gaan jou vrou dan met die kierie heen?”

Toe sê Pa: “Baas Klasie, as daai vrou daai kierie neersit, wen hy vir my.”

Dié môre, ons lê nog, maar ons lê nou wakker, ons lê luister nou maar hoe hulle inpak, want dit is, hulle gaan nou sommer vir twee weke hoog Jadouw se berg toe. Sewe gaat verby, so sny hulle mos nou maar boegoe, en sê Paul vir Ma: “Ma loop fyn uitgevat en ek moet met die lapgat loop.”

Maar ewentwil,  boegoe het hulle geloop sny. Daai jare het my ma-hulle, het ons ook geld gekry. My ma het vir my ma, daai jare was nog klapperhaar-matrasse en mielieblaar-matrasse, en kaf. Toe’t my ma van daai boegoegeld vir my ma ’n sponsmatras gekoop, hier by, by ou Tielman. Toe Ma eendag by ou Mieta kom, toe sê ou Mieta: “Ou Hanna, ek hoor jy lê nou glad op ’n sponsmatras wat ek nie eers kan op lê nie.”

Toe sê Ma: “Nooi, maar as Nooi dan nie vir Nooi een kan koop nie, dan is dit Nooi se eie sleggeit.”

So het, vreeslik, ons was ook maar verantwoordelik vir oompie Neels-hulle se, en oompie Dan-hulle, aan, maar bietjie aan die kant gaan maak, want hulle was mos nou maar net mansmense, en, maar oompie Neels het self geknie, askoek, elke dag ’n askoek geknie. Die ou het voormiddae, is die ou in die klipgat nou besig en namiddae was die ou nou tuin toe. My oorlê pa het mos nou kinders gehad, die tuine onderkant die water, onderkant die fontein was mos nou aan hulle behoort. Oorlê pa se tuin was mos nou bokant die, die, die fontein. So, ons het maar altyd moet kyk na die patat, en die mielies, en die goeters maar natdra. Daar dra jy so swaar aan die emmer waters lat jy, jy voel eintlik hoe moeg jy is, maar jy wil hom nat kry, want jy wil loop speel, want dis, daai jare was daar mos nie van die foune en di-, ek en Jantjies en Sus-goed, ons het almal saam pophuis gespeel. Poppe was daar nie, sommer ou lappe aan mekaar gedraai en gli-, klipkop was nou die huisies gewees en al die ou stukkende breekgoedjies was nou opgetel gewees en dit was nou die skottelgoed en ons het nou maar vir ons,   so klippe gepak, dis nou die settee-banke en tafels en goedjies het ons nou maar daar.

En wat ek ook verskriklik kan onthou, ons mag, die wasgoed het ons nou maar by die fontein gewas en dit was mos nou ’n hele entjie van die fontein af gebly. Die swaar baddens wasgoed wat jy mos nou moet na die wasgoedlyn toe dra. Jantjies het altyd vir my gehelp. Ons het mos, Paul werk toe al, daai tyd, ja. Toe ek uit die Kaap uit kom, ja, toe werk Paul al, vir Bosbou. Hy het het mos nou deur die week hier in die Bosdorp, en ons is nou alleen daar, maar Jantjies werk nou nie, maar nou lat Jantjies maar vir my was en goeters dra, hout haal, want ons het daar buite-oonde gehad, jy moet nog daarin bak. Vrydae is dit baktyd, dan moet jy, eers moet jy nou knie, dan moet jy jou drag hout loop haal in die veld, dan moet jy kom vuur maak, en dan sit jy nou die brood in die pan, en as hy nou gerys het, dan moet die oond nou reg wees, warm wees, dan sit jy hom nou in, en … Winterstye het dit gelol, dan moet jy eers die oond droë maak, want die oond is nou nat en dan moet jy nou amper heelmôre in die bosse bly en vuurgoed soek en, die ding nou kan warm kom, en droë om. So, dit was ook, dit was lekker jare, maar ook eintlik swaar jare.

Maar ek was nie eintlik baie daar gewees nie, ek het meestal maar geloop werk het, want as jy nie meer skoolgaan nie, moet jy werk. Ek was dertien jaar oud, toe moet ek in Vredendal loop werk. Kênd oppas. Twee maande daar het ek gehuil, want ek het nie eers geweet hoe om ’n ordentlike bed op te maak nie en dié mense is onderwysers, en dié mense wil net, is net netjies, en dié is iets wat ons nie ken nie. Maar so het ons, so het ek maar geleer. Die, ou Gree (?? 11:56), wat al oorlede is, voor Koekenaap gewerk by mister Pietersen, ek het nou by die Baylies gewerk in Vergenoeg in Vredendal, en toe ek nou eendag agterkom, toe is ou Gree nou al weg, huis toe. Maar dié juffrou het geweet, want hulle was mos nou vriende met, met mister Pietersen-hulle, en so het dit gekom lat die meisiekind van die Baylies nou gehoor het en toe het dié my vertel van Magrieta is al weg, huis toe. Ek dink, hulle sê toe niks aan my nie, eendag kom dié vrou by my, vra die vrou vir my: “Helena, wil jy dan nie, gaan jy nog by ons bly, dit raak mos nou skoolvakansie, dan gaan jy nou huis toe?”

Toe sê ek: “Ek sal nog daaroor dink.”

Maar ek glo nie ek bly nie, want sy weet nou nie ek weet ou Gree is al weg nie. So het dit nou gekom, sy vertel ook niks nie. Haar pa het nou juis dieselfde vraag gevra, en sy het gesê, nee, ek gaan huis toe. Nou gesoebat en ek het mooi agter die ou babatjie gekyk, ook maar soos ’n slaaf daar gewerk. En hier vroeg in Desember toe sluit die skool en die Saterdag toe bring hulle vir my huis toe. Laai nou vir my daar by die Poort af, want ons het mos nou nie, hulle het mos nie ’n pad gehad om daar af te ry nie, sê, sy sê toe maar, hulle sal in die agtermiddag nou weer kom, dan moet my ma nou weer in die pad wees. Ek het dan nou die boodskap geneem, maar toe’t ek nog nie ’n sent gekry nie. Twee maande het ek nou daar gewerk. Die agtermiddag toe’t hulle nou gekom, en die ma was nou ook in die pad gewees, toe sê hulle vir my ma, maar hulle betaal my ag rand in ’n maand, sestien rand kry ek nou vir die twee maande. Toe sê Ma vir hulle: “Maar julle kan nou gerus ’n tien rand gee.” So het Ma maar die geld gevat, ek het maar weer gebly by die huis en ek was mos nog dertien jaar. Juffrou Pietersen het vir my gesê: “Lena, jy’s mos nou vet geraak in Vredendal.” Toe’t ek nog nie eers borste gehad nie.

So het dit ook maar gekom, so het ek gewerk, ek het antie Hanna wat op die dorp bly, het een dag gekom, vra sy of ek haar nie wil agter Esmie kom kyk nie, Esmie is ’n baba en sy, sy werk mos nou, by die hotel. Later het ek my nou grootgeword en toe sê sy, maar sy’t ook nie meer vir my nodig nie. So het ek nou maar weer, kom antie Maria Doep nou weer uit die Kaap uit, ek moet nou weer agter sy kênners kom kyk, Christie en Dawid en, hulle gaan skool, maar Gina en Lyn is nog klein. Daar’t ek, ek kan nie nou meer onthou nie, maar ’n hele paar jaar gewerk. Ook vir vyf rand in die maand. Belowe hulle vir my ma hulle koop mos maar vir my ook klere, klere is mos nou goedkoper in die Kaap, en so het dit nou gebeur, en, ek het eintlik grootgeword daar. Daar’t ek aanneem, aangeneem. So verloor antie Maria ook haar werk, toe sê sy ook maar vir my, sy’t mos nou nie meer werke nie.

Toe kom ek mos maar huis toe. Ek dink ek was sestien of so gewees, toe kom ek nou maar weer huis toe. Die volgende, maar nou gebly, dit is nou Desembermaand, hier Februariemaand, hier kom antie Hanna en ou Theunis weer, uit die dorp uit. Nee, maar die hotel het vir my werk. Ek kan maar, sommer pak, gepak en saam. Ek het in die hotel gewerk. O heiland, daar het ons ook gewerk, ag rand het ons ’n week gekry. Maar onse tips was baie lekker, ek was ’n kamermeisie en in die eetkamer gewerk. Dan’s jou tips ver meer as jou week se pay. Dit is mos nou seker wat hulle geweet het, maar die ou, ou Nancy, ou Reinhold se vrou, was nie eintlik baie vir my nie, want ek was te wit. Maar sy het darem toegesien dat ek nou, een aand het dit so gekom dat daar, ek weet nie watse mense dit gewees het nie, toe wil hulle net foto’s van my neem. Toe sê die ander,   bediendes mos nou daar: “Hanna, jy’s nou een van die dae is jy nog op die film.”

Ek sê toe maar: “Ek het dan niks gesê nie.”

Maar so het, ek het baie lekker daar gewerk, blommeseisoen het ons nie eintlik so skaars gehad nie. Soggens kom jy omtrent nege-uur in jou, ek was mos eintlik ’n kamermeisie, in jou kamer, dan het jy na ag kamers toe, wat jy na middag toe moet skoon maak. Jy kry nie klaar nie, want middag moet jy al weer in die kombuis wees, skottelgoed was. Ná, ná, ná jy nou klaar is, is dit hier by drie-uur se kant, dan moet jy terug en jou kamers verder loop skoonmaak, want die hotel is volbespreek. Die buste kom net so.

Eendag het ek,  in kamer nommer twee, dit was eintlik onse mooiste kamer gewees, ’n vrou se ring opgetel. Soos mos maar vir ons gesê word, moet ons by Ontvangs afgee. En nou die ring geloop haal, aflewer, ons het, ek het aangegaan met my werk en,  onse voorvrou, ek weet ook nie wat dit was nie, het eendag daar by my gekom. Toe sê sy, dié mense wat in kamer nommer twee was, vir wie ek die ring opgetel het, het vir my iets gegee daar by Ontvangs. Sy vra vir haar meisiekind, hulle was ook  Engelssprekend, uhm: “Ken jy vir Hanna?”

Toe sê die klimmeidjie: “Yes, Mommy, I know her, this is the girl with the red cheeks.”

So, ek was ’n mooi vrou gewees, soos hulle nou, daar’t ek klaar gemaak, ek kan dan nie nou onthou nie, maar dis eintlik, Oktober, November toe kry oompie Willie vir my werk by Smit en Kie. Daar’t ek geloop, en geloop, en geloop. Deliver. Ek het dan nou gister vir Lena vertel, dit was ’n geloop tot jy by rooibostee uitkom. Goeters deliver. Poskantoor toe, bank toe. Orals. Ook lekker gewerk daar, maar toe raak ek uit losies uit. Die volgende jaar, toe gaan ek nou nie weer gaan werk nie, hulle was nogal vreeslik, vreeslik teleurgesteld gewees, maar ek wil toe nou nie meer daar wees nie, en in die middel van daai tyd, paar maande by die huis, toe gaan ek al weer Kaap toe, gaan werk.

Eers sit ek, in Brooklyn gewerk, ook net vir ’n paar dae, want my kamer was dan nou in die kamer waar die missies en die oubaas lê. Kan dan nou nie eers my tjommie of iemand daar bring nie, so ek het net agtien dae daar gewerk, toe’s ek nou weg daar. Antie Maria toe. Daar’t antie Maria dat ’n vrou, missies Barries, gebly, wat ook so gechar het. Sy het die hoë Jodemense goed doen, Nuweland, Rondebosch, Constantia, daarlangs het sy gewerk. Eendag toe bel sy daar na haar huis toe, vra sy of ek nog nie werk het nie. Toe sê ek nee, sy sê nee maar sy het vir my ’n werk, in Seepunt. Daar’t ek ôk baie lekker gewerk, die peetma het ook agterna ook daar kom werk. Ek het ook ’n kind opgepas, ek was so skattig lief vir daai kind. Daai vrou het uiteindelik gesê die kind is nie hare nie, die kind is myne. Soggens, voor ons enigiets doen, ek het nie by die flat gebly waar ek gewerk het nie, nou moet ek aan, moet ek stap. Maar dit was darem nie so ver nie en as ek daar kom, dan gee ek net vir die kind sy pap, trek ons die kind aan, en nou nie winterstye nie, somerstye, nog niks huiswerk gedoen nie, dan vat ons die pad en dan, ons het net ’n straat van die strand af gebly, loop ons daar op die beachfront rond, daar kry jy ander bediendes wat met die missiese se honde loop. Ja, so by tienuur se kant, dan is ons by die huis, dan moet die kind nou slaap en dan moet ek eers werk.

Eenuur is ek al weer klaar, ja, is ek weer op lunchtyd, val ek weer vieruur in. So het ek vir antie Marie van Heuningvlei leer ken. Sy’t ook daar naby my gewerk. My peetma het ook daar gewerk en ek het ’n vriendin gehad, Jackie, loop ek, ek het tussen Main Road en High Level, ge- feit-, aan die einde van High Level Road het sy gewerk. Die bus drivers het vir my so goed geken want ek het so baie op die pad geloop, dan gee hulle vir my ’n lift. En nou, dan kuier ek nou. Somtyds is ons uit die hand uit, hier Vrydag-agtermiddae, omtrent elke Vrydagaand moet ek babysitting doen. Ja. As ek daai middag daar by Jackie kom, dan het Jackie onse dop vir ons reg. Daar sit ons nou, ’n biertjie, die ander hou hy vir aan. Ons is nou maar lig op petrol, jy hier, jy voel sommer jy’s warm, en dan moet ek nog gaan babysitting doen.

Die aande dan gaan bring die ma, hulle wil nou darem nie hê ek moet saans alleen, dan bring hulle darem nou vir my weg. As dit hier by agtuur se kant kom, dan is hulle somtyds terug. Dan sukkel ons terug na Jackie toe, die goed lê mos daar.

Eenkeer, dit was 1979, toe speel die WP en die Noord-Transvaal,  Blou Bulle en WP op Nuweland. Ons dog nee maar, toe’t ons so gereël dat ons nou Nuweland toe. Vrydagaand het ons ons kos reggemaak, en as jy in Nuweland is daar, daar was nog nie so dat, daar was nou koeldranke en goeters te koop, maar wil mos nou nie, ons werk nou nie vir ’n klomp geld nie, dan vat ons onse kos en Saterdagmôre is ons taxi, ons laai op. Dawid, oorlê Dawid en peetma, hulle, jy ken (onhoorbaar 23:21), dis net so om die hoek, hulle gewerk. Die aand het ons party gehou en toe ons die Saterdagmôre daar kom, toe lê slaap hulle nog. Sê ons, julle gaan nie nou lê slaap nie, Nuweland, ons moet nou bus vat en trein vat. Hulle is op en reg, maar ons is so haastig, daar word nie gestap nie, dit draf. Maar ons het die bus in Seepunt gekry en ons is weg Kaap toe, daar stasie toe, daar’t ons die trein gekry, en nou in Nuweland moet ons in ’n queue loop staan. Daai queue is so dronk, hy wil net omval. Een van Jackie se broers het van Mamre af gekom, kry hulle vir die polisie daai môre, laat ons maar vanaand Naas Botha bykom, vandag is ’n dag wat ons hom bykom. Ons is mos nou almal WP-mense, al die voorprogramme het ons maar moet kyk, want ons sit mos nou op die, hierdie sement, ek weet nou nie wat ’n mens dit noem nie, of, daar is nou nie sitplekke, maar dit was ook nice, ook soos stands en sitplekke op die sement. Hier die voorwedstryde het ons almal gekyk en daai jare so drieuur se kant het hulle mos afgeskop. Daai dag toe speel hulle gelykop, toe’s dit mos die eindstryd, wat die Curriebeker, toe wen hulle mos nou gesamentlik die beker, of wat. Naas Botha het nog laaste ’n skepdoel deur die pale gesit, WP het voorgeloop, maar toe is dit mos maar so. Ons het nou maar teruggekom, verskriklik teleurgesteld dat ons nou moet die Curriebeker deel, maar dit is mos nou maar soos dit is.

Ons het, verder het ons Seepunt se strande snags platgeloop. Daar’t verskriklik vreeslik baie bediendes gewerk, almal was van die platteland gewees. Ek het Home-,   First Aid het ek gedoen, by ’n mevrou, ek kan nou nie die vrou se van onthou nie, so by ’n kerkgebou, ek het my diploma het ek vir St. Johns verwerf. Die lesse was aangebied in Seepunt, maar as jy nou moet,   jou sertifikaat kry, dan moet jy St. Johns,   Kaap toe gaan. Sertifikaat gekry, en Margaret, dit was nou my,  nou nie woonstelmaat, jou kamermaat, ons elkeen het ’n kamer gehad, Clara was van Worcester, en Margaret was van Beaufort-Wes en ek was mos nou van Clanwilliam. Diane was mos nou Clara se suster, ook van Worcester. Ons het baie uitgegaan, en dan’s die, Sea Point was mos daai jare vol wit mense. Saans, as ons van die jolplek af kom, dan volg die wit mense nou vir ons, dan sê hulle die ander, dis nie vir hulle nie, dis vir my wat die spoke wil hê. Ons het net nooit, ons hou net onder die skarebome in, dan kan hulle nie vir ons sien nie.

So het ek ook mos huis toe gekom in daai jare toe ek Redly (?? 26:37) gehad het, en toe maar weer (onhoorbaar 26:38) toe gekom, daai was seker 1981. Maar toe werk Paul mos nou by die Bosbou en ek het maar weer huisgehou. Toe kom dit mos op ’n dag lat,  mens moet sê, Paul moes nou,  trek. Weer Kloof toe. Ons was gelukkig gewees, want jy is nou naby alles, dis nou nie meer so ver nie, want winkel toe gaan was ook ’n storie gewees. As jy nou winkel toe kom, nou moet ons, elkeen het nou ’n kênd, ek en Sus, elkeen ’n kênd, (onhoorbaar 27:14), nou moet ons die goeters, nou mos van die pad af dra. Paul kom haal die meel, en daai suikers, en daai goed, want jy moet mos nou vir die maand koop, jy koop mos nou nie vir week nie, jy koop vir ’n maand. Sakkies suiker, en slope meel, en al wat jy nou kan koop is, moet jy vir die maand koop, maar partykeer dan kom jy mos nou so Saterdae, so kom jy dan weer winkel toe en wat jy nou uitraak al. Ons het,  baie lekker daar gebly. Net alles, jy was mos nou ver van alles. As jy moet dorp toe gaan, dan moet jy nou Kloof toe stap, vir ’n lift. Jy, en dan moet jy mos vroegmôre begin daarso.

Ôk, eendag, ek het al vir Tryntjie gehad, so tandpyn, o heiland, weet nou nie hoe dit is nie, sê maar daai tand lat uitneuk. Ek is nou (onhoorbaar 28:13) toe, ou Henkie-hulle sal nou dorp toe gaan, toe ek nou daar kom, toe sê hulle maar ou Henkie was al die vorige dag, was hy nou al dorp toe. Ek sê vir antie Selma (?? 28:21), maar ek loop nou nie weer terug huis toe nie, ek hike nou by die teerpad. Die rivier is nog vol, ek moet op die randjies loop, bo by die brug langs. Maar so is ek oor, en ek is daar by die teerpad. Maar toe’s ek darem, ek is mos nou nie ’n hiker nie, maar nou maar bevrees. Nou daar gestaan, en later kom, hou daar darem een stil. Toe’s dit nou oorlê Stukkies (?? 28:49) se klong, ek weet nie wat sy naam is nie, laai my op, hy sê, maar hy gaan net tot Twiekire (?? 28:56), ek sê, maar Twiekire lê net hier anderkant, toe ons by Twiekire kom, sê hy maar hy sal my by (onhoorbaar 29:01) aflaai. So dankbaar gewees, want mens kry mos nie meer sulke mense nie. So, one ‘o clock is ek klaar by die tandarts, daar sommer, nou weer daai een-sewe toe, loop hike. Ek dink toe, maar ek staan nou nie, ek loop, maar later al geloop, ek is al by Caltex, is ek al. Daar. Vra daar, mense, of julle nie weet van iemand wat daai se kant toe gaan nie. Sê nee, so ek beginne loop maar weer. Later is ek hier by Vrede-padstal, is lemoentyd, hier is lemoene. Daar gee hulle nou vir my ’n klomp lemoene. Maar daar’s nou ’n boerklong ook. Sê hy nee maar ek moet daar staan, daar kom mos baie mense daar. Dié ene wat nou die verkoop, verkoop doen, dié moet nou vir my vra, lif vra by die mense nou wat daar goed kom koop. Maar ek kyk later die besigheid so, maar die kind maak dan nie sy mond oop nie, ek sal nou self vra. Maar die boerklong het ôk gesê, as dit so kom dat ek nou na vyfuur toe nou nie lif gekry het nie, dan sal hy my self loop haal. En ek weet mos nou wat, wat beteken dit. En ek het dit gehoor. Kom daar ’n wit man. Alleen in die kar, hy hou ook nou daar stil, vra ek vir hom ’n lif tot hier tot by die uitdraai van Algeria. Toe sê hy sy kar is vol. Ek het nou alreeds gesien hy is alleen, toe weet ek mos nou maar, jy’s mos nou ’n boer, jy sal nie wil vir my oplaai nie. Nou sit ek, ’n bietjie skrikkerig, want ek het mos nou al klaar hul beledig. Later sien ek, hier kom ’n twee,   ’n kar met ’n man en ’n vrou in, en ’n groot wit hond. Ek dink toe, maar ek vra nou dié mense of ek dan nie saam met hulle kan ry nie. Toe sê die vrou vir my nee, daar’s nie ’n probleem nie, as ek net by die hond kan sit. Dink ek in my gedagtes in, Mevrou, die hond kan maar bo my sit. Want dankbaar is ek toe vir ’n geleentheid, want dit raak mos laat en dit is mos nou Augustusmaand se kant, dit, dit raak nog vroeg donker, en as ek nou nog by een-sewe is, dan is dit mos nog ’n hele ent huis toe. Afgelaai daar, mense bedank daar, maar nou weer die pad gevat. Op die brug kom, Olifantsrivierbrug, kom daar so ’n blou Kombi-ding. Ek dink ook nog, dis wit mense. Hou hulle daar stil, toe vra hulle, maar waantoe gaan ek? Sê ek nee maar ek gaan nog Kleinhoek toe. Vra hulle of ek daar wil saamry, toe sê ek, maar die Here is soos ’n dag, by my. Opgelaai, toe’s dit van die Moutons daar, Eselbank. Mos net so spierwit soos, jy dink dis wit mense. My in die Poort afgelaai. Dit was nog nie skemeraand nie, toe’s ek by die huis.

As, as die Here maar net ook saam met jou loop, dan loop Hy saam met jou, want wat sou daai boer nou nie met my wil aangevang het nie? So’t dit ook gekom dat ons toe ook maar weer Kloof toe getrek het. Kom laat ons dit maar so laat. Oorlê antie Elie sê ek hou vir Oom Koos aan. Maar ek het later ’n hele stryery en bakleiery. Toe sê Van der Merwe, maar ek of Sus moet loop werk. Ons is, niemand is mos nog getroud nie. Toe is Mike nog Bosbou hier bo, navorsings  uhh. Toe’t ek by hom gaan werk. Toe, ek weet ook nie hoe lank ek daar gewerk het nie, maar tot hy trek, het ek daar gewerk, drie dae per week het ek daar gewerk. Toe kom dit so lat Mike trek, en,  Willem Basson is mos toe nou nog klerk, en toe is ek,  toe’t Essie my gevra om by hulle te kom werk, en toe’t ek daar gewerk. Tot ek getroud is. Toe trek hulle weer Clanwilliam toe, toe is ek maar net ’n huisvrou, so lank ek met Dirk getroud gewees het. Tweeduisend sewe het Dirk mos afgegaan van die werk af, toe’t hy vir hom registreer as contractor. Daarvan af het die werke, hy het baie werkies gekry,   eers het Neels daar, daai was tweeduisend sewe, Desembermaand, toe kry ons ’n kontrak vir was en stryk, het ons nog gewerk. Dirk het by die plavei gewerk, en in die kamp. En so af en toe het, was ou Rheeders mos nou nog hier, Area-bestuurder, ook nog so af en toe daai afdak wat hy daar, daai dinges het Dirk opgesit, en hy’t erosiewerk ook gedoen in die kampeerterrein en ek het gewas en gestryk en, tot ons huise gekry het, in 2010. Toe werk Dirk by die,  eers vir Lounert (?? 34:37), daarna vir die Hanekoms, tot en met twintig dertien, toe’s Dirk gesterwe.

Toe bly, toe is daar nog ses maande van die kontrak oor, toe is Patrick Lyn (?? 34:54) en hulle nog aan bewind, hier bo op, bestuurder, toe sê hulle vir my maar ek moet myself registreer as kontraktor. So gemaak in twintig veertien. Toe’t ek nou aangegaan met my werk, want hulle het toestemming gegee dat ek kan aangaan tot Maart, twintig veertien. Eerste April het ek my eie kontrak gehad vir was en stryk en twintig sestien het ek klaargemaak, wat ook moeilike jare was want my kind, die een was op universiteit en,  sy het wel,  lenings gehad, maar sakgeld en klere en vervoergeld, dit moet mens mos nou verwag. Ook maar moeilik gegaan, maar ons het haar mos ook gehelp, waar sy gebly het. En twintig vyftien, sy, en twintig vyftien het sy klaargemaak. Dis ook dieselfde jaar wat ek ook nie weer kontrak kry nie, en, ja, so het ek vir myself gesê, die volgende jaar,  sy werk mos, ek het niks nodig om meer te werk nie, want my werkdae is verby. Toe’t ek ook vir Henry wasgoed gevoer, toe ek nie weer kontrak kry nie, het ek gesê, ek is klaar met die werk, loop sit by die huis.