Maria Kotze

Maria Kotze is from Clanwilliam and was 49 years old at the time of the interview. She is a teacher at Elizabethsfontein Primary.

The school takes great pride in their rieldans (riel dance) group, which has become well known and acknowledged thanks to Maria Kotze. She talks about the value of the rieldans and stories in local culture and tradition, and how they are celebrated in the Riel- and Storiefees that takes place annually at Elizabethsfontein.

Maria Kotze’s parents are from Clanwilliam, but Maria grew up in Worcester and then moved to Clanwilliam. She was 49 years old at the time of the interview. When she arrived at Betjiesfontein she saw a different way of living, as the people of the area are poor.

The school principal suggested they introduce something new to the school in the form of rieldans. They participated in ATKV competitions and are now the champions. The children were at first very shy, but became confident and proud of their dance. Rieldans is carried over from generation to generation and is danced at functions and over weekends. This culture and tradition is celebrated at the annual rieldansfees.

Maria feels that stories are told as a way of giving back to the community – the stories are of the area. In heritage month, the school hosts the Riel- en Storie Fees, with two storytellers telling stories of the area and its people. The children express and dance the rieldans with pride and it will probably not die out, as a lot of parents and children get involved. Maria is excited by the idea of these stories being documented and published in some manner.


I’m Maria Kotze. I’m 49 years old, unmarried, because I am too busy. I have my roots is Clanwilliam, so I am, I was born in Clanwilliam, my mother and my father are from Clanwilliam and for my Grade, my Grade 1 and Grade 2, I went to school in Clanwilliam, from there we moved to Worcester. My father is a warder, so I grew up on a, on a correctional farm. It was very small, we were eleven households, and so I went to school at Worcester Preparatory School. And from there I went to Worcester Secondary. I was a very quiet child, very shy, very introverted, I was always the one who did my thing academically.

And when I left matric, I went to Sonia Educational College in Worcester because I was the only daughter with three brothers, and there I studied education. But my first year of teaching was in Montagu. I was very proud of that, because what is beautiful to me is that one of Montagu’s teams of riel dancers is also there now, and when they gather, also at the riel dance com-, then I am very proud that I also started the riel dance, it is also where I started. But at the time I knew nothing of the riel. So, in my second year I came to teach here, Pikkie Kotze (?? 01:32) was the principal. We drove on dirt roads, we drove on wet roads, we skidded when we went, we skidded when we returned, we skidded when we went. So, so, but they were wonderful years.

Those were also the years of the balie, which I didn’t know before I went to Worcester. It was a huge adjustment for me, but it was always nice to learn new things. So when I came here, to the school at Betjiesfontein, it showed me another side of us, how people live. I, I think I grew up a bit privileged and I came to a very poor area, and I came to work with very poor children. Then I, the people crept deep into my heart. Pikkie Kotze left, and then Helena van der Vyver came here, the wife of the circuit manager, and she became the principal. And when she came, she said we have to bring something to the area. We have to bring something to the community. And we were each given – “What do you think can you do well?” Now, I’m a dreamer, I’m not a dancer, I’m a dreamer, I don’t think I can dance well, I dance on my own, but it is not that I (inaudible 02:49) walked, and I said, okay, I’ll be involved in the dances. I’ll coordinate dancing.

Now in my mind I have, I record everything, then I put the children in front of the TV and then I say, you just do it like that. So then we started by practising dances at the school, for the school concert. And one day I played a piece of music, I can remember it well – “Mynie’s quadrille” was the music. And the one teacher, Miss Steenkamp, who was at the school then – her husband was the bank manager, at the time it was… but it is now First National Bank. I don’t think it was First National then. And she was also, she helped, and then we played the music and the children did a nice dance, and we thought, hey, this is actually quite interesting. And they said, none of them could… and she said, “No, Miss, it’s the platriel.” I said, “Okay, but then we have to give the platriel a bit of, direction.” And so we took five boys and five girls and they started doing the platriel, and they wore red outfits, I can still remember it well, we still have the outfits. And the, one of the girls in the dance then is currently my class assistant, and it is there where the riel started. David Kramer came to visit the school a year later with his red velskoens and his guitar, and the children did the dance for him. And from there, the Rooi Vel started, then we started, then we started investing in the riel. We started dancing at the school, at concerts, until we heard that the ATKV* is holding a competition.

So in our sixth year we participated and we ended, I think, fourth, and the second year we took part, and from that time we’ve been fully into the riel. What is nice is that the riel brought our parents to the school, because the riel is actually the parents’ … pride. That is what we, it is actually something their children learnt from them. So then we started the riel, we pulled the parents in and said, “Come show us how it should be done, because we don’t have any idea.”

So Helena der Vyver later left, then Annatjie Dames (?? 05:09) came, and we really went from strength to strength. We, we are proud to be able to say that we are on top, we’re currently the champions, ATKV junior and senior champions. We are proud to be able to say that we entered the little ones for (inaudible 05:26), which had nine categories. Amongst other things we were in the open category, and we were the champions in that category, and we were third best of all the dancing groups, the sixty dancing groups, which is a remarkable achievement. So we’re very proud of our school and we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved, because we actually work hard. To develop our children.

How does the riel help the children in daily life?

You know, when I think back to the year when I arrived here, and think how it is now, the children were exceedingly shy. They were withdrawn. It just felt like, the children were sort of, “Oh, I’m from the farm and I’m too shy and I can’t mix with the other children.” Then, when they started to become involved in the dances, they got (inaudible 06:15), the children (06:15), they, a proud attitude, they, they show that dancing is something that they can do very well, and many times it isn’t even academically. And with the dances, the parents started becoming involved, because our parents, some of our parents are illiterate, so they stayed away from the school, because, maybe too scared that if a question is asked, they won’t be able to answer. But when we started the riel, we pulled the parents in as well. And when the children saw, “Oh golly, I’m having success with the riel, everyone at school knows me now,” then the children performed academically as well. To me that is the value that the riel gives to the child, holistically, and has given in the ten years that we’ve been doing the riel. So.

What is the background of the children doing the riel, how do you think the riel started in this area?

The riel, the riel had, the riel ís, this is riel world, it’s riel world. The parents dance it, they dance it on weekends, they dance it at functions, they dance it at weddings or wherever. So. Even when we have a bazaar, the parents dance. So it’s actually the only dance that we could do very well. So, so the riel has been inherited, I think. It has been transferred from generation to generation, because some of the aunties, for example, tell me when we have such functions, “Miss, the way the children approach it is how my ma and them did it.” So, so the parents feel, “We come to this school, because this school is taking us back to our childhood days. The school is giving back to us what we can’t get anywhere else.” So the riel goes from generation to generation and I can tell you that even Grade R and Grade 1 are now doing riel dances.

Do you think the school is helping to continue the riel tradition?

Definitely. Definitely. The riel dance the school is having – now that it’s heritage month, we have a heritage riel and story festival through which we’re drawing our parents and community closer to celebrate our culture again. At the festival. And we’re also inviting other riel dance groups, because the riel differs from region to region and when the others participate, we can entertain them, because you may get bored seeing the same team all the time. Every time the same team. And also, when we bring in other riel dance groups, it fills the community with pride because our parents can show, “Oi, we’re here because it is our school and this is our community.”

So the school, if it weren’t for the school, the riel wouldn’t have advanced, because the school, the school is the anchor. Miss Dames is the mover behind everything. So everything we do, we do through the school, because the whole, rationale of the school is to give back to the community, because we want the community to be happy. Happy community, happy children as well.

Where do the stories portrayed in the dances come from?

You know what, they actually mention it – you should always use stories from your area. And it’s quite a challenge because as I said, I’m from Worcester, I actually grew up there. So the stories I have are my Worcester stories. So what this means for us as riel dance leaders, is that we have to be amongst our parents. So we have to do home visits, be with our parents, and get the stories from them. And you can’t just say that you’re looking for a story. You visit them in the evenings, and when you’re visiting them, the stories just come. Or you invite the parents and say, “We want to hear riel dance stories or “We want to hear stories, come, come and tell us.” Or we make sure that we are at town functions where stories are told, then we listen, or we read up, or we, we try eveything in our power to, to get the stories that are unique to our surroundings.

Look, we’ve now been involved with the riel for so long, last year I myself did a story about Lambertsbaai. So it’s a thing, later you start thinking of stories yourself, that you imagine, it’s part of you. Then we did a story about Lambertsbaai and, you won’t believe me, people from the other groups, they told me it was one of the best stories that they’ve had in the whole ATKV competition. So beautifully was the story performed, also by the dancers. It was the little ones who did it.

How do you think this custom will survive? Are there younger people who are also involved with the riel, and helping?

Yes, you know, we really have so much success with the riel. Because our riel dancers don’t leave us. For example, we have riel dancers who are working at Kleinbegin, they’re working on the farm and they’re still involved with the riel. They come, they specially organise to get time off to come and practise. And we have, for example, children who are already studying. We have one that’s at Wellington, but on weekends she comes home. She’s there in the city, she doesn’t go disco dancing, she comes – when she has to riel, she comes home. Holidays she comes home, and she comes specially to riel. And what is so beautiful to me, when she, for example, one time she was in Paarl and a lot of her friends attended, modern children who don’t at all… They said, no, no, come, we have to go and see what it looks like. So they, they, they’re proudly living the riel. I’ve now also started a small group at De Vlei (?? 12:29), just to, because they wanted their workers, their children, to get involved a bit, to make the workers proud. And I use some of our riel dance children who are in secondary school, to help train the children. So, so I don’t think, I don’t think the riel will die out, I think there are too many who are buying into it, and there are too many who are involved, even parents as well. And, and, so it will definitely go from generation to generation.

Are there still stories the parents know that they can share?

Yes, there are still an incredible number of stories. An incredible number. And, and it is actually sad – this is why it’s so wonderful that there are people like you, for example, who can … the stories, that the stories are preserved. Amongst other things, I think of Worcester – my father and mother are both there, (?? 13:23) as I said – they got together and collected prison stories, and then they… The name of the book is something like Voor ons vergeet; that is the name of the book, Voor ons vergeet. So that is also like story telling, and these are beautiful initiatives, which in a few years’ time – things are changing so much, you won’t be able to imagine the things that are told now (inaudible 13:47), because it will be completely different. It’s the same with the riel dance. Stories that happened at that time, you can identify with some of it, but some of the stuff you, hey, you can’t imagine that life was so wonderful in the past. Because we can’t risk it any more today. We can no longer, we can no longer walk from Drilrivier to town, because of the dangers around, and in the past it was a breeze. Miss Banies, amongst others, also grew up on Vleiplaas, so the name of one of our stories was, what was it? Ehm, “Kuiertyd op Kleinfontein” [“Visiting time at Kleinfontein”], in which Miss Banies told how they walked to Kleinfonteintjie every weekend. She and her father, she on the bicycle, her father with his guitar on his back, and she on her mother’s back. She says that’s where they visited, at Kleinfontein.

And, and as soon as, when the competition is on, then they usually read the stories, then, o-h-h, the people laugh, because the people know exactly whom they’re speaking of. You know Uncle Krisjan, also a big storyteller. Now when we, last year we did the story called “’n Nuwejaarsdag op Clanwilliam” [“A New Year’s Day at Clanwilliam”]. Because I know, my family came every New Year’s Day, they came from all over to enjoy New Year’s Day at the dam, they didn’t do it last year, but every year. So we used Uncle Krisjan’s family and Uncle Krisjan’s children didn’t know. While they were reading the story, Uncle Krisjan’s daughter was hooting with laughter. So I said afterwards, they felt so sad because what had been said, that which had been represented, took them back to that time when their family came together.

Do you think the story festival that is being organised is a good initiative to get the storytellers of this region together?

Yes, I think so. We, we’re currently focusing on having one storyteller, so we haven’t, not yet, the idea of bringing different storytellers together… The reason being, because, you know what, we’ve asked, enquired, I don’t know whether people are a bit shy, we have for example gone to people, then people tell us stories that we already know, for example. So we usually focus on two storytellers who haven’t been to the area. And then they come and tell us stories, and every year it is a huge success. I think we had our best organised story festival last year, we had many people, so we are again expecting that many people will attend.

Do you think it would be a good idea if I, from the side of the university, organise such a day so that all the storytellers can gather in the museum and then we have a story festival?

It would be wonderful. It would be wonderful. I think it might be a bigger success, and I think people will maybe, and even if you use the school, as the central point, it will be best, yes.

Maria Kotze kom van Clanwilliam af en was 49 jaar oud ten tyde van die onderhoud. Sy is ’n onderwyseres by Elizabethsfontein Primêr.

Die skool is baie trots op hulle rieldansgroep wat danksy Maria alom bekend geraak en erkenning gekry het. Sy verduidelik die waarde van die rieldans en vertel van die plaaslike kultuur en tradisies, en hoe hulle elke jaar die Riel- en Storiefees op Elizabethsfontein vier.

Maria Kotze se ouers is van Clanwilliam, maar Maria het op Worcester grootgeword en eers later Clanwilliam toe gekom. Sy was 49 jaar oud ten tyde van die onderhoud. Toe sy op Betjiesfontein aankom, het sy met ’n ander manier van lewe kennis gemaak, want die mense daar was baie arm.

Die skoolhoof het voorgestel dat hulle iets nuuts begin en so het die rieldans by die skool begin. Hulle het aan die ATKV-kompetisies begin deelneem en is nou die kampioene. Die kinders was eers baie skaam, maar het al hoe meer selfvertroue gekry en is trots op hulle danse. Die rieldans word van geslag tot geslag aangegee en word by funksies en oor naweke gedans. Hierdie kultuur en tradisie word elke jaar tydens die Riel- en Storiefees gevier.

Maria voel om stories te vertel is ’n manier om aan die gemeenskap terug te gee – dis stories uit daardie kontrei. Tydens Erfenismaand bied die skool die Riel- en Storiefees aan, met twee storievertellers wat stories oor die kontrei en sy mense vertel. Die kinders voer die rieldans met trots uit en dit sal waarskynlik nie uitsterf nie omdat soveel ouers én kinders daarby betrokke is. Maria is opgewonde oor die idee dat hierdie stories nou gedokumenteer en op een of ander wyse gepubliseer gaan word.

Baie dankie vir hierdie geleentheid om bietjie oor myself te kan praat. Dis, dis, ek sien baie uit daarna. Ek is Maria Kotze, ek is nege-en-veertig jaar oud, ongetroud, want ek is te bedrywig. Ek het my roots in Clanwilliam, so ek is, ek is gebore in Clanwilliam, my ma en pa is van Clanwilliam en ek het my graad – my graad een en graad twee het ek in Clanwilliam skoolgegaan, daarvan af het ons Worcester toe getrek. My pa is ’n bewaarder, so ek het grootgeword in ’n, op ’n korrektiewe plaas, so dit was baie klein, ons was elf huisgesinne en, so ek het by Worcester Voorbereidingskool het ek skoolgegaan. En van daar af het ek na Worcester Sekondêr na toe gegaan. Ek was maar ’n bitter stil kind, baie skaam, baie teruggetrokke, ek was maar altyd die een wat akademies maar my dingetjie gedoen het.

En toe ek uit matriek is, toe gaan ek na Sonia Onderwyskollege, binne-in Worcester omdat ek mos nou die enigste dogter met drie broers is, en daar het ek onderwys gestudeer, maar my eerste jaar wat ek skoolgehou het, was by Montagu. Ek was baie trots daarop, want wat vir my mooi is, want een van Montagu se spanne, rieldansers nou ook nou en dit is so as hulle bymekaarkom, ook by die rieldans kom, dan is ek baie trots daarop dat ek ook die riel dans, dit is ook waar ek begin het. Maar daai tyd het ek niks van die riel geweet nie. So, toe het in my tweede jaar het ek hier kom skoolhou, Pikkie Kotze (?? 01:32) was die skoolhoof. Ons het grondpad gery, ons het nat paaie gery, ons het gegly, my gaanslag, ons gly as ons terugkom, dan gly ons as ons gaan. So, so, maar dit was wonderlike jare.

Dit was ook die jare van die balie, wat ek nie geken het voor ek na Worcester toe gekom het nie, dit was vir my ’n geweldige aanpassing, maar dit was altyd vir my lekker om nuwe dinge te leer. So met dié dat ek hier gekom het by die skool, by Betjiesfontein, het dit vir my ’n ander tipe deel gewys van ons, hoe mense lewe. Ek, ek dink ek het ’n bietjie bevoorreg grootgeword en ek kom in ’n baie arm area, en ek kom werk by baie arm kinders. Toe het ek, die mense het diep in my hart gekruip. Pikkie Kotze is weg, en toe kom Helena van der Vyver hier, die kringbestuurder se vrou, en sy word die skoolhoof. En toe sy kom, toe sê sy, ons moet iets na die area toe bring. Ons moet iets na die gemeenskap toe bring. En ons is ingedeel, wat dink jy kan jy goed doen? Nou ek, ek is ’n dromer, ek is nie ’n danser nie, ek is ’n dromer, ek dink nie ek kan goed dans nie, ek dans daar in my enigheid, maar dis nie dat ek (onhoorbaar 02:49) loop het nie, en ek sê, nee, ek sal by die danse betrokke wees. Ek sal danse koördineer.

Nou in my mind het ek, ek record elke ding, dan sit ek die kinders voor die TV en dan sê ek, julle maak net so. So toe’t ons so begin deur danse te beoefen by die skool, vir die skoolkonsert. En eendag toe speel ons ’n stukkie musiek, ek kan dit goed onthou, “Mynie se kwadriel” was die musiek. En die een juffrou, juffrou Steenkamp, was daai tyd hier by die skool, haar man was die bankbestuurder by, dit was daai tyd, maar dis nou Eerste Nasionale Bank. Ek dink nie dit was daai tyd Eerste Nasionale nie. En sy was ook, sy’t spesifiek gehelp met dit, en toe’t ons die musiek gespeel en hier doen die kinders ’n lekker dansie, en ons dink, haai, maar dit is nogal interessant. En hulle sê, nee die een kan … en sy sê: “Nee, Juffrou, dis die platriel.” Ek sê: “Nee, maar dan moet ons vir die platriel ’n bietjie, rigting gee.” En ons vat toe nou so vyf seuntjies en vyf meisietjies en hulle begin nou die platriel doen, en hulle het die rooi outfitjies aangehad, ek kan dit baie goed onthou, ons het nog steeds die outfits. En die, een van die meisietjies, is huidiglik my klas-assistant wat daai tyd in die dans was, en dis daar wat die riel ontstaan het. David Kramer het ’n jaar daarna die skool besoek met sy rooi velskoene en sy kitaar, en, en toe’t die kinders nou die dansie vir hom gedoen. En van daar af, toe begin die Rooi Vel, toe begin, toe begin ons te belê in die riel in. Ons het begin dans by die skool, ons het by die konserte dit gedoen, tot ons gehoor het maar die ATKV bied ’n kompetisie aan.

So, in ons sesde jaar het ons toe deelgeneem en, toe eindig ons, ek dink vierde, en die tweede jaar toe kom ons in, en van daai tyd af toe’s ons vol in die riel in. Wat lekker is, is dat die riel het ons ouers skool toe gebring, want die riel is eintlik soos ouers se … trots. Dis wat ons, dis wat hulle kinders eintlik by hulle geleer het. So. Toe het ons met die riel begin, het ons die ouers nader getrek en gesê: “Kom wys vir ons hoe moet dit gedoen word, want ons het nie ’n idee nie.”

So, Helena der Vyver is later weg, toe kom Annatjie Dames (?? 05:09), en ons het regtig van krag tot krag gegaan. Ons, ons is trots om te kan sê van die top, ons is huidiglik die kampioene, ATKV- junior en senior kampioene. Ons is trots om te kan sê ons het ons kleintjies ingeskryf by (onhoorbaar 05:26), wat nege kategorieë gehad het. Onder andere was ons in die oop kategorie, en ons was die kampioene in daai kategorie, en ons was derde beste van ál die dansgroepe, die sestig dansgroepe, wat ’n merkwaardige prestasie was, so ons is baie trots op ons skool en ons is baie trots op wat ons bereik het, want eintlik werk ons hard. Om ons kinders te ontwikkel.

Hoe sal Juffrou sê, hoe help die riel die kinders by die ander daaglikse lewe?

Weet jy, as ek nou spesifiek dink aan ’n jaar gelede toe ek hier gekom het, en hoe dit nou is, die kinders was verskriklik skaam. Hulle was teruggetrokke, dit het sommer gevoel soos, die kinders het so, half, o, ek is van die plaas en ek is te skaam, en ek kan nie meng met die ander kinders nie. Toe hulle by die danse begin betrokke raak, toe kry hulle (onhoorbaar 06:15), die kinders het self (onhoorbaar 06:15), hulle, ’n trotse houding. Hulle, hulle wys die ding wat hulle baie goed kan doen is dans, en baie kere is dit nie eens akademies nie. En met die danse het ons ouers begin betrokke raak, want ons ouers, van ons ouers was ongeletterd gewees, so hulle het maar bietjie weggebly van die skool af, want, dalk te bang, dat as daar ’n vraag gevra word, hulle nie kan antwoord nie. Maar toe ons met die riel begin, toe trek ons ons ouers ook nader. En toe die kinders sien, o jene, ek behaal sukses met die riel, almal op die skool ken nou vir my, toe gaan die kinders akademies ook, so dit is volgens my die waarde wat die riel aan die kind, holisties, gedoen het in hierdie afgelope tien jaar wat ons nou die riel gedoen het. So.

Juffrou, vertel vir ons wat is die agtergrond van die kinders by die riel, hoe dink Juffrou het die riel ontstaan in dié kontrei?

Die riel, die riel het, die riel ís, dit is rielwêreld dié, dit is rielwêreld, die ouers dans dit, hulle dans dit naweke, hulle dans dit by funksies, hulle dans dit, troues of wat ook al. So, selfs as ons basaar hou, dan dans die ouers. So, dit is eintlik al dans of so wat ons baie goed kon gedoen het, so, so, die riel is oorgeërf, dink ek. Dis van geslag tot geslag aangegee, want van die tannies het byvoorbeeld vir my vertel, as ons so ’n funksie het: “Juffrou, hoe benader die kinders hom getrap soos my wat my ma-hulle hom getrap het.” So, so, dit, dit is die ouers wat voel dat ons kom na dié skool toe, want dié skool lat vir ons terugdink aan ons kinderdae. Die skool gee vir ons terug wat ons by niemand anders kan kry nie. So, so, die riel is, is van geslag tot geslag, en ek kan regtig sê, tot die graad R en die graad-ene, rieldans nou.

Dink Juffrou die skool help nou om die rieltradisie voort te sit?

Definitief. Definitief. Die rieldans, die skool het juis nou in die Erfenismaand het ons ’n Erfenisriel- en storiefees, waar ons ons ouers en gemeenskap nader kry om ons kultuur weer te kom vier. By die fees. En ons nooi ook ander, ander rieldansgroepe, want die riel verskil van streek tot streek, en as die ander bykom, dat ons vir hulle kan entertain, want jy kan dalk bored raak om elke keer dieselfde span te sien. Elke keer dieselfde span. En dan, as ons ander rieldansgroepe inbring, dan gee dit sommer so ’n trotse houding in die gemeenskap, want dan wys ons ouers, hôi, ons is hier, want dit is ons skool en dit is ons gemeenskap.

So, die skool, as dit nie vir die skool was nie, sou die riel nie verder gekom het nie, want die skool, die skool is die anker, Juffrou Dames is die dryfveer agter alles. So, so, alles wat ons doen, doen ons deur die skool, want die skool se hele, uitgangspunt is, ons gee terug aan die gemeenskap, want ons wil hê die gemeenskap moet gelukkig wees. Gelukkige gemeenskap, en gelukkige kinders ook.

Die stories wat uitgebeeld word deur middel van die danse, waar kom dit vandaan?

Weet jy wat, hulle, hulle meld dit nogal, ’n mens moet altyd die stories in jou area gebruik, en dit is nogal ’n taai tameletjie, want soos ek sê, ek is jare terug, ek is van Worcester, ek het eintlik daar grootgeword. So, die stories wat ek het, is my Worcesterse stories. So, wat dit vir ons beteken, ons as rieldansleiers, ons moet tussen ons ouers wees, so dit is vir ons om huisbesoek te doen, om, om by ons ouers te gaan wees, en daar die stories te gaan kry. En jy kan ook nie sê jy kry ’n storie nie, jy kuier so vir die aand, en as jy die aand kuier, dan kom die stories sommer net so uit. Of jy nooi die ouers en sê: “Ons wil graag rieldans-stories hoor, of ons wil graag stories hoor, kom, en kom vertel vir ons.” Of ons maak dat ons by funksies in die dorp kom waar stories vertel word, dan gaan ons en luister, of ons lees op, of ons, ons probeer alles in ons vermoë om, om die stories eie aan ons omgewing te kry.

Kyk, ons is nou al so lank met die riel besig, verlede jaar het ek self ’n storie oor Lambertsbaai gedoen. So dis ’n ding, jy dink later self stories uit, jy leef jou in, dis in jou aard. Toe’t ons ’n storie van Lambertsbaai gedoen, en jy sal my nie glo nie, dit was, as hy nou van die ander groepe, dan sê hulle vir my dit was een van die beste stories wat hulle in die hele ATKV-kompetisie gehad het. So mooi was die storie uitgebeeld, ook deur die dansertjies. Dit was die kleintjies wat dit gedoen het.

Hoe dink Juffrou sal die kultuur voortleef? Is daar jonger mense ook wat nader staan by die riel en help?

Ja, weet jy, ons het regtig baie, baie sukses met die riel. Want ons rieldansers los nie vir ons nie. Ons het byvoorbeeld rieldansers wat werk, Kleinbegin, hulle werk op die plaas en hulle is nog steeds betrokke by die riel. Hulle kom, hulle reël spesiaal om af te kry om te kom oefen. En ons het, ons het byvoorbeeld kinders wat al studeer, ons het nou een wat op Wellington is, maar sy kom naweke, dan kom sy huis toe, sy’s daar in die stad, sy loop diskodans, maar sy kom, as sy moet riel, kom sy huis toe. Vakansietye kom sy huis toe, en sy kom spesiaal kom sy riel. En wat vir my so mooi was, as sy byvoorbeeld – by ’n geleentheid wat sy in die Paarl was, het daar klomp van haar vriende, het die funksie kom bywoon, moderne kinders wat glad nie … Hulle’t gesê, nee, nee, kom, ons moet gaan kyk hoe lyk dit hier. So, hulle, hulle, hulle, hulle is, hulle leef met trots lewe hulle die riel uit. Ek het nou ook met ’n groepie by De Vlei (?? 12:29) begin, net om, want hulle wil graag hulle werkers se kinders so ’n bietjie betrokke gekry het, om die werkers bietjie trots te maak. En ek gebruik van ons rieldanskinders wat op die hoërskool is, help rig die kinders af. So, so, ek dink nie, ek dink nie die riel sal uitsterf nie, ek dink daar’s te veel wat inkoop, en daar’s te veel wat betrokke is, selfs ouers ook. En, en, en, so, dit sal definitief gaan van geslag tot geslag.

Dink Juffrou daar’s nog stories wat die ouers het wat hulle na vore kan bring?

Ja-a, daar’s ongelooflik baie stories nog. Daar’s ongelooflik baie stories nog. En, en dit is eintlik, eintlik hartseer, dit is hoekom dit so wonderlik is dat hulle mense soos jy byvoorbeeld gekry het wat die stories kan, kan, dat die stories behoue kan bly. Onder andere dink ek nogal aan Worcester, my pa-hulle is mos nou al twee daar (?? 13:23), en, en hulle het nou ook bymekaargekom en tronkstories bymekaargesit, en toe het hulle die boek se naam genoe-, iets genoem soos Voor ons vergeet, is die boek se naam. Voor ons vergeet. So dit is ook soos storievertel, en dit is mooi inisiatiewe, wat oor ’n paar jaar dan – dinge verander so, jy kan nie dink, dit wat hulle nou vertel het (onhoorbaar 13:47), want dit is heeltemal iets anders. Dieselfde soos met die rieldanse ook. Stories wat daai tyd gebeur, jy kan, van daai goed kan jy nog vereenselwig, maar van die goed kan jy, haai, jy kan nie dink dat dit op ’n tyd so wonderlik gegaan het nie. Want nou kan ons dit nie meer waag nie. Ons kan nie nou meer, ons kan nie nou meer van Drilrivier af stap dorp toe nie, want die gevare daar rondom, en in die verlede was dit ’n stokperdjie. Juffrou Banies, onder ander, het ook mos grootgeword op Vleiplaas, so een van ons stories se naam was, wat was dit, “Kuiertyd op Kleinfontein”, wat Juffrou Banies vertel wat hulle elke naweek Kleinfonteintjie toe gestap het. Sy en haar pa, sy’s hier op die fiets, die pa met sy kitaar op die blad, en sy op haar ma se rug. Sy sê, daar het hulle nou gekuier, op Kleinfontein.

En, en sodra, as die kompetisie aan die gang is, dan lees hulle gewoonlik die stories, dan, o-e-e, lag die mense, want dan weet die mense presies van wie hulle praat. Jy ken vir oom Krisjan, ook ’n groot storieverteller. Nou toe ons, verlede jaar het ons die storie gedoen van “ ’n Nuwejaarsdag op Clanwilliam”. Omdat ek weet, my familie het elke jaar Nuwejaarsdag kom hulle van heinde en ver om Nuwejaarsdag by die dam te kom geniet het, so hulle het dit nou nie verlede jaar gedoen nie, maar elke jaar. Toe gebruik ons oom Krisjan se familie en oom Krisjan se kinders het dit nie geweet nie. Terwyl hulle die storie lees, kraailag oom Krisjan se dogter. Toe sê ek agterna, hulle het so hartseer geraak, want dit wat gesê was, dit wat uitgebeeld was, het vir hulle teruggevat na daai tyd toe hulle familie so saam gekuier het.

Laaste vraag. Dink Juffrou die Storiefees wat nou gereël word is ’n goeie inisiatief om die storievertellers van dié streek bymekaar te bring?

Ja, ek dink so. Ons, huidiglik fokus ons op een storieverteller, so ons het nog nie, nog nie, die idee van bring verskillende storievertellers, die rede, want, weet jy wat, ons het al gevra, navraag gedoen, die mense, ek weet nie of die mense skamerig is nie, ons het byvoorbeeld al gegaan tot by mense, dan, dan, vertel die mense stories wat, soos byvoorbeeld, ons alreeds weet. So, ons fokus gewoonlik op twee storievertellers wat nog nie in die area was nie. En hulle kom nou en hulle vertel vir ons, maar dit is ’n reusesukses elke jaar. Verlede jaar, dink ek, was ons beste gereëlde Storiefees, baie mense gehad, so ons verwag weer, baie mense om dit by te woon.

Dink Juffrou dit sal ’n goeie idee wees as ek van die universiteit se kant af miskien in die toekoms op so ’n dag kan reël dat al die storievertellers in die museum bymekaarkom en dan ’n storiefees hou?

Dit sal wonderlik wees. Dit sal wonderlik wees. Ek dink dit sal ’n groter sukses kan hê, en ek dink mense sal dalk, en selfs as julle die skool gebruik, as die middelpunt, dit die beste sal kom, ja.