Ouma Griet Botha, Ouma Martha Bekers, Ouma Chrissy van Rooyen, Ouma Mietjie Fredericks & Ouma Bettie Visser

Translation of the transcription of a recorded interview with Ouma Mieta Minnies, Ouma Griet Botha, Ouma Martha Bekers, Ouma Chrissy van Rooyen, Ouma Mietjie Fredericks & Ouma Bettie Visser, conducted by Martin Mössmer
Location: Breipaal, Douglas, Northern Cape
Date: 10 September 2018

Underlined text indicates emphasis

MMin = Ouma Mieta Minnies
GB = Ouma Griet Botha
MB = Ouma Martha Bekers
CvR = Ouma Chrissy van Rooyen
MF = Ouma Mietjie Fredericks
BV = Ouma Bettie Visser
NU = Neighbour (Unknown)
MM = Martin Mössmer

GB Now look, in those days the languages were mixed
NU Yes
MM (This is just a small sound recorder, because the other one isn’t a hundred percent)
NU I don’t really know what the differences are
GB The languages were mixed at that time [inaudible] the Tswanas and the San were mixed together
NU They spoke [about it] this morning on the radio about Afrikaans and English
MB The San are the Griekwa…
[dog barking, inaudible]
CvR Where’s Bettie? Bettie? Come and ǁoe [sic ‘lie down’]
MM OK, can I explain to you all…
CvR Bettie!
GB The San are the same as the Griekwa people, ha ǃi kwa [?] …
MM …what it is that I’m doing
NU Listen now
GB …changed over to the San now, the !noisan [sic ‘Khoisan’]
NU Listen now
MB You! Listen here! Hey, you’ve made enough noise man!
MM So, I’m from the University of Cape Town, and I’m doing research on the Griekwa language, and people have said that the language has been extinct for fifty years
MB Uh, died out that time
MM But it…
GB It did exist, though
MM But the people, you know, here and there there are still one or two people who can speak it, and…
MB Yes
MF Yes
MM …and, I’m trying to record and write up what there is, before it is lost. Then I can make a booklet which won’t be for sale, which I will only give [for free], then I’ll give it to the community, then you can…
GB Learn
MM …hen the children can learn, or you could use it at the school, or whatever. So that’s what I’m doing. And then I’m also interested in people’s own history, not the big history, but, you know, where people come from, where you grew up, and that. How you moved around, or trekked around, or whatever. That is all.
MF So now, you’ve come for those things?
MM Yes, that’s right.
MF OK. Now talk, nana
MM Can I just ask you, do I have your permission to make this recording?
CvR Yes
MM Is it fine?
CvR It’s fine
MM And that I can use it, and transcribe it to make the list, and so on
MB Yes
GB Mmm
MM And then I should, so that I can remember who is who later, you are [from right to left] ouma Bettie Visser, ouma Mietjie…
MF Fredericks
MM Fredericks
CvR Chrissy van Rooyen
MM Chrissy van Rooyen
[dog barking, inaudible]
MM And your name?
NU Ant Bella?
MB Martha Bekers
MM Martha Bekers, and your name?
GB Griet Botha
MM Griet Botha
MMin Mieta Minnies
MM Mietjie Minnies
MMin No, Mieta Minnies
MM Mieta Minnies. Thank you. Um, so you can carry on chatting if you’d like to, or if you’d first like to tell me about where you come from and so on, then you can do that
BV You must go back now to your birthplaces
MM Deep into the past
MB Then you ǂoe [?]
CvR No, there is one that says ǂoe but now just speak your language, where you you speak it
BV Now I want to speak, your language, yes
MB In Afrikaans?
NU Yes, you can speak in Afrikaans
CvR Afrikaans. Listen here, Mieta, where do you come from?
NU Or must they speak in that language?
MM No, no, you can speak just as you want to, English, Afrikaans, Tswana
MF Afrikaans
CvR Where do you come from?
MF I want to talk now
BV Yes, say. Where were you born?
NU You must say where you were born, where you grew up, about your history, how you arrived and then trekked to somewhere, and then went somewhere
MF Yes, but he must talk to us each in line
CvR Yes
MF We can’t just talk like this
MM Yes, because last time I already…
MF Asked us
MM …asked ouma Bettie and ouma Mietjie
BV But Chrissy, you must now tell us about your birthplace…
MF You must talk now
MB I was born in Die Erwe
MM Mmm, the Erwe there near Bucklands?
MB Yes, near Bucklands
MF What did you do there?
MB There was planting, fruit trees were planted, we enjoyed everything. Irrigation channels, canals were built…
… everything they did, in Die Erwe.
CvR Mietjie
GB I was also born in the Erwe
NU And then you trekked from there, you must say now when you were born and then when you trekked from there and where you went, then where you went and stayed and then left again
MB Yes, then we came and stayed at Stofdraai [a farm]
MM Stofdraai?
MB There I milked cows, I did irrigation, I did all kinds of things there, and then I moved again from Stofdraai and came to live at Vaalkamers [a farm]
CvR That’s also in Die Erwe
MB There I worked on potato fields, out early in the morning to start working, finished in the afternoon, and so we grew up and grew older, we worked on pumpkin fields, tomatoes, everything, we did everything. We were young women who could do something for our elders. Our elders took us in, like a mother into her home, our father. That’s why the Lord has preserved and carried us, obedient to our parents, we didn’t come home late, we had to leave home if we wanted to do things like that.
MM And when did you come to Breipaal?
MB Oh, I don’t know now
MF Many years ago
All Many years ago
MB Many years
MM A long time ago. Why? Was there a reason, or was it just…
MB That’s when we were put off [the farms], then the farmers said that it wasn’t our place, we must go! Then we were sent off. Then I first came and lived in Bongani, then I saw that Bongani wasn’t good for me, so I moved through to Blinkpunt. And I’m still here in Blinkpunt, and everyone died here
CvR Ai
MM And your mother and father, were they also from the Erwe?
MB Also from the Erwe, but they, the husband died in the Erwe and the wife died in Blinkpunt
MM Ouma Griet?
GB I also lived in the Erwe, grew up there, was born there. My father and mother lived there, my father worked on a farm near Griekwastad with the name of Swartkop. And then he came to my mother’s family’s home, and when I was just a little baby of one year old both my parents passed away, one after the other. And then my mother’s sister came and fetched us, there were three of us, a pair of twins and me, to a farm with the name Duikersvlei, and so we came to live there. But then my uncle did not have peace with my aunt bringing another three children into the house when they already had six children. And so my uncle treated us harshly, and he beat by aunt, told her every day that when he comes back from work that afternoon the children had to be out of the house. But she didn’t, because I could not yet walk, my brother and sister had to carry me. Now, next door there were people and they fed us in the daytime, and when my uncle came home in the evening he’d ask my aunt where the children ate, and she said, “No, the people next door gave them food to eat today”, then he’d call us and he’d beat my brother and sister [and not me] because I was still little. And later on he said to my brother and sister, “Listen here, when I get here tomorrow afternoon then you’d better be out of the house. Go down to the river, go and look for your grandmother who lies in the water.” Now, my grandmother’s surname was Seekoei [lit. hippopotamus]. “Then you’ll see that when the sun gets warm your grandmother, who is big and fat, comes out and lies on the sand. Go and tell her she must feed you. Go sit there.” And so my brother and sister believed that my grandmother lay in the river, and when the sun gets warm she lies on the sand. And so they took me and piggy-backed me and went down to the river, and there they waited and waited, but the grandmother never came out of the water. And over time, from all the waiting, without food and without water, they went and picked something with the name of ghaap [Hoodia gordonii], a vygie type of thing, sweet and sour, and then they ate the berries, red ones, the berries are sweet like a raisin, but I could not eat anything because they were bigger and had teeth and they knew how to eat. That’s why I withered, became thin, and with time neither of them could walk because they were too… their legs didn’t have the strength to move, because there was no food or water. And so they eventually just went and lay in the reeds. Now the owners of the farm came and dug a ditch to lay down irrigation pipes and a pump. And he had a young son of twelve years old, and when the son saw the dunes of sand that they had piled up from below he ran up and down them, and then when he was up at the top he heard two little voices from down below, and he said to his father, “Father, don’t throw any more sand here because I hear children crying down there.” And his father said to him, “No man, you’re talking nonsense, its monkeys you’re hearing.” When he came down he found the three of us curled up into one another, and he came back up and said, “Father, come look, there are three hotnotjies lying there. Come look.” And so the owner, his father, came down to look and he truly found us lying there, we couldn’t walk, see? Then he took the three of us up, and when he was up there he said to the volk, “Switch off all the machines. Everyone must come to the farmstead, and when I’m there then you must bring all your women, young and old, to my house. I want to know where these children come from. The farm is fifteen miles from town, these children couldn’t walk that distance.” And so they went up to his house and called everyone together. Now the next door people told the oubaas, “Oubaas, there were three children at her husband’s house, but the children have just gone. I don’t know what happened to them.” And then the oubaas asked her husband, and Elisa herself, “Elisa, where are the children that were at your house? You heard old Klaas saying that they were…”, “No, oubaas, I don’t knowwhere the children are. I told them that they must go to their grandmother down in the river.” “Now why did you chase the children away?”, “No, oubaas, I didn’t have enough food to feed my children and these children as well. And then I asked the woman why she has brought more children into the house. And then I said, ‘those children, when I get home tonight they must be gone.’ And then the children went to the river to look for their grandmother. But I had no idea that they would come to be like this.” It was just skin and bones. The only flesh on my body was my tongue. And then the oubaas brought us into town. Now, we couldn’t eat, so they had to inject us, lift the skin to inject into the skin, with vitamins and iron and those sort of things, and to nourish us, there were none of these things that are in the hospitals today, intravenous feeding and those things, they had to inject things with syringes. And so we grew up. And he had a daughter who did nursing in Bloemfontein, and then he had her come home to tend to us. Now, in those years there were these soap chests that soap was packed into, people made boerseep [homemade soap] out of fat and soda, and so they had to unpack those things and make down duvets for us with goose down, and hot water bottles in the bottom so that we could get warmth because we had none of our own, it was winter. So we grew up, and then we became older, and when my brother was twelve years old the master went to the Cape, to Somerset Strand, and there by the beach is a little cement wall, and then they played treintjie-treintjie, and he [her brother] was at the end and he fell, and he fell with his back against the wall. It’s there by the Whitehouses, on the Main Road, and he fell with his back on the wall, because the treintjie-treintjie [‘train-train’] game is swinging around, and then he broke his back, and he got meningitis. Then he went to Groote Schuur, and he passed away there in the Cape. He was buried in Somerset [West]. So then my sister and I came back with the oubaas. And then he gave one of us, my sister, to his daughter [to care for], and the other of us he kept with him ,and then he was married, and so I grew up with them and stayed with them up to the age of seventeen, I lived with no-one else. I grew up with them and with their children. I didn’t go to school. When they took me to school the school principal said that they couldn’t take me because I was too clever for my age, I knew how to read a bit and write a bit, and so they could not accept me at the school. So I stayed and learned at home, learnt to write and so on, learnt to speak English, and Afrikaans, because the madam who raised me, she was from overseas, she was from Scotland, she couldn’t speak Afrikaans. And so I taught her Afrikaans and she taught me English, because her children also couldn’t speak Afrikaans, and that’s why I understand English and Afrikaans. I can’t write English that well, but I understand it. Well then, in about ninetee-sixty-five the oubaas passed away, in two-thousand-and-three the ounooi passed away, I got married, husband and children, and now I’m surrounded by my family, and that’s how things went.

CvR Mieta
GB Now…
CvR No, you’ve had your say
MB And you [MMin] don’t want to talk
MMin I can’t
MB So who’s finished talking?
MMin I can’t, no, I stutter with the… understand?
CvR Oh, yes stuttering, yes
MM It’s OK…
CvR I grew up in Brakfontein, that place when you drive to Prieska, I grew up there and I half went to school there, in sub-B we were only six on the benches [i.e. only six children in the school], and those teachers didn’t see their way clear to carry on teaching [there], so they moved to Hopetown and we stayed where we were, half clever and half stupid, and in the end the white man told my grandfather that there was no more work, my grandfather must trek now, and sold my grandfather’s…

…goats, the master gave my grandfather fifty, what was it… fifty cents, a half crown… twenty-five cents a goat, we had ten, sold to my…paid it to my grandfather for five of the goats. And so my grandfather loaded up his things and we went to Prieska, and there my grandfather, he suffered from his heart, there he lay [i.e. was bedridden] and was only able to eat, and nothing else. His wife was also unemployed except for her needlework, and I worked for a white woman at M Junk, in the café. I’d start work at eight o’clock in the morning, and finish at ten at night. And so my grandfather died there and my grandmother moved back to Brakfontein, to live with her youngest daughter, and she later died there at Brakfontein, and then her youngest daughter moved to Douglas, and I also left Brakfontein, and then from Prieska back to Brakfontein, and then from Brakfontien –it was a big [diamond] diggings place– I worked the diamonds, the diggings, the boy I had, boyfriend I had, he showed me how the digging work was done, and that’s how they found diamonds for the whites and the whites sold them and gave them money and also always gave me something. And so the digging [work] came to an end, and then he and I moved back to Douglas, because his family all lived in Douglas, and so the two of us… When I came here, he had a persoonskaart [an identity card] made for me, we had identity cards in those days, that’s when I was eighteen years old. Then he told me that he wanted no other girl, he just wanted me, and he snapped my photo, and I got my ID and he also had his identity card. From the age of eighteen I’ve sat in his house [i.e. have been his wife] until now and I’m now seventy-two, in his house. He’s passed away, and now it’s just me and my dear children, things have been hard, but I get through it with them
MM And, was it in about nineteen-sixty that they bought the livestock off you…
CvR Yes, at Brakfontein. And so we moved to Prieska, and then back again. But back then things were different to now. At that time people were healthier because they drank ‘bitter things’ [herbal tonics] from the veldt, it was healthy, there was nothing like Vaseline, when they slaughtered [sheep] they’d render the fat, the cracklings on one side, the fat on the other, this was our Vaseline that we rubbed on ourselves. And, it seems to me that this fat was a different kind of thing, it caused something else, it attracted lice. So we were plagued by lice [lit. ‘Then it was a louse thing’], the children would scratch and scratch like this
And my grandmother would call out, “Come lie down here!”, and then she’d search [for lice], and she’d say to her husband, “Look at this fat louse!”, the louse’s head was black, “Look at this fat louse! The lice that the children have become an infestation here!”
Then they’d look through our clothes, and say, “Look at this one running here! Sit!”, and I’d scratch. In those days, the lice, they… people get high blood-pressure now, diabetes, those lice took away that stuff, there were none of these illnesses, and since those lice have gone people have been dying from high blood-pressure, diabetes, that class of illness. There was only cancer then, people only got cancer. I worked for a white woman who had cancer, but you know, she couldn’t speak and she just lay there, then an idea came to me, and so when her sister made porridge or custard I’d pour it into my mouth, then I would open her mouth and hold her nostrils shut, then I’d hold that custard [inaudible] like this, and so she swallowed it even with the cancer [inaudible], but it didn’t last long before she died, it was all eaten away. Then I moved to Douglas and this is where I grew old, here I had my stroke, and I’m still suffering from it [lit. ‘I’m still on the stroke’]. But I want to tell people, those who get strokes and are of little faith
MB Who have little faith, yes
CvR God cannot help them because they don’t want to hear what that man [Jesus] says. They hear what the bible declares, “I am here to help you”, but they don’t want it, “No, no, I won’t…” Now the Lord helped me in such a way. “Pray! Then I can heal, then I can help you.” In such a way
MB Prayer will raise me up
CvR I was completely crooked, I couldn’t speak, all of it. But one night there in Kimberley, there was an ouma in the hospital bed next to mine, and I wasn’t… “no visitors” was written [above my bed], nobody was allowed to visit me. Then the ouma yelled, “Help! Help! Help!”, “What is it, ouma?”, “Go and call me the priest.” And the priest came that night, “What must I do ouma?”, “Pray for me”. Then the priest prayed for her, and as he said “Amen”, a voice under my bed said to me, “Can you not also say the Our Father?”, and I answered, but I could not speak, I said, “But I cannot speak”, he answered, “Just as you’re telling me now, so you can pray”, and I prayed, and I said “Amen”, and he said, “Call the nurses!”, and I called the nurses. “Since when can she speak?”, “No”, they said, “she’s only just started speaking again, since you came running, sister.” I wished so much to see the Lord, so that I could get better, and the voice said to me, “If you pray you will be healed”. And so I got the healing, that morning when I could speak again they discharged me to the Hester Malan, to the Douglas Hospital. And so I came back in my condition, and lay in the house of my aunt, Lena Jacobs. This is how I saw the langman, he came into my room, he walked straight to my bed and said, “Stand up!”, I replied, “I can’t stand up”, he said, “Try!”, and I was off the bed, and he said to me, “Lean on the wardrobe”, and I leant on the wardrobe, and he turned his back and walked ahead and I followed behind all the way to the stoep. And when I got to the stoep he said to me, “Look up to the heavens”, and I looked up, and the stars washed one another and they pulled one another, it looked like a mirror, and there were warm winds, cold winds blowing over me, and he said, “It’s the Spirit, don’t be afraid”, he said, “It’s my Spirit flowing over you. You are being healed, you are receiving healing, it’s my Spirit.” And he said to me, “Look down”, and I looked down and I saw two houses standing there. He asked me, “What do you see?”, I said, “Two houses standing there”, “What do you see around those houses?”, I answered, “wires”, “What is against the wires?”, I said, “There are papers”, he said to me, “Come. This is how you want to live, you want to look like those papers, those rolbos [Boophone disticha, ‘tumbleweed’], those karbokste [cardboard boxes], that’s how you want to look.” From that year, two-thousand-and-five, when I was discharged from the hospital, up until this afternoon, I have not been back to a hospital. I got my healing from heaven.
MF Things worked by another path
CvR Yes, I listened to him
MM Don’t you want to say anything, ouma Mieta?
MMin I can’t…
MF She can talk now
MB She can’t speak properly, she gets tongue-tied
MF She also comes from the Erwe
CvR She also comes from Brakfontein
MF From Brakfontein
CvR She lived in Brakfontein, yes. The white man, there where her parents lived, was Van Zyl, Ben van Zyl
MF Yes
CvR They worked there, her mother washed [i.e. worked as a washerwoman] and I worked in the kitchen, and her father was in the gardens. And so they grew up there until they were about ten or eleven, and then they moved to Douglas, and because I stayed on I don’t know what happened after that.
MM Boisterous today, isn’t it?
MF It’s boisterous, this dog
GB In those days children had to work, they couldn’t go to school. If they were on a farm they would have to look after the sheep, they had to go into the veldt with the oupa to look after the sheep, and then they’d come back in the evening. The girls had to go into the kitchens with the anties who worked there and help them, the others who could go into the fields had to go an work in the fields. Now where I was, there were [diamond] diggings, and we’d always have to go along when the soil was taken out and sifted, and then we’d look for the rubies and the diamonds. Then we’d get these little bags, in those years people got tobacco in little cloth bags, there was ‘White Horse’ and ‘Springbok’
CvR ‘Springbok’
MF Yes, yes
MB That strong stuff
CvR ‘Springbok’ tobacco
GB Then we’d get some of those little bags to pick out the little stones, the rubies and diamonds. Then in the afternoon you’d come, and at the end of the month you’d get one Pound ten [shillings], that’s fifteen Rand, one Pound ten
MB There no Rands in those times
GB That was our pay, what we got at the end of the month
MB It was a lot of money back then, when you had it you could buy a lot of things with that money
GB One Pound ten. Then in the morning early we’d go to the diggings, because the diggers got more money than those who looked after the sheep here. Then those diamonds, [we would sort] the rubies to one side and the diamonds to the other, sometimes there were white diamonds, there were pink diamonds, there were yellow diamonds
CvR Purple
GB Purple. And there was an acid, two bottles of acid, and certain diamonds had to be thrown into that acid to see if they had those spots on them and those diamonds would have to lie in the acid for seven days, but no light was allowed to shine onto that acid, it was in a dark room. In seven days the oubaas would say, “You must go and empty out those diamonds”, then we’d have to empty them out and sort out those that had no spots to one side into a bottle that had no acid in it. But the rubies weren’t put into acid, only the diamonds. And those diamonds that were clean had to be put into a little bag and give them to the oubaas, then the oubaas would go to Kimberley and sell those diamonds. And with those diamonds he’d make a ring or something for every child, and the rest he would sell. Then he’d buy cars or things. At the end of the year everyone would get khaki clothes, the men who worked on the farm. We, the children, would get new shoes, in those days it was those little velskoene [simple leather shoes] that people made themselves and sold in town
MB Those strong boots
GB Then every year we’d get our little velskoene. The aunties working in the kitchen would get overalls and doeke, and then we’d get a whole lot of sweets, lollypops, there were sweets that looked like rainbows, all stripes, we really loved those sweets. There were long ones that looked like little walking canes, and when you licked them they’d melt away. And there were ‘Sunrise’ toffees, we were very fond of those ‘Sunrise’ toffees, they were very good toffees. We’d get ‘Sunrise’ toffees, we’d get the lollypops, all different colours, apple and so on. When the oubaas went to town we knew, when he comes back we’d get our pay, and we will get our lollypops. Then he’d go to the Cape and buy a barrel of wine like this, that was for the farm people, and when they clock off in the evening then each would get a lon’dop [‘long dop’? possibly a ‘long measure’] of wine. And so, at the end of the month then everyone that worked on the farm would get a slagding [lit. ‘slaughter thing’, usually a sheep] to slaughter. Because a slagding cost about four Rand then, compared to more than a thousand Rand today. And I also had sheep and we just kept our few sheep there on the… when our sheep grew big, then oubaas said no, the sheep are eating his…
BV Grass
GB …sheep’s grazing, so we must sell our sheep and things so that only his sheep graze there. Yes, then we’d buy clothes and things again [with the money from the sheep], go to Kimberley and bring back clothes for ourselves, and in the end we had no sheep or anything left. Sometimes people could keep chickens, but you couldn’t keep dogs on the farm because it was his farm, and the dogs ate his things. Now that’s how it was in those years but, I think, the money wasn’t a lot because we had ample food, and you got more meat when you bought it that you do today. But it’s just, it wasn’t like this, I think, when we were in the Cape and we’d go into restaurants then the owner would say, “No! You have to go out! Only Europeans here!”, then I wasn’t allowed to go in there with them. But then the oubaas would say, “No, this is my child, come! You won’t chase my child out. Come!”, then he’d take me and put me down on his lap, so that I could go in, “she wants to order that ice-cream, and she’ll eat out of this cup”, then the owner would say, “No!”, I couldn’t eat out of that cup. And that’s how it all was in those years. Our people on the farm, if you’re sick and you can’t work anymore you had to leave, you’d just have to go and sleep there in the veldt without anything over your head [i.e. no shelter]. Maybe if you had a donkey cart then you could at least be there with your donkey cart, and then you’d have to sleep under that little cart with your children and your things, even in the rain, the master had nothing to do with it
MF You’d have to sit there
GB And then he’d look for other people also sitting by the road, and he’d give work to those people who had been chased away by a different master, and he’d take those people back to his farm so that they could work for him. But, you never ate with white people, your mug that you drink from has to be outside, your plate has to be outside
CvR Mmm, mmm
GB When you go into the house you have to first wash your hands before touching the madam’s clothes or touching her plates. But you make the food! You roast that leg of lamb, you roast those potatoes, you cook that pumpkin!
CvR Mmm, mmm
GB It goes into their stomachs!
MF Mmmm
GB Well, that’s how it was
MB Those farmers were very mean
GB It was hard, but we worked hard, at five in the morning you had to be at work, at midnight you’d go home. If people came to the farm then you had to work until those dinner guests went home tonight, those dishes have to be washed and dried
MF Mmm
GB And packed on the shelf. You couldn’t leave dishes in the sink, even if you had to work until one in the morning
MF Yes
GB You have to finish. Five o’clock in the morning you had to come, there was no power, you had to come and start the generator so that the lights would go on. Fire had to be made in the ‘Aga’ stoves, for white and black, there was no electricity, there were no tar roads, you went by foot or you had to have a donkey cart. Alright, they had cars, those cars with the long noses, not cars like this. That was how it was in those years, we had donkey carts or horse-drawn carts. You had to get up early and bring the master and madam bacon and eggs or wors and eggs in bed, and the sun wasn’t even up by then
MB Uh! And they’d be eating
GB Then you had to go and serve them in bed, nè. You’d have to be awake so that you could ring that bell at five o’clock so that the people living in the huts would get up to go and milk the cows, because at five the cows had to be milked, the milk still had to go to town, it had to be in town by seven o’clock. It was hard work. Today, people go to work at nine o’clock, they go to work at ten, we started work in the dark, and it was a long way to walk to get there, and here it’s just over the bridge that people work
CvR Those years, when I look at it now, then I see that those years were much better than now
MB Mmm
MF Mmm
CvR Because now, people are being murdered now
MB Mmm
GB Mmm
CvR Theft and burglary are common, people are raped, in those years there were never such things, never!
GB You could walk around until late
CvR Yes, you could till late. And I loved to – when I came from school – not to go home, from school I’d go to straight to the graveyard in the afternoon, I’d first pick myself some quinces, peaches, and then go give them to those friends who are dead, and for each of them I’d put down an apple or some grapes, or something, and tonight they’d notice, my grandfather would notice, “Look at where that fire’s burning”, and he’d say to his wife, “Look there. Look at where that child is”, and they’d call, “Chriiissyyy!”, “It’s me [i.e. ‘I’m here’], my people say I must stay a while longer!”, I’d shout back, and then my grandfather would have to come and fetch me. Then he’d say to his wife, “Katjie, this child will be the death of me”. In the night, I’d walk, if I thought of those people who had died, then I’d get up and go there, I had my cardboard box there, my cardboard box lay there and my doll too, my doll was a rock, I dressed it, with rags, and it lay there in between those people, I’d take it bread and milk, milk I’d steal from home and I pour a little for each one of them into a tin, into another tin, “Drink yours, and eat the grapes and the bread”, for those people. Those grapes became raisins, and I’d eat them up myself. There were no rapes or any of that sort of thing
GB Mmm mmm
CvR Now things are in such a way that you can’t even walk around anymore
MB No, you can’t
CvR But I see those, there are old people walking around until morning, they don’t get tired
And tonight they’re worse than the youngsters
I don’t want that, I don’t know, man, they made a terrible mistake, over there, those that say that children also have a right, that I don’t understand
MB Yes, those children have rights now, we can’t even beat them
CvR Their own rights, the children, you’re not allowed to beat them, otherwise they’ll report you
MB Yes, it’s true
CvR That isn’t right
GB And the children of those years were more obedient than today’s children
CvR Yes!
GB They listened…
CvR Yes
GB …because they were beaten to [make them] listen. They honoured and respected older people
MMin Mmm
GB They went to church, they didn’t drink to drunkenness and fight and kill. Our places weren’t fenced off, the fruit and things were free, you could just go and eat, you never bought fruit because fruit were everywhere
MF Abundant
GB People planted everything in those years. They didn’t pay for water, they didn’t pay for housing, but all this has come now and so we have to be afraid of that child walking there in the street, you have to be afraid of that man walking there, you can’t walk around late in the day, you don’t know who might come and kill you. All these things, I think the children see them on the TV, how…
MMin Mmm
GB …the people fight and how they murder, they see it there. Now they carry out that behavior, what can I do to someone? Because since TV arrived these things are here, in the seventies…
MF Yes
GB …the TVs came to Douglas, that’s when the funny business began. A small child, only five years old, or six or seven, the child drinks. He’s six years old, he smokes. He’s eight years old, he boozes, he smokes, he’s drunk. Old and young booze way over there, they smoke, they used to only smoke there, because on the farm the dagga was planted in the lucerne fields, and the oubaas said that when there’s dagga and the people smoke dagga then they work very well, and the dagga is also a medicine
MMin Mmm
GB But these days, dagga isn’t what it once was, now it’s a drug and pills [mandrax?] have come into the picture as well, they grind up those pills, they sniff them up, they lie there like dead things, they’re not aware of anything even if you come and hit them, they are lifeless. There are all these things now, and now the little ones want to try them as well. And then there’s the rape, we’re scared to walk around now, and all these things are here now. In those years there was nothing like that. Children were obedient and listened. There were dances, people used to dance, the old people danced, they danced the stofdans [lit. ‘dust-dance’, a traditional dance]
GB All those things, the white people danced too
GB They played volkspele [‘folk dance’], danced, and all that. But now nobody even knows how to do them
BV Mmm
GB Maybe you’re celebrating a birthday and some person comes along and just comes and stabs someone right here, they just come off the street, to a twenty-first birthday or something, then they just gatecrash, they come and stab someone, because they haven’t been given any beer or something. But they weren’t even invited, they just come in off the street. This is how our lives are now today. Many people say it’s because these other people have come in. But, Mandela said we must all live together
MMin Mmm
GB Well, back then everyone did live together
All Uhhh, yes
GB With the Griekwas, with the Khoi and the San, and the Tswanas, the Zulus, the Sothos, they were all here
CvR Yes
GB But then a man came along, who went by the name of, what was that man’s name?
CvR Morgan
GB What? Morgan?
CvR Morgan
MF Morgan
GB Then a man who went by the name of Morgan came along, somewhere in the sixties, when Mandela was murdering, in sixty-four he went to prison. Now at that time, Morgan came here, and then he stopped the trains. Black people were not allowed to come here, and brown people weren’t to go there. We became “non-white coloureds” [gekleurde kleurlings] in those years, not ‘coloureds’, the Griekwa people were now ‘coloured’. And then they said that they were not quite sure what a ‘coloured’ is, because they were two kinds of ‘nations’
MMin Nations
GB They’re not Tswana, they’re not white, they’re “non-white coloureds”, they’re mixed. And that is how it became in those years, when Jan van Riebeeck came and the Germans came, as one learns in History [at school], they enslaved the people, nè. Our people were slaves, they were put to work without pay, and when they finished one job they were sent on to the next. Now there was also a man with the name Van Heerden, was it Johannes van Heerden? And there were children working in the fields, and they took a girl from there, she was fifteen, to go and work in the kitchens. Now, Johannes van Heerden was a white man, and he fell in love with the girl, the girl’s name was Eva, and then Johannes fell in love with Eva, and he married Eva, and then Eva bore him children, and these children were…
CvR Mixed
GB And then they called them “Afrikaners”, these Afrikaner children of Johan and Eva, and not Eva [Afrikaans pronunciation], Eva [English pronunciation]
MF Of Eva
GB Eva and Johannes van Heerden
MM Van Meerhof?
GB Yes
MM Van Meerhof, I think it was
GB Then, Eva, then they said that the name of Afrikaners came to be, from those two people. The Griekwa people come from the Cape region
MM Indeed
MB Saartjie Baartman
GB And then the slaves were brought in, and these people, then there was conflict [confusion?] there, and then they left that place, they became afraid of the white man, and they didn’t want to be there anymore. And then they chased the people away, it was actually that same man, old Morgan, he went and chased the people out of the Cape. Because they that it’s not just the Griekwas, the Hottentots, there were more, it was different kinds of ‘nations’ all mixed together. The Hottentot, the Griekwas and the San, and there was another name…
MF Khoisan
GB …but they were…
MB Khoisan
GB Yes, and Khoisan. Then they all left the Cape, and came into this part of the world. That’s why you’ll see that the people of the Northern Cape aren’t the same as the people of the Cape. There in the colony, they are short little people and their hair isn’t quite the same, and then if you go a little further from about Worcester onwards then you see that their hair becomes different, now those people trekked here from here back in those days. See, because that man removed them away from there, and then he said that the Zulus must also go back to their place, and the Sothos. Those people came [here] looking for work, and then they couldn’t go back because the king, if you weren’t back in time to go through your gate then you could not go in, he’d kill you. Then the people stayed in the Northern Cape. Now, people say now that the land is Griekwaland, the Griekwas were here first, but it was a mixed land, ever since those years it has been a mixed land. And so the ‘Basterds’ came here too, those of that man and woman in the Cape, Jan van Riebeeck also took a brown woman, he took Saartjie Baartman
MB Yes
GB Also Saartjie Baartman…
CvR Saartjie Baartman, she really suffered
GB …that’s why you can see difference between the Cape’s people and the Northern Cape’s people, the Cape’s people are more, the Indians also came to South Africa, and they also took wives, all the nations came here that’s why our country is so mixed [i.e. diverse]. Now people want to come and divide up the land. It won’t help [i.e. it won’t work]
MF It won’t
GB Never!
(All) Mmm-mmm
GB The whites were, in those years already, having children with our people, that’s where the thingy came, all the people came, to the Northern Cape, that’s why there’s a difference between the Northern Cape people and the Cape people, difference between those of the Northern Cape and Transvaal, and the Free State. [In the] Free State and Transvaal the people dark, and here you find more coloured people
[child screaming]
GB And then there was a new thing where they want to divide the people, the Griekwas to one side, the Xhosas to another, white people to another, they won’t manage it
CvR They can’t, they’re already mixed up together
GB They won’t manage to do it. It’s the way things are. It just won’t work. Then it became that you couldn’t, for example, I couldn’t walk with him [MM] in the street, he would have been locked up
MMin Yes
GB He and I get locked up, this is in the seventies…
MF Yes
GB …a white man wasn’t allowed to walk in this street. My sister-in-law had a white husband from Jo’burg, and then she came here with the man, she had a child by him, Ricky, who looked just like his father, he also had blue eyes, Ricky is now in Kimberley but my sister-in-law has passed away. That child now doesn’t know where he belongs, where he should be
CvR Ai
GB His uncle’s family doesn’t look like his father, and he doesn’t look like his uncle, but the child is in Kimberley, he has to adapt to us, his mother was ours [i.e. one of us]. He and his mother lived with his aunt in Kimberley
MF (Be quiet now, be quiet) [to children]
GB The child is a Botha. When his mother was still alive, Adam took Elsie and Ricky with him, when Ricky’s mother died Adam put Ricky out of the house. And then Ricky got buddies and Ricky started smoking dagga [with them], then he started smoking pills, then when Ricky didn’t have stuff [i.e. drugs] he’d go to his buddy’s house and steal earrings or he’d steal phones, then they caught Ricky, Ricky’s in jail now. But when Ricky’s mother was alive my brother-in-law accepted Ricky in his house. But now, because he is different to them they chase the boer out of their house, but he’s his sister’s child. It’s not right. And now the child is in prison. He can’t help it, he didn’t tell his mother to take a white husband, he was just born, he only came into the world as a person
CvR Yes, he didn’t understand what was going on
GB He was unaware. And now the child has no mother, his father’s in Kimberley, he wears a board, “No home, no job, please help”, there, he walks the street of Kimberley, Ricky’s father, he’s useless and can’t take care of the child because he doesn’t have work either, he doesn’t even have an ID, he’s a mechanic
CvR Ai, it’s hard
GB He’s a mechanic, Sarel, he could work as a mechanic, he walks around in Kimberley with a card on his back, “No home, no job, please help, no food”
MF Goodness
GB …advertises [for] himself
CvR It’s hard, you know when a white person is like that, very hard
GB My brother-in-law
CvR D’you know, when I was with my sister in Kimberley I used to look at them
GB Now, sis’ Bettie…
CvR What made me sad was seeing the white man, he’s so tired
GB Haai, Bettie, is he [MM] finished here now?
CvR See how he drinks beer, walking around in his socks, in his socks
BV Are you [GB] finished?
GB Look, he [MM] said he would like words from the language
All Yes
GB Time is short. He wants the language, as you said to us earlier, what is ‘water’ in the language
CvR Yes
GB What is ‘person’ in the language. We’re asking you
BV Do you want me to talk now?
All Yes
MM It’s OK, I’ve already, we’ve already spoken with each other
MF He’s already done it
GB Oh, you’ve spoken to each other already
BV Water
MM Mmm
BV …is ǃammi [sic ǁ’ammi ‘water’]
MM ǃammi
BV ǃammi [sic ǁ’ammi ‘water’] is water
BV daip [‘milk’]
MM Milk
BV …is ‘milk’. ǂxon [‘sugar’]
CvR Sugar
MF Hey
BV ǂxon, ǂxon is ‘sugar’
MM Oh!
CvR Sugar
BV ǂxon
MM ǂxon is sugar, but !xon [sic] is…
BV Sugar. ǂ’ũku [‘eat-things’] is food
MB ǀunku is ‘food’
BV ǂ’ũku
MB ǀunku
BV ǂ’ũku, ǂ’ũku
MF Is food
BV maa [‘give’] me ǂ’ũku [‘eat-things’], you’re asking, ‘give me food’, it’s maa me ǂ’ũku. ǁ’om [‘sleep’] is ‘sleep’. khaima [?] is ‘to get up’, you see?
MF Yes
BV ǀoona [‘children’] is the children
CvR Mmm, ǀoona
BV khoes-e [‘woman’-s] are these
MB The kxoes-e [sic], what is that?
CvR The women
BV khoes-e, the khoes-e are ‘women’. Khoeku-s [‘men’-s] is you men. ǂ’hae is ‘go’, kom ons ǂ’hae, now you’re saying ‘let’s go’. This thing, kx’ommi [‘house’], is ‘house’. Now that’s how and what I learned. Your bedding is your ǃonka [sic ǃxonka ‘blankets’]
MB Yes, ǃonka [sic]
BV maa [‘give’] me ǃonka [sic ǃxonka ‘blankets’], ‘give me my blankets’. ǃ’om [? ǁoe ‘lie down’] is to lie back down. taa is ‘talk’, taa is ‘be quiet’, it’s ‘be quiet’, you mustn’t talk
MM And haa [‘come’]?
BV ǂnoa [‘sit’]?
MM haa
BV Is ‘come’
MB Uh, yes
BV ǂnu [‘sit down’] is ‘sit’, khaima [?]
MF ‘get up’
BV maa [‘give’] me that x’aba [?], is ‘give me that dish there’. gǃanni is ‘meat’, maa [‘give’] me gǃandan [‘a litle meat’], you’re saying ‘give me meat’. Now the others say wara [?] me gǃanni [‘meat’], and say ‘give me meat’. The outside part of the meat is ǁnoedan [? ‘a little fat’, ǁnuip ‘fat’], maa me ǁnoedan, you’re saying ‘give me fat’. When you’re doing washing, maa [‘give’] me ǀnabi-tjie [‘soap’ (a little bit of)], you’re asking for soap, ‘give me soap’, maa me ǀnabi-tjie
MF You’re finished talking now
BV Now I’m finished
MF There, the ouma has finished speaking
MM And do any of the rest of your speak as well?
All Uh-uh
MM No?
MF Ouma has finished speaking, now we’re finished
MB Just talk about this thing, what we did and what we used
MF It’s the bont, you see the bont
BV Yes, but you should talk about it
MB Just talk about it
BV It’s about all the myriad ‘nations’
MB This, this, when you put the [old] woman in, talk about how you put the woman [into the hok]
BV Yes, she must talk about and explain that work now
GB ǂnau [sic ǁnau ‘hear’], ǂnau him about those things, why we…
MB When you put the girl into the hut
GB The hokmeisie [young female initiate]
MB When you take the girl down to the water
MF Nee, we talked to him about it last time, it’s in the book [inaudible]
CvR They have spoken about it
MB Oh, you have?
MF We sat here, we, the two of us [MF & BV]
MB Yes, when you’ve put the girl into the hut, when you’ve taken the girl there to the…
MF To the water
MB To the water
MF Yes, we’ve spoken about it
GB Oh, do you know about it?
MF [inaudible] that’s why we’re Griekwas
MB The, the, um
MF It’s our Griekwa-clothing
MB Now what do you call this in your language?
MF You can see it’s kheirase [?] that I’m wearing
MB You must ǂhae [sic ‘walk’] what it is
MF You’re the one who puts them in, you’re above and beyond. She puts them in, I just have to go and check, me. Now she’s passing it on to me. No, this, we, when we’re with the initiate, when a girl becomes a woman, then [inaudible] this one phones me (take him home!) then she phones me, “There’s a young woman that we need to put into the hut, it’s time,” see? We have to put them in [i.e. initiate them], into the belief. Then I come and check what she is doing there. Then she takes the girl, then she takes her and rubs her with the rooiklip [red ochre], then we put her in[to the hut], and then we come out again, we come together again. This is the secretary [GB], this is the ouma of the tradition, we’re dealing with tradition, traditional things, then we come together again, the secretary, this is the ouma who puts them in [MB], and I come and take them out, yes. Then our group comes together, then kafferbier [traditional beer] is made, real kafferbier, and then [a sheep] is slaughtered that morning, and then the girl has been sitting in the belief [i.e. in confinement] for fourteen days, because she still has to go to school [i.e. fourteen days instead of a month], and the fifteenth day I come and take her out
GB To the river with her
MF We’re a whole group, there are more of us, we’re not all together now, it’s a group. That group has to densely surround me, so that the wind cannot blow though me when we get to the Gariep [Orange River], when we go down to the Gariep, then that man must see me there, I must also look at him
CvR The Waterslang
MF Yes
MM Mmm
MF I must look right at him
CvR HE comes halfway out [of the water]
MF And if we aren’t right [i.e. pure, or clean] then we lose everyone, together with the girl
CvR Yes, break, he breaks, you have to be clean
MF You must be clean, you can’t go and lie with a man when the girl has to be taken to the water, no. You must be pure
CvR You can’t go sleep with him [i.e. a man]
MF That man is a clean man [i.e. the waterslang]
CvR Yes, he’s pure, he rides through the water pure
MF And he wants a pure ouma and a pure girl. Then you have to beat [the water], and then when we come back we all come together, and then it’s all dancing and singing, it’s a celebration that we’re holding. In those years the farmers beat us [if we held these initiation rites], my elder-kinswomen, oumas, were beaten there at Tierman Germis, he’s Willem Germis’s kin, Sap Germis’ kin, he beat [them], but my grandmother he couldn’t beat because my grandmother was blind and she had a grip like steel, and I didn’t hold back either because I was precocious, we were cautious, as he raised up his hand we’d swing [punches], my sister and I, so that he had to lower his hand, he had to run away afterwards, leave his bakkie there, then we came up to Sandkroek [a settlement in Bucklands]. But they were very good, those years, the farmers were just severe. As ma-Botha said, we had to work, at this time of day we were still thigh-deep in tomato-water, in the water to process it [to extract seeds from the tomato pulp]. There I was taught, my grandmother was bland she said, “You must put this girl in[to confinement], you mustn’t lie with men or let men pinch you and say ‘oh, no’, no, you mustn’t do those things at all. You must put them in clean, you must take them out clean. When an initiate is put into confinement, a young lamb must be slaughtered there, the ouma who is in [the hut] with the young girl must eat that meat for three weeks, or a month, together with the child.” The beer gets made, if there is a beer-brewer, the kafferbier-brewer, she’s there, my siste-in-law brews the kafferbier, and that kafferbier must go in where the sheep goes to the girl, she is covered up and then she has to catch the sheep, and the sheep comes and is slaughtered, and after that we hold the feast. Those who drink, drink, and those that eat, eat. We aren’t drinkers, we just eat, then we go down [to the river] and we come back. But it’s really great, putting the girl in and standing by her family. There’s no money involved, at the end of the day the two of us, we’d be ashamed, because the two of us had to economise, because there wasn’t enough, we had to think on our feet because we had to know how we could make things work, because the girl had to go down to the water the next day. But now they’ve said that there’s money for those of us doing the traditional things, there is money now, and on Monday I wait on the King so that the Lord can open the door, if he opens it then I know I can take that girl just as I take them every time, down to the water and back. The Lord helps us through it. Sometimes there are things on the water’s surface that I see, then I sometimes see this one, I walk [there] at four o’clock and I see this one, lying there like a big kurper [Tilapia], [but] it’s not a kurper lying there, it’s actually old Vol [? Possibly a name for the waterslang] lying there, he lies skew [so that he looks] like a kurper, then I tell this one she must go to that side, so that I can go on the other. When I turn my head again I see that the kurper is gone, it’s not a kurper, it’s oom Vol, it’s the water’s master that lies there, he lies from this side to that side, that’s how long he is, and this high, a kurper could never be this high. Then I tell the young ones it’s a little kurper, she must stand fast, and I ready myself for him, I can’t run away, I must stand [my ground]
CvR You have to finish [the ritual]
MF I must stand [my ground]. If we lose, everyone will be lost
MMin Everyone
MF But the Lord holds a protective hand over me. I think it’s been a whole twenty-nine years that I’ve been doing this work, a whole twenty-nine years, or thirty years that I’ve been doing it? But I’ve never received a fee so that I can say, “Here’s yours, here’s yours, here’s yours”, bless here, just hand out. But I’m grateful, the Lord has privileged us to do that work with a willing heart. See, if you’re not willing then something can happen to the girl. There are some girls who, when I come wash them, have an fit [or seizure] in my arms, and then I, as the washer, must make it pass quickly, I must talk to the Lord and I must speak my mother’s language, when I get to the water I must, I see it coming, coming, he’s coming from that side, my sister’s son is near me, I whistle just like him but I do it very quietly so that nobody hears me, then I whistle, then I speak my mother’s language, then I see the water, the water comes closer, comes closer, comes closer. Then I strike it, I strike it on the left, she [MB] must strike it well on the right because it’s not as fierce on the left, just like that, when I give it one blow then I say, “ǀnau” [? ǂnau ‘beat (with a stick)’]. I forgot to bring those photos ,otherwise I could have shown them to you. It’s beautiful. And it’s very clean [or correct], you must also be clean, and sober when you do the work, and that’s why you see us in [these multi-coloured clothes]
MM Why do you strike the water?
MF The oupa of the river is there, that man is there
CvR He becomes angry
MF Look, if he throws his nets over you, he’ll pull you in…
CVR Yes, he’ll pull you in
MF …then you have to, you must hit him, you must make him ka tshee [?], so that he becomes calm, so that he becomes quiet. Now, if he becomes quiet, we strike it, then we strike it, then we come out with the girl so that her friend can swing her around and around and dance with her, we sing and dance and play the guitar too, the hand-guitar, we dance and it’s wonderful. Actually this one shouldn’t be there…
GB Actually one should…
MF …because the oupa can’t be there with the… now I have to take these. But it’s beautiful. And for that reason we are the Griekwa, of the Trust? Of the Trust. We are part of the Trust, our traditional Trust.
GB What did I want to say, you might know Welyn?
MF Yes
GB What’s his real name?
MF Rooitjie
GB Uh-uh, not Roiitjie
MF What’s his real name, is it Frans, or…
GB Welyn, he lives up there on the rise
CvR He’s the chief
GB He’s a chief of the Griekwas
MM Where is he?
GB He lives over there, and he said if someone comes one day then we must bring them to him
MMin Take them there
GB He wants to meet them. Go and show them to him. Because he’s now the chief of this business
CvR Of the Griekwas
MF Of these
GB Because this business is dying out now, it’s disappearing because there are no hokmeisies anymore, because the girls are embarrassed…
MF The don’t want to do it
GB …of this thing of being put in the hut. And now this is all dying out, but we still keep the clothing on as evidence that the old people, in those years, believed in these things, and when a girl came of age, became a teenager, then she changes into a woman, nè. Then she is put in the hok for a month. Now she’s a woman, if a boyfriend were to come to her she could have a baby. So then she’s put into the room for a month. When that month has passed, she is dressed beautifully, lipstick and eyebrows and the like, then we take her down to the river, then someone plays the guitar, but he has passed away, and then we sing, the oumas strike the water, she has looked after the girl for a whole month, gave her food and things and washed her, and the ouma is now the leader, she goes and strikes the water so that it opens
CvR She speaks with it, talks to it
GB Yes, and then a sheep had been slaughtered, and the sheep’s bones are not chopped, the meat is cooked off them, they are put into a bag, and then the next day when we go down with the girl, then the ouma strikes the water and then we cast the bones into the water, then the snake needs to take the bones
MF Yes
GB Once he has taken them, then we come up, then we uncover the girl so that everyone can see how she looks now, then we come up to the house, dancing, then we come to the house and everyone comes to eat the food and they drink that kafferbier, ginger[beer], wine, and then there’s dancing, and she puts on a new dress, then she’s swung around and around, and that’s it. And now the children are embarrassed
MMin Embarrassed
MF They are embarrassed by it
GB Now, people are hosting events with these things of ours. There’s another one at the hospital on Thursday, we have to take these things and…
CvR No, apparently Poon said “no”
GB …and go there. The prison want these things, they dance the way we do and then they take photos, then I don’t know what happens to those photos or where they send them. So one day soon you’ll see a lot of these things, on the TV on ‘Focus’, because people borrow our things. I don’t know what they do with them. They put them on and dance those dances and sing the dance-songs and they get someone to play the guitar
BV Goodness, but they should do these things
CvR But they get money and we have…
GB Now, I say we have to do something
MF They mustn’t borrow the things
CvR No, I won’t anymore
GB We can’t lend out our clothes like that. Those people hold concerts and they make money
MB Yes
CvR Yes, they get money
GB With our things. They go have concerts. And it’s paid for, twenty Rand at the door, or twenty Rand for this one’s dress and twenty Rand for that one’s dress. But we only use it for the hokmeisies, we don’t make money out of these clothes
MB And they also have funerals, then the Griekwas all have to be there because one of the Griekwas has died, then we have to walk with them, others have to carry them, we must stand and… the pallbearers with the body must stand, so that we can do our rounds here, and when we go to the grave then we go just like that, to the grave, like this
CvR Yes, there, to the church house
MB Yes, to the church house, we sway like this, wing swing around like this, and we go in, we go inside, and we take photos and things, but I don’t know what Poon did with those things now
GB Now, Welyn’s daughter is getting married on the twenty-ninth of September
MF Yes, you told me
GB It’s a traditional wedding, then we all have to be wearing these clothes. Those things, doesn’t Poon have a video of us?
MB He does, yes
GB See, I would’ve liked to have played him [MM] a video, see?
MF Yes, I see
GB So that he can see… [inaudible]
MB How it swings… that video of Poon’s, of that guys funeral, he took two, didn’t he?
GB See, on a video they’d see us nicely
MB Yes, like spinning tops, like this
MB We walk with that body like this
MF Langman has one
MB Yes
GB Langman who?
All Mami
MF Now when we leave here, we must stand together. If someone, even if we’ve asked them, let them come to me. And none of the clothes are worn [by others without permission], I want to know who they are and where they are, where they’re from. Let them come to me, or let them go to Welyn, just the two of us. Because I don’t want our things to be borrowed by people who never bring them back
CvR No
MB I’ve already said that I won’t lend anyone my things anymore
MF Things are lent to people and you never get anything back, and if they do bring it back you don’t get anything for it, you lend it to them, they get something, and we get nothing
GB The prison also borrowed our things last time
MF And nothings gets given out anymore
CvR Nothing, nothing, look here…


Transcription of a recorded interview with Ouma Mieta Minnies, Ouma Griet Botha, Ouma Martha Bekers, Ouma Chrissy van Rooyen, Ouma Mietjie Fredericks & Ouma Bettie Visser, conducted by Martin Mössmer
Location: Breipaal, Douglas, Northern Cape
Date: 10 September 2018

MMin = Ouma Mieta Minnies
GB = Ouma Griet Botha
MB = Ouma Martha Bekers
CvR = Ouma Chrissy van Rooyen
MF = Ouma Mietjie Fredericks
BV = Ouma Bettie Visser
NU = Neighbour (Unknown)
MM = Martin Mössmer

GB Maar kyk, in daai tyd was die tale gemeng
MM (Hier’s nou net ‘n klein klank opnemertjie, omdat die ding nie honderd persent is nie)
NU Ek weet’ie rerig wat is die en die ding nie
GB Die tale was gemeng daai tye [inaudible] die Tswanase en die San was deurmekaar
NU Hulle’t va’môre gepraat oor’ie radio vir die Afrikaans en Engels
MB Die San is nou mos die Griekwa…
[dog barking, inaudible]
CvR Waar’s Betjie? Betjie? Laa’ jy ǁoe [?]
MM Oukei, kan ek nou moooi vir julle verduidelik…
CvR Betjie!
GB Die San is mos die Griekwa mense, ha ǃi kwa [?]…
MM …wat ek doen
NU Luister nou
GB …sit hulle mos nou oor na die San toe, die ǃnoisan [sic Khoisan]
NU Luister nou
MB Jy! Luister daar! Hey, jy raas nou genoeg man!
MM So, ek kom van die Universiteit van Kaapstad af, en ek stel nou navorsing in oor’ie Griekwataal, en mense sê die taal is fyftig jaar lank al uitgesterf
MB Uh, daai tyd gesterf
MM Maar dit…
GB Dit was in bestand gewees
MM Maar die mense, jy weet, hier en daar is daar nog een of twee mense wat nog kan praat, en…
MM …en, ek probeer om nou op te neem en op te skryf wat daar nou is, voor dit verlore gaan. Dan kan ek ‘n klein boek maak wat ek nie gaan verkoop nie, wat ek net gaan gee, dan gee ek hom vir die gemeenskap, dan kan julle…
GB Leer
MM …dan die kinders leer, of hulle kan dit op ‘n skool gebruik, of wat ook al. So dis wat ek doen. En dan stel ek ook belang net in mense se eie geskiedenis, so nie die groot geskiedenis nie, maar, jy weet, waar mense vandaan kom, waar hulle grootgeword het, en so. Hoe julle rondbeweeg het, of rondgetrek het, of wat ook al. Dis al.
MF So nou, jy’t eintlik gekom vir daai dinge?
MM Ja, dis reg.
MF Oukei. Nou ǃnʰu [sic] nana
MM Kan ek net vir julle vra, het ek julle toestemming om hierdie opname te maak?
CvR Ja
MM Is dit reg?
CvR ‘is reg
MM En dat ek ‘it dan kan gebruik en afskryf en gebruik om hierdie lys te maak, en so aan
GB Mmm.
MM En dan moet ek net, sodat ek later kan onthou wie is wie, dis nou [from right] ouma Bettie Visser, ouma Mietjie…
MF Fredericks
MM Fredericks
CvR Chrissy van Rooyen
MM Chrissy van Rooyen
[dog barking, inaudible]
MM En ouma se naam?
NU Ant Bella?
MB Martha Bekers
MM Martha Bekers, en ouma se naam?
GB Griet Botha
MM Griet Botha
MMin Mieta Minnies
MM Mietjie Minnies
MMin Nee, Mieta Minnies
MM Mieta Minnies. Baie dankie. Um, so julle kan maar gesels as julle wil, of julle kan, as julle eers vir my wil vertel waar julle vandaan kom en so, dan kan julle ook dit doen
BV Julle moet nou weer terug gaan na julle geboorte plekke
MM Dièp in die verlede in
MB Dan ǂoe [?] jy
CvR Nee, daar is eene wat sê ǂoe [?] maar nou praat nou maar jou taal, waar jy hom nou praat
BV Nou ek wil ǃnoa [sic ǃ’hoa ‘praat’], jou taal, ja
MB Op’ie Afrikaans?
NU Ja, praat maar in Afrikaans
CvR Afrikaans. Uh, hoor hier Mieta, waarvan af kom jy?
NU Of moet hulle in daai taal praat?
MM Nee, nee, julle kan praat net soos wat julle wil, Engels, Afrikaans, Tswana
MF Afrikaans
CvR Waarvan af kom jy?
MF Ek wil nou praat
BV Ja, sê. Waar’s jy gebore
NU Julle moet sê van waar is julle gebore, waar’t jy grootgeword, oor jou geskiedenis, hoe’t jy aangekom, toe trek julle waarn’toe, toe gaan julle weer waarn’toe
MF Ja, maar hy moet mos nou in ‘n ry loop is
CvR Ja
MF Ons praat’ie so nie
MM Ja, want ek het nou klaar laas vir…
MF Vir ons gevra
MM …vir ouma Bettie en ouma Mietjie gevra
BV Maar Chrissy, jy moet nou jou boorlingplek…
MF Jy moet nou mos praat
MB Ek het in’ie Erew [sic Die Erwe] gebore
MM Mmm, die Erwe daar naby Bucklands?
MB Ja, naby Bucklands.
MF Wat het julle nou daar alles aangevang?
MB Daar’s nou geplant, daar’s vrugte geplant, alles het ons gegeniet. Voore, kernaales [d.w.s. kanale] gebou… als wat hulle gedoen het, in’ie Erwe.
CvR Mietjie
GB Ek is ook in’ie Erwe gebore
NU En toe trek jy daarvan af, jy moet nou sê toe’t jy daar gebore en toe jy trek daarvan af toe gaan julle weer waar in, toe gaan bly julle weer waar’n toe het julle weer uitgekom
MB Ja, toe kom bly ons op Stofdraai [‘n plaas]
MM Stofdraai?
MB Daar’t ek nou beeste gemelk, ek het water gelei, ek het alles gedoen daar, en toe trek ek weer van die Stofdraai af toe kom bly ek by die Vaalkamers [‘n plaas].
CvR Dis nou nog in’ie Erwe in
MB Daar’t ek aartappels gewerk, vroe’n’ie môre uit, inval, in’ie middag uitval, en so’t o’s grootgeword, o’s het pampoene gewerk, tamaties, als, o’s is alles gedoen. O’s is meisiekinders gewees wat kan iets doen vir onse grootmense. Ons grootmense het o’s gevat, soos ‘n moeder in die huis in, onse vader. Dis wat die Here o’s nog so kan spaar en dra, gehoorsaamig vir o’se ouers, o’s ‘t’ie laat in’ie huis in gekom’ie, o’s moet wegloop as o’s wil iets doen.
MM En waneer het ouma Breipaal toe gekom?
MB O, ek weet nou nie
MF Baie jare
All Baie jare
MB Baie jare
MM Lankal. Hoekom? Was daar ‘n rede, of was dit maar net…
MB Toe word o’s nou uitgesit, toe sê die boere dis nie onse plek daai nie, o’s moet ùit! Toe word o’s ùit. Toe kom bly ek eers in Bongani in, toe sien ek Bongani is’ie vir my goed’ie, toe trek ek deur Blinkpunt toe. Dat ek nou nog in Blinkpunt is, en almal’t hier kom gesterwe
CvR Ai
MM En ouma se ma en pa, was hulle o’k daar van die Erwe se kant?
MB O’k van die Erwe se kant af, maar hulle, die man het in die Erwe gesterwe en die vrou het in Blinkpunt in gesterwe
MM Ouma Griet?
GB Ek het o’k in’ie Erwe gebly, grootgeword, gebore. My pa en ma het daar gebly, my pa’t in, op ‘n plaas op Griekwastad met die naam van Swartkop gewerk. So het hy eers na ma-hulle huis toe gekom, en toe was ek nog ‘n klein babetjie gewees van ‘n jaar oud toe is my ouers agter mekaar oorlede. En toe het my ma se suster ons kom haal, ons was drie, ‘n tweeling en ek, na ‘n plaas toe met die naam Duikersvlei, en daar het ons gaan gebly. Maar, toe is my oompie nie vrede dat my antie nog drie kinders in die huis bring terwyl hulle ses kinders het. En so’t my oompie stief met ons gewerk, en dan’t hy die antie geslaan, elke dag vir haar gesê as hy va’middag van die werk kom dan moet die kinders uit die huis uit wees. En so het sy nou nie want ek kon nog nie geloop het’ie, my broer en suster moes my dra. Nou ‘next door’ was daar mense, dan’t hulle bedags vir ons kos gegee, dan kom my oompie in die aand by die huis dan vra hy nou vir my antie waar het die kinders geëet, dan sê sy, “Nee, die mense langsaan het vandag vir hulle kos gegee om te eet”, dan roep hy ons dan slaan hy my broer en suster want ek was nog klein. En naderhand toe sê hy vir my broer en suster, “Hoor hier, as ek môre middag hier kom moet julle uit die huis uit wees. Gaan daar na die rivier toe, dan gaan kyk julle julle se ouma lê in’ie water.” Nou, my ouma se van was Seekoei. “Dan gaan kyk julle julle se ouma as die son warm word, sy’s dik en vet, dan kom sy uit dan lê sy op die sand. Gaan sê julle ouma moet vir julle kos gee. Gaan sit daar.” So het my broer en suster geglo dat my ouma lê in die rivier in, en as die son warm word dan kom lê sy op die sand. Toe’t hulle nou vir my gevat en ge-abba en gegaan rivier toe, en daar het hulle gewag en gewag, die ouma kom nie uit die rivier uit’ie. En dan naderhand, toe van die wag, daar is nie kos, daar’s nie water nie, het hulle iets gaan gepluk met die naam van ghaap [bokhorings (plant) Hoodia gordonii], so ‘n halwe vygie ding, so suur-soet, dan’t hulle die bessies geëet, so rooi, die bessies is soet soos die rosyntjie, maar ek kon nou nie kos kry nie want hulle’s groot, hulle’t al tanne, hulle weet hoe om die goed te eet. So’t ek nou maar gevernietig, maer geraak, en naderhand toe kon nie een van hulle loop’ie want hulle is te… die bene het’ie meer krag in om te beweeg nie, want daar’s’is kos nie, daar’s’ie water’ie. So het hulle toe maar naderhand maar net tussen riete gelê. Nou die eienaars van die plaas het toe ‘n sloot kom gegrawe om pype in te lê om vir die landery water, toe daar ‘n ‘engine’ opgesit. Toe’t hy ‘n jong seun gehad van twaalf jaar, en toe seun die sand duine sien wat hulle nou so hope maak van onder af, toe hardloop hy nou op en af, en met die wat hy daar bo is hoor hy twee stemmetjies hier onder hom, en hy sê vir sy pa, “Pa, moenie meer grond gooi nie, want ek hoor kindertjies wat hier onder huil.” En sy pa sê vir hom, “Nee man, jy praat nonsens, dis aapies wat jy hoor.” Hy sê, “Nee pa, moenie meer gooi nie, ek gaan af, ek gaan kyk wat huil hier. Dis kinders.” Toe hy daar onder kom toe lê ons drietjies nou so in mekaar, toe kom hy op, toe sê hy, “Pa, kom kyk, dis drie hotnotjies wat daar lê. Kom kyk.” So’t die plaas, sy pa, nou af gekom kom kyk, toe kry hy rerig ons is in mekaar, ons kannie loop nie, jy sien? Toe vat hy ons al drie op, en toe hy daar bo is, toe sê hy vir die volk, “Sit al die masjiene af. Dan kom almal op na die werf toe, en as ek daar is dan moet almal julle se vrouens, klein en groot, na my huis toe bring. Ek wil weet waar vandaan kom die kinders. Die plaas is vyftien myl uit die dorp, die kinders kannie daai ent loop’ie.” So’t hulle toe op gegaan na sy huis toe, en toe almal bymekaar geroep. Nou die ‘next-door’ mense’t toe vir’ie oubaas gesê, “Oubaas, hier was drie kinders by haar man se huis, maar die kinders is net weg. Ek weet’ie wat het van hulle geword’ie.” En, uh, toe vra die oubaas nou vir haar mans, en vir Elisa, “Elisa, waar’s die kinders wat by julle huis was? Jy hoor mos nou ou Klaas sê hulle was…” “Nee oubaas, ek weet’ie waar’s’ie kinners’ie. Ek het gesê hulle moet na hulle se ouma gaan hier in die rivier.” “Nou hoekom het jy die kinders weg gejaag?” “Nee oubaas, ek het’ie genoeg kos gehad’ie om vir my kinders èn die kinders. En toe vra ek die vrou, hoekom bring hy nog kinders in die huis. En toe sê ek, ‘daai kinders, as ek vanaand by die huis kom moet hulle hier weg wees.’ En toe gaan die kinders rivier toe en gaan soek hulle se ouma. Maar ek het nou nie geweet hulle gaan sò word’ie.” Toe’s’it net vel en bene. Die enigste vleis wat in my ligaam was is my tong. So’t die oubaas vir ons in gebring dorp toe. Nou ons kon nie eet nie, toe moes hulle vir ons inspuitings, die vel lig om die inspuiting in die vel in te spuit, dis ‘n vitamien en yster en daai soort van goed, en vir ons o’k voed, daar was’ie die goete wat vandag by die hospitale is nie, aarvoedings en daai goed’ie, hulle moes dit met ‘n inspuiting inspuit. En so het ons nou maar opgegroei. En uh, (baai) hy’t toe ‘n dogter gehad wat in Bloemfontein in ‘nursing’ was, en toe moes hy vir haar laat kom laat sy huistoe kom, laat sy nou vir ons kom. Toe nou daai jare was daar sulike seepkiste waar die sepe in gepak was, daai jare het die mense boerseep gemaak met die vet en seep, en toe moes hulle nou daai goed uit pak en vir ons donskombersies maak met die gansvere, en dan waterbottels onder in sodat ons kan warmte kry want ons het’ie warmte gehad’ie, was in’ie winter. So’t on opgegroei, en toe word ons naderhand groot, toe die broer van my twaalf jaar oud was toe het die baas toe plaas toe, uh, Kaap toe gegaan, na Somerset Strand toe, en daar by die ‘beach’ is ‘n sementmuurtjie, en toe’t hulle nou treintjie-treintjie gespeel, toe’s hy op die punt, en toe loop val hy en toe val hy met sy rug teen die muur. Dis daar by Whitehouses by die ‘Main Road’, toe gaan val hy met sy rug teen die muurtjie, want kyk dis mos nou swaai, daai treitjie-treintjie, toe breek hy sy rug, toe kry hy ‘meningitis’. Toe is hy Groote Schuur toe, en hy’s daar in die Kaap in oorlede. In Somerset is hy gebegrawe. Nou toe’t ek en die ander suster nou weer met die oubaas terug gekom. Toe’t hy nou die een suster vir sy dogter gegee, en die een het hy nou by my gehou, vir hom gehou, en toe’t hy nou getrou, en toe’t ek nou by hulle grootgeraak tot ek sewentien jaar oud was het ek by hulle gebly, ek het’ie by ander mense gebly nie. Ek het by hulle saam hulle se kinders grootgeword. Ek het’ie skool gegaan nie. Toe hulle my skool toe vat, toe sê die skoolhoof, nee hulle kan my nie vat nie want vir die ouderdom wat ek is is ek te slim, ek kan sus en dan lees, ek kan sus en dan skryf, so hulle kan my nie aanvaar by die skool nie. So’t ek by die huis geleer, om te leer skryf en so aan, Engels leer praat, en Afrikaans, want die madam wat my grootgemaak het, sy was van overseas, sy was van Scotland, sy kon nie Afrikaans praat nie. Toe’t ek nou vir haar Afrikaans geleer en sy het nou vir my Engels geleer, want haar kinders het ook’ie Afrikaans gepraat’ie, en dis hoekom ek nou van Engels en Afrikaans verstaan. Ek kannie so goed Engels skryf’ie, maar ek verstaan Engels. Nou ja, so hier neëntien-vyf-en-sestig is die oubaas oorlede, twee-duisend-en-drie is die ounooi oorlede, ek het toe getrou, man en kinders, en so nou is ek tussen my familie, en so het dit nou maar gegaan.

CvR Mieta
GB Nou…
CvR Nee, die mense het klaar gepraat
MB En jy wil’ie praat’ie
MMin E’[k] kannie
MB Wie’t dan nou klaar gepraat?
MMin Ek kannie die, nee, ek is, ek hakkel met die… verstaan?
CvR O, ja hakkel, ja
MM Dis oukei…
CvR Ek het op Brakfontein grootgeword, daai plek as ‘n mens Prieska toe ry, ek het daar grootgeword en daar het ek so halfpad skool gegaan, sub-B toe’s o’s maar net ses by die skool banke, toe sien daai onderwysers nou nie meer kans om skool te hou nie, toe trek hulle Hopetown toe en ons het maar daar gebly, so halfpad slim en halfpad dom, en uh, op die outerste ent, toe sê die blanke man vir my oupa daar’s’ie meer werk’ie, my oupa moet nou maar trek, en uh, my oupa…

…se bokke geverkoop, die baas het my oupa die vyftig… vyf… wat is… vyftig sent… halfkroon… vyf-en-twintig sent ‘n bok, o’s het tien gehad, geverkoop aan my, vir my oupa gegee teen vyf bokke. En so’t my oupa sy goete gelaai, en o’s is Prieska toe, en daar’t my oupa, hy’t aan ‘n hart gely, daar’t hy nou maar gelê en net geëet, kon niks doen nie. Sy vrou het o’k maar daar gesit met haar se naaldgoete werk, en ek het by ‘n blanke vrou gewerk by M Junk, in die kafee. Ag-uur in’ie môre val ek in, tien-uur vanaand val ek uit. En so’t my oupa daar gesterwe en my ouma’t weer terug getrek, trek my ouma weer terug Brakfontein toe, gaan bly hy by sy, by haar jongste dogter, en so’t sy o’k daar gesterwe op Brakfontein, en so’t haar jongste dogter Douglas toe getrek, en ek is ook uit Brakfontein uit, uit Prieska uit Brakfontein toe, en uit Brakfontein uit – dit was mos ‘n groot delwery plek – ‘diamonds’ gewerk, gedelf, die booi wat ek gehad het, boyfriend wat ek gehad het, hy’t my gewys hoe word ‘diggers’ gewerk, en so het hulle ‘diamonds’-e gekry vir’ie blankes en die blankes het dit geverkoop en vir hulle geld gegee en het hy o’k al’yd vir my iets gegee. En uh, so’t die delwery tot niet geraak, en so’t ek en hy maar weer Douglas toe getrek, want hulle bly mos in Douglas in, so’t ons twee… Toe’t ek hier kom, toe kom maak hy vir my ‘n persoonskaart, dit was mos daai tyd persoonskarte, toe’s ek agtien jaar. Toe sê hy nee, hy soek nie vir ‘n nader meisie nie, hy soek net vir my, toe ontsnêp hy my, en ek kry my ID en hy’t ok sy persoonskaart. Van agtien af sit ek in sy huis in tot ek is nou twee-en-sewentig jaar, in sy huis. Hy’s oorlede, en nou’s dit nog net ek met my ou kindertjiesese, dit doen sleg, maar ek maak dit maar deur met hullese
MM En toe, is dit nou by negentien-sestig se kant toe hulle die vee afgekoop het by jou…
CvR Ja, op Brakfontein. En so’t ons trek getrek Prieska toe, en weer terug. Maar daai tyd was dit mos anderster as nou. Daai tyd was die mense gesond want hulle’t uit die veld uit bittergoete gedrink, hy was gesond gewees, hy het, daar was’ie Vaseline-e gewees’ie, as hulle slag dan braai hulle die vet uit, die kaiings een kant, die vet eenkant, dit was nou onse Vasleine wat ons smeer. En, nou hierdie vet lyk my, hy was o’k ‘n ander ding, hy’t iets anders geveroorsaak, toe’s daar toe kom daar nou luise. Toe’s dit ‘n luis ding, dan krap die kinderse en hulle krap so
En dit roep die ouma, “Kom lê!”, dan het sy altyd gesoek, dan sê hy vir die man, “Kyk hierdie dik luis!”, die kop se luis is swart, “Kyk die dik luis! Die luise wat die kinders het is so verpes hier!”
Dan soek hulle nou die klere, dan sê hulle, “Kyk nou net hier hardloop die eene! Sit!”, daar krap ek. Nou daai tyd, die luise het nou die, die mense kry mos nou bloeddruk, suiker siekte, daai luise het dit wèggevat, daar was’ie so su’ke siekte gewees’ie, nou van daai luis weg is nou’s die mense nou, nou sterwe hulle van bloeddruk, suikersiek, daai klas siekte. Daar was nou mos net kanker gewees, die mense het mos net kanker gekry. Ek het by ‘n blanke vrou gewerk wat kanker gehet het, maar weet, sy kon o’k’ie praat’ie sy’t net so gelê, dan kom daar ‘n gedagte by my, dan sê ek as sy suster pap maak of die custard dan gooi ek dit in my mond in, dan gaan maak ek haar mond oop, dan druk ek haar neus toe, dan hou ek daai custard dan [inaudible] ek hulle so, so het sy gesluk met die kankersiekte [inaudible], maar o’k’ie lank’ie toe moes sy o’k sterwe, dis afgeëet gewees. Toe trek ek nou Douglas toe en hier het in Douglas het ek nou oud geword, hier’t ek kom beroerte gekry en ek is nou nog op die beroerte. Maar ek wil die mense sê, die mense wat so beroerte kry en hulle’s kleingelowig
MB Kleingelowigheid, ja
CvR God raak hulle nie aan nie want hulle wil’ie hoor wat daai man sê nie. Hulle hoor die bybel hoe verklaar die bybel, “Ek is hier om julle te help”, maar hulle soek dit’ie, “Nee, nee, ek wil tog’ie…” Nou die Here het my aangeraak op so ‘n manier. “Bid! Dan kan ek genees, dan kan ek jou help.” Op so ‘n manier
MB Bid sal my opper
CvR Ek was heel krom, ek kon nie praat’ie, als, als. Maar een aand in Kimberley in, toe’s daar ‘n ouma langs my, ek was o’k’ie… “geen besoekers” geskryf, niemand mag my besoek nie. Toe skrou die ouma so, “Help! Help! Help!”, “Wat is dit ouma?”, “Loop roep julle vir my die priest.” En die priest kom die aand daar, “Wat moet ek maak ouma?”, “Bid vir my”. Toe bid die priest vir die ouma, en toe’t hy sê “Amen”, toe sê die stem hier onder my bed, “Kan jy nie o’k onse vader bid’ie?”, toe antwoord ek, maar ek kannie praat’ie, ek sê, “Ek kan dan nie praat’ie”, hy antwoord, “Net soos wat jy my sê, so kan jy bid”, en ek bid, en ek sê “Amen”, en hy sê, “Roep die susters!”, en ek roep die susters. “Van waneer af praat die ouma?”, “Nee”, sê hulle, “die ouma praat van nounet, van suster hier aangehardloop kom.” Ek het so gewens die Here te sien, laat ek kan regkom, sê die stem vir my, “As jy bid sal jy genesing kry”. En so’t ek die genesing gekry, daai môre toe ek kan praat toe ontslaat hulle my Hester Malan toe, Douglas hospitaal toe. En so’t ek gekom weer met die siek saam, hier by my antie gekom lê by Lena Jacobs. So’t ek die langman gesien, daar kom hy in kamer toe in, die man het reguit na my bed toe gekom en gesê, “Staan op!”, ek sê vir hom, “Ek kannie opstaan nie”, hy sê, “Try!”, en ek is af van die bed af, en hy sê vir my, “Druk hier teen die hangkas”, en ek druk teen die hangkas, en hy draai sy rug en hy loop voor en ek is agter tot op’ie stoep. En toe’t ek op’ie stoep kom toe sê hy vir my, “Kyk op hemel toe”, en ek kyk so op, toe was die sterwe [sic] mekaar en hulle trek mekaar, dit lyk soos ‘n spiel [sic], en hier kom sulke warm winde, koue winde so oor my, hy sê, “Dis’ie Gees, moenie bang word’ie”, hy sê, “Dis my Gees wat so oor jou trek. Jy raak genees, jy kry genesing, dis my Gees.” En hy sê vir my, “Kyk af”, en ek kyk so af en ek sien hier staan twee huise. Hy vra vir my, “Wat sien jy?”, ek sê, “Dis twee huise wat daar staan.” “Wat sien jy rondom daai huise?”, ek sê, “draade”, “Wat is teen die drade?”, ek sê, “Dis papiere”, hy sê vir my, “Kom. So wil julle lewe, julle wil so lyk soos daai pampiere, daai rolbos, daai karbokste, sò wil julle lyk.” Van daai jaar af, twee-duisend-en-vyf, is ek ge-ontslaan uit die hospitaal uit, het ek’ie weer hospitaal toe gegaan nie tot va’middag toe. Ek het my genesing gekry van die hemel af.
MF So het die goed gewerk ander pad
CvR Ja, ek het vir hom geluister
MM Wil ouma nie vertel nie, ouma Mieta?
MMin Ek kannie…
MF Hy kan nou gaan praat
MB Hy kannie lekker praat’ie, die tong klap vas
MF Hy kom o’k ui’die Erwe uit
CvR Hy kom o’k van Brakfontein af
MF Van Brakfontein
CvR Hy’t in Brakfontein gebly, ja. Die blanke man waar sy ma-hulle gebly het was Van Zyl, hy’s Van Zyl, Ben van Zyl
CvR Hulle’t daar gewerk, sy ma was, het gewas en ek het in’ie kombuis gewerk, en sy pa was in’ie tuine in. En so’t hulle maar daar grootgeword tot hulle nou so hier tien, elf is, toe trek hulle nou Douglas toe, en toe los hulle my daar en ek weet nou nie verder hoe’t hulle aangegaan nie, met hulle nie
MM Woelig vandag, nè?
MF Hy’s woelig, die hond
GB Nou daai jare moes die kinderse mos werk, hulle kon nie skool toe gaan nie. As hulle op die plase is moet hulle skape oppas, hulle moet saam met die oupa veld toe gaan om die skape op te pas, vanaand kom hulle weer saam. Die meisiekinderse moes na die kombuis toe gaan om saam met die anties wat daar werk agter hulle aan werk, die anders wat kan lande toe gaan moet lande toe gaan en daar gaan werk werk. Nou daar waar ek was, daar was diggers gewees, dan moes os altyd saamgaan waneer die grond uitgehaal word en so gesif word, dan moet ons kyk vir die rubies en die diamante. Dan kry ons sulike sakkies, daardie jare het die mense in sulke lap sakkies tabak gekry, daar was ‘White Horse’ en ‘Springbok’
CvR ‘Springbok’
MF Ja ja
MB Daai sterik goete
CvR Springboktwak
GB Dan kry ons van daai sakkies om die klippies uit te soek, rubies en diamante. Dan kom jy nou vanmiddag, ent van die maand kry jy een pond tien, dis vyftien Rand, een pond tien
MB Daar’s’ie Rande gewees daai tyd’ie
GB Dit was onse pay gewees, wat ons ent van die maand pay
MB Dis klomp geld daai tyd gewees, as jy hom sò het kan jy klomp goed kry vir daai geld
GB Een pond tien. Dan gaan ons in die oggend vróég diggers toe, want die diggers het meer geld as die geld hier om die skape op te pas. Dan daai diamante, die rubies eenkant en die diamante eenkant, daar’s partykeer wit diamante, daar’s pienk diamante, daar’s geel diamante
CvR Pers
GB Pers. Dan’s daar ‘n acid, twee bottels acid, want sekerlike diamante in daai acid moet gooi om te kyk dat hy daai kolle op het moet daai diamante vir sewe dae in die acid lê, maar hy mag’ie lig op daai acid kom’ie, dis in ‘n donker kamer. Oor sewe dae, dan sê die oubaas, “Julle moet die diamante gaan uitgooi”, dan moet o’s dit uitgooi en kyk die wat nie spot-te het’ie eenkant toe in ‘n ander botteltjie wat nie acid in het nie. Maar die rubies word’ie in’ie acid gegooi nie, net die diamante. Dan moet ons weer daai diamante wat skoon is in ‘n sakkie in sit en dit vir die oubaas gee, dan gaan die oubaas Kimberley toe dan gaan verkoop hy daai diamante. Dan maak hy vir elke kind ‘n ring of ‘n iets met daai diamante, en die ander verkoop hy. Dan koop hy nou karre of goete of so. Einde van die jaar, kry almal khaki klere, die boois wat op’ie plaas werk. Ons, die kinders, kry nuwe skoene, daai jare was dit su’ke velskoentjies wat mense sommer so self maak en in die dorp verkoop
MB So sterk boot-ste
GB Dan kry ons elke jaar onse velskoentjies. Die anties wat in die kombuis werk kry overalls en doeke, en dan kry ons ‘n klomp lekkers, stokkieslekkers, daar was sulke lekkers wat lyk soos rainbow, reënboog, sulke strepe, o’s was baie lief vir daai lekkers gewees. Dan was daar su’ke langetjies wat ok so lyk soos kierietjies, as jy hom so ding dan smelt hy so weg. En daar was ‘Sunrise’ toffies gewees, o’s was baie lief vir die ‘Sunrise’ toffies, ‘it was o’k ‘n lekker toffie. Dan kry ons ‘Sunrise’ toffies, ons kry die stokkielekkers, hulle’s so gekleur’d, appel en so aan. As die oubaas dorp toe gaan dan weet ons, nee as hy terug kom ons kom pay nou, en ons kom kry stokkielekkers. Dan gaan hy Kaap toe dan gaan koop hy so ‘n vat wyn, dis nou vir’ie plaasmense, as hulle nou vanaand tjaela dan kry elkeen ‘n lon’dop wyn. En so, die einde van die maand dan kry elkeen ‘n slagding om te slag, wat daar werk op die plaas. Want ‘n slagding het omtrent vier Rand gekos, vir ‘n slagding, waar hy vandag oor ‘n duisend Rand is. Want ek het ook skape gehad wat ons maar net so onse skapetjies daar ge-… toe ons skape groot raak, toe sê die oubaas, nee, die skape eet sy…
BV Gras
GB …skape se gras af, so ons moet ons skape en goete verkoop dat net sy goete daar wei. Ja, dan koop o’s maar weer klere en so, gaan Kimberley toe en bring vir o’s klere terug, en so’t o’s nederhand niks meer skape of goed gehad nie. Jy kon hoenders miskien kon die mense aanhou, en jy mag o’k’ie hon’e op’ie plaas aangehou het’ie want dis sy plaas, die hon’e eet sy goete. Nou so was’it in daai jare in gewees maar, ek meen, die geld was min want daar was genoeg kos, en jy’t meer vleis gekry as koop as wat jy vandag. Maar is nou net (middag) dit was’ie soos die, want ek dink, as o’s in’ie Kaap in is en dan gaan ons in by die restourante dan sê die eienaar, “No! Let you go out. Only European here!”, dan mag ek’ie saam met hulle ingaan daar’ie. Maar dan sê die oubaas, “Nee, dis my kind, kom! Jy jaag’ie my kind uit’ie. Kom!”, dan vat hy my en sit hy my op sy skoot neer, laat ek ingaan, “daai ice-cream en goed wil hy daar bestel, hy eet uit daai koppie uit”, dan sê daai eienaar, “No!”, ek daai koppie uit eet’ie. Nou so was’it maar in daai jare gewees. O’se mense op’ie plaas as jy siek is en jy kannie meer werk’ie dan moet jy af, dan moet jy sommer daar in’ie veld in loop slaap son’er ‘n ding oor jou kop. Miskien as jy ‘n donkiekarretjie het dan staan jy nou maar met jou donkiekar, en dan moet jy maar onder daai karretjie slaap met jou kinders en goed, al reën dit ook, die baas het niks daa’mee te doen’ie
MF Jy moet daar sit
GB Dan kom soek hy nou weer ander mense wat ò’k hie’ in’ie pad sit, dan gaan gee hy weer vir daai mense wat by ‘n ànder baas weggejaa’ is, dan vat hy nou weer daai mense na sy plaas toe, om weer vir hom te gaan werk. Maar, jy’t’ie saam met wit mense geëet nie, jou beker wat jy uit drink moet buite wees, jou bord moet buite wees
CvR Mmm, mmm
GB As jy in gaan in’ie huis, jy moet jou han’e was voordat jy aan madam se klere vat of aan haar borde. Maar jy maak die kos! Jy braai daai skaapboud, jy braai daai aartappels, jy kook daai pampoen!
CvR Mmm, mmm
GB Dit gaan in hulle se maagte in!
MF Mmmm
GB Nou, sò was dit gewees
MB Daai boere was baie naar
GB Dit was nou swaar, maar o’s het hard gewerk, o’s het vyf-uur in’ie oggend moet jy aan’ie werk wees, vanaand twaalf-uur tjaela jy. As daar mense kom op’ie plaas dan moet jy werk tot daai kuiergaste vanaand huistoe gaan, daai skottelgoed moet klaar gewas wees
MF Mmm
GB En’it moet in’ie rak gewees. Jy kon nie skottelgoed in’ie zink in los nie, al moet jy tot een-uur vanaand werk
GB Jy moet klaarmaak. Five o’clock oggend, jy moet kom, daar was nie krag nie, jy moet die engine kom pomp sodat daar kan lig kom. Dit was vuur maak in die ‘Aga’ stowe, wit en swart, daar was’ie krag nie, daar was’ie teerpaie nie, jy’t met die voet geloop of jy moet ‘n donkiekar het. Oraait, hùlle het sulike karre gehad, met sulke lang karre met die lang neuste, nie sò karre nie. Dit was daai jare gewees, o’s het donkiekar of die pêrekar. Jy moes daai tyd in’ie oggend opstaan en jy moet vir’ie madam en’ie master bacon an’ egg, of wors en eier in die bed gee, daai tyd die sont is nog’ie uit nie
MB Uh! Dan eet hulle
GB Dan moet jy vir hulle ìn die bed gaan service, nè. Dan moet jy wakker wees om vyf-uur daai klok te lui dat die mense wat by die strooise is opstaan om die beeste te gaan melk, want five o’clock moet die beeste gemelk word, die melk moet nog dorp toe kom, sewe-uur moet die melk in die dorp wees. Dit was harde werk. Vandag, die mense gaan nine o’clock werk toe, hulle gaan tien-uur werk toe, o’s moes dònker in’ie werk, en ‘is vér wat jy moet loop, en hier is net oor’ie brug wat die mense werk
CvR Nee, daai jare, as ek dit sò nou sien, dan sien ek daai jare was baie beter as nou
MB Mmm
MF Mmmm
CvR Want nou gebeur, die mense word nou dood gemaak
MB Mmm
GB Mmm
CvR Dit word verskriklik gesteel, dit word geverkrag, daai jare was daar nóóit sulke dinge gewees’ie, nòòit’ie!
GB Jy kon tot laat rondloop
CvR Ja, jy loop tot laat toe. En ek was lief, as ek van die skool af kom, ek gaan’ie huistoe nie, van’ie skool af gaan ek va’middag rég deur begraf…grafplase toe, ek pluk eers vir my kwepers, perskes, dan gaan au [‘gee’] ek daai vrien’e wat dood is, dan gaan sit ek vir elkeen ‘n appel of ‘n druiwe-stukkie, druiwe neer, of so, by hulle, vanaand sien hulle, my oupa-hulle, “Kyk waar brand die vuur”, sê hy vir die vrou, “Kyk daar. Kyk waar’s daai tjiend” , dan word daar geroep, “Chriiissyyy!”, “Dis ek, my mense sê ek moet nog bly!”, skrou ek terug, dan moet my oupa my kom haal. Dan sê hy vir sy vrou, “Katjie, dié kind sal laat ek sterwe”. In’ie nag, ek loop, as ek van die mense ‘n gedagte kry wat dood is, dan staan ek daar op dan gaan ek soontoe, ek het my karboks daar, my karboks lê daar en my pop, my pop is ‘n klip, ek’t vir hom aangerek, die lappe, hy lê o’k daar tussen daai mense, vat vir hom brood en melk, melk steel ek daar by die huis en ek gooi so vir elkeen in ‘n blikkie in, blikkie in, “Drink julle sinne, en eet die druiwe en die brood”, vir daai mense. Daai druiwe word rosyntjies, dan eet ek hulle weer terug. Daar was’ie verkrag en daai klas dele nie
GB Mmm mmm
CvR Nòu is die goeterse so jy kannie meer rondloop’ie
MB Nee, jy kannie
CvR Maar ek sien diè, hier’s òù mense wat vir jou loop tot môre oggend toe, hy word o’k’ie vaak’ie
Hy’s, vanaand is hy erger as die jonges
Nou ek soek dit’ie, ek weet’ie man, hulle’t ‘n vreeslikke fout gemaak, daai kant, die wat hy sê die kinderse, hy’t o’k ‘n reg, daai ding verstaan ek nie
MB Ja, daai kinders het o’k hulle regte, jy kan hom’ie slaa’t’ie
CvR Hulle se eie regte, die kinders, jy mag hom’ie slaa’t’ie, anders gaan kla hy jou aan
MB Ja, dit is
CvR Daai’s’ie reg’ie
GB En die kinders van daai jare was meer gehoorsaam as nou se kinders
CvR Ja!
GB Hulle het geluister…
CvR Ja
GB …want hulle was geslaan om te luister. Hulle’t grootmense geëer en gerespek
MMin Mmm
GB Hulle’t kerk gegaan, hulle’t’ie dronk gedrink en gebeklei en doodgemaak nie. O’se plekke was’ie toegekamp nie, die vrugte en goete was vry, jy kon net gaan en eet, jy’t’ie vrugte gekoop’ie want vrugte was oorals
MF Oorvloed
GB Mense’t alles geplant in daai jare. Hulle’t’ie water gebetaal’ie, hulle’t’ie huise gebetaal’ie, maar als dit het nou gekom dat ons moet bang wees vir die kind wat daar in die straat loop, jy moet bang wees vir daai man wat daar loop, jy kannie laat rondloop’ie, jy weet’ie wie kom maak jou dood’ie. Nou al die goeters, nou dink die kinders sien die goed op die TVs hoe…
MMin Mmm
GB …die mense veg en hoe die mense doodmaak, hulle sien dit daar. Nou oefen hulle dit uit, wat kan ek doen aan iemand? Want vandat die TV ingekom het is hierdie goeters hier, in die sewentigse in…
GB …het die TVs in Douglas in gekom, toe begin die snaakse goete. Klein kind, hy’s vyf jaar oud, ses, sewe jaar, die kind drink. Hy’s ses jaar oud, hy rook. Hy’s ag jaar oud, hy gops en roe’, hy’s dronk. Oud en jonk gops doer, hulle rook, hulle’t altyd net daar gegaan rook, want daar op’ie plaas was die dagga geplant tussen die lusern, nou’t die oubaas gesê as daar dagga is en die mense rook dagga dan werk hulle baie goed, en die dagga’s ook medisyne
MMin Mmm
GB Maar nou vandag se dae, die dagga is nie meer wat dit is nie, dis nou ‘n drugs en nou’t daar nou pille bygekom, hulle maal die pille, hulle snuif dit, hulle lê daar soos ‘n dooie ding, hy weet niks al kan jy hom o’k slaa’t of wat, daai mens is heel dood. Nou al die goete, nou die kleintjies wil o’k dit doen. Dan is dit hierdie verkragting, o’s is nou bang om te loop, en al die goed is nou hier. Daai jare was’ie sulke goed’ie. Kinders was gehoorsaam en het geluister. Daar was danse gewees, die mense het gedans, die ou mense het gedans, hulle’t stofdans gedans
GB Al daai goete, die wit mense het o’k gedans
GB Hulle’t volkspele gespeel, dans, en daai goeterse. Maar nou kan nie eers meer sulike goed doen nie
BV Mmmm
GB Jy hou miskien nou hier ‘n verjaarsdag dan kom daai mens daar anderkant en kom steek sommer een nou net hierso, kom hy net van die straat af, hierso twenty-one se birthday of iets, dan kom join hy o’k, kom steek hy sommer hier, want hy’t nou nie bier of iets gekry nie. Maar hy’s nie genooi nie, hy kom van die straat af. Dis hoe onse lewe nou vandag is. Baie mense sê dis omdat hierdie mense ingekom het. Nou, Mandela het gesê o’s moet almal saam lewe
MMin Mmm
GB Nou, daai jare het die mense óók saam gelewe
All Uhhh, ja
GB Met die Griekwas, met die Khoi en San, en die Tshwanas, die Zoeloes, die Soetoes, hulle was almal hier gewees
CvR Ja
GB Maar toe kom daaar ‘n man met die naam van, wat was daai man se naam?
CvR Morgan
GB Wat? Morgan?
CvR Morgan
MF Morgan
GB Toe kom daar ‘n man met die naam van Morgan, dit was hier in die sixties in, toe’t Mandela so moorde gemaak het, sixty-four toe gaan hy mos tronk toe. Nou in daai tyd in, toe kom ou Morgan in, toe stop hy die treine. Swart mense mag’ie hiernatoe kom nie, en bruin mense gaan nie soontoe nie. O’s was gekleurde kleurlings gewees daai jare, nie kleurlinge nie, die Griekwa mense was kleurlinge gewees. En toe sê hulle nou hulle weet nie van die kleurlinge wat is hulle nie, want dis ‘n twee soorte nasie
MMin Nasie
GB Hy is’ie ‘n Tswana nie, hy’s nie ‘n witmens nie, hy’s ‘n gekleurde kleurling, hy’s gemeng. Nou dit is hoe dit daai jare geword het, toe Jan van Riebeeck in gekom het, en die Duitsers ingekom soos ons in geskiedenis leer, het hulle die mense slawe gemaak, nè. Onse mense was slawe, hulle gaan sommer daar, hulle kry nie pay nie, en as hulle daar klaar is moet hulle soontoe gaan. Nou daar was o’k ‘n man wat hulle sê met die naam van Van Heerden, is dit Johannes van Heerden? Toe’t daar o’k so kinders wat in die landery werk, toe vat hulle een meisiekind daar, sy’s vyftien jaar, om in die kombuis te kom werk. Nou Johannes van Heerdern was ‘n blanke man gewees, toe raak hy verlief op die meisiekind, die meisiekind se naam was Eva gewees, en toe raak Johannes verlief op Eva, en toe trou hy met Eva, en toe kry Eva vir hom kinders, en toe kom hierdie kinders…
CvR Deurmekaar
GB En toe sê hulle “Afrikaners”, dis nou Afrikaners die kinders van Johannes en Eva, o’k’ie Eva nie, Eva
MF Van Eva
GB Eva en Johannes van Heerden
MM Van Meerhof?
MM Van Meerhof, dit was hy
GB Toe, Eva, toe sê hulle nou die naam van Afrikaners het ge-ontstaan van daai twee mense af. Die Griekwa mense kom daar uit die Kaap se kant uit
MM Dis reg
MB Saartjie Baartman
GB En toe kom die slawe mos, en dié mense, en toe verwar hulle hulle daar, toe’s hulle weg daarvan af, toe word hulle bang vir die blanke, toe wil hulle nie meer daar wees’ie. En toe jaa’e hulle die mense weg, eintlik hierdie man wat hulle sê, ou Morgan, toe loop verwilder ou Morgan die mense daar uit die Kaap uit. Want hulle sê die, dis nie eintlik net die Griekwas, die Hottentotte, daar’s nog, dis verskillende soorte nasies deurmekaar gewees. Die Hottentot, die Griekwas en die San, daar is nog ‘n naam…
MF Khoisan
GB …maar hulle was…
MB Khoisan
GB Ja, en Khoisan. Toe’s hulle almal weg uit die Kaap uit, hier tussen in. Daarom sal ‘n mens sien die Noord-Kaap se mense is nie die sel’de as die Kaap se mense nie. Hier van die kolonie af, dit is kort mensies en hulle se hare sit’ie persies die sel’de nie, dan gaan jy bietjie verder hier van Worcester af dan sien jy die hare word anderster, nou daai mense het nou hiernatoe getrek van daai jare daar gewees het. Sien, want daai man het hulle daar weg geverwyder, en toe sê hy nou die Zoeloes moet o’k terug gaan na hulle se plek toe, en die Soetoes. Daai mense het werke kom gesoek, toe kon die mense nie terug gaan nie want die koning, as jy nie betyds by jou hek kom om by daai hek in te gaan nie dan kan jy nie ingaan nie, maak hy jou dood. Toe bly die mense in die Noord-Kaap in. Nou, die mense sê nou die land is Griekwaland, die Griekwas was eerste hier, maar dit was ‘n gemengde land gewees, van daai jare af wàs dit ‘n deurmekaar land gewees. En so het die Basters mos nou o’k ingekom soos nou o’k by die, van daai man en vrou van die Kaap is nou, is Jan van Riebeeck o’k ‘n bruin vrou gevat, vir Saartjie Baartman
GB Ook vir Saartjie Baartman…
CvR Saartjie Baartman, sy’t baie swaaar gekry
GB …daarom sal jy die verskil sien van die Kaap se mense en die Noord-Kaap se mense, die Kaap se mense is meer, die Indians het ook ingekom Suid-Afrika toe, vat hulle o’k vrouens, al’ie nasies het ingekom daarom is onse land deurmekaar. Nou wil die mense die land kom skei. Dit sal nie help nie
MF Dit sal nie
GB Never!
All Mmm-mmm
GB Die blankes het daai jare al met onse mense kinders gekry, dit is waar die dinges gekom het, toe kom al die mense, daai ander mense, Noord-Kaap toe, daarom is daar ‘n verskil in die Noord-Kaap se mense en die Kaap se mense, verskil van die Noord-Kaap en Transvaal se mense, en die Vrystaat. Vrystaat en Transvaal gaan jy weer donker mense kry, hier gaan jy meer kleurlings kry
[child screaming]
GB Dis nou daar nou ‘n nuwe ding waar hulle die mense wil verdeel, die Griekwas eenkant, die ǃosas [sic Xhosas] eenkant, wit mense eenkant, hulle gaan dit’ie regkry nie
CvR Hulle kannie, hulle’s klaar deurmekaar
GB Hulle sal dit nie regkry nie. Dit is in. Dit sal’ie werk’ie. Toe kom dit mos so dat jy nie mag by ‘n, sê maar, ek kan nie saam met hom loop in’ie straat’ie, dan word hy toegesluit
MMin Ja
GB Ek en hy word toegesluit, hier in die sewentigs in…
GB …mag ‘n blanke man nie in hierdie straat in gekom het nie. My skoonsuster het ‘n blanke man gehad van Jo’burg, toe kom sy met die man hier, sy’t ‘n kind van hom gehad, Ricky, lyk nes sy pa, hy’t o’k blou oge, Ricky is in Kimberley in maar my skoonsuster is nou oorlede. Daai kind is nou so, hy weet’ie waar moet hy wees’ie
CvR Ai
GB Sy oom-hulle lyk mos nou nie soos sy pa nie, en hy lyk nie soos sy oom nie, maar die kind is in Kimberley, maar hy moet nou aanpas by ons, sy ma is dan nou ons s’n. Nou sy ma en hy het by sy antie gebly in Kimberley
MF (Taa [‘wees stil’] nou, taa) [to children]
GB Die kind is ‘n Botha. Toe die ma lewe, toe vat Adam vir Elsie en vir Ricky saam, toe Ricky se ma sterwe toe sit Adam vir Ricky uit die huis uit. Toe kry Ricky tjommies toe begine rook Ricky dagga, toe begin rook Ricky pille, toe as Ricky nie die goed het’ie dan gaan hy by sy tjommie se huis en steel hy earrings of hy steel phones, toe loop vang die mense vir Ricky, Ricky’s in’ie tronk. Maar toe Ricky se ma lewe, toe aanvaar my swaer vir Ricky in sy huis. Maar nou omdat Ricky nou anderster as hulle is jaag hy nou die boer uit die huis uit, maar dis sy suster se kind. Dit is anf-, dit is’ie reg nie. Nou die kind is in die tronk. Hy kannie help’ie, hy het nie gesê sy ma moet ‘n blanke man vat nie, hy’s net gebore, hy’t net gesien hy’s mens hierso
CvR Ja, hy weet mos nie wat gaan aan nie
GB Hy weet niks. Nou die kind het’ie ma nie, die pa is daar in Kimberley, hy dra ‘n bord, “No home, no job, please help”, daar, hy loop daar in Kimberley se strate, Ricky se pa, hy’s useless om die kind te vat want hy werk o’k’ie, hy’t’ie eers ‘n ID nie, hy’s ‘n mechanic
CvR Ai, dis swaar
GB Hy’s ‘n mechanic, Sarel, hy doen mechanic, hy loop in Kimberley met ‘n kaart op sy rug, “No job, no home, please help, no food”
MF Haai
GB …adverteer hy vir hom
CvR Dis swaar so, jy weeet as ‘n wit mens so, baie swaar so
GB My swaer
CvR Wee’ jy, ek het in Kim’erley by my suster kyk ek hulle so
GB Nou sus’ Betjie…
CvR Wat my so hartseer maak as jy sien die blanke man, hy’s so moeg
GB Haai, Betjie, is hy nou klaar hier?
CvR Kyk net hoe drink hy bier, hy loop op sy kouse , op sy kouse
BV Is jy [GB] nou klaar?
GB Kyk, hy’t nou gesê hy wil graag woorde hê van die taal
All Ja
GB Die tyd gaan verby. Hy wil hê nou die taal, soos ousie nou vir ons hier sê, wat is ‘water’ in die taal
CvR Ja
GB Wat is ‘mens’ in die taal. Ons vra nou vir ousus
BV Nou moet ek nou praat?
(Almal) Ja
MM Maar dis oraait, ek het al, ons het klaar gepraat
MF Hy’t al klaar gedoen
GB O, julle’t klaar gepraat
BV Water
MM Mmm
BV …is ǃ’ammi [sic ǁ’ammi]
MM ǃ’ammi
BV ǃ’ammi [sic] is mos nou water
CvR Water
BV daip [‘melk’]
MM Melk
BV …is melk. ǂxon [‘suiker’]
CvR Suiker
MF Hey
BV ǂxon, ǂxon is suiker
CvR Suiker
BV ǂxon
MM ǂxon is suiker, maar ǃxon [sic] is…
BV Suiker. ǂ’ũku [‘eet-goed’] is kos
MB ǀunku [sic] is kos
BV ǂ’ũku
MB ǀunku
BV ǂ’ũku, ǂ’ũku
MF Is kos
BV maa [‘gee’] my ǂ’ũku [‘eet-goed’], jy vra, “gee vir my kos”, dis maa my ǂ’ũku. ǁ’om [‘slaap’] is ‘slaap’. khaima [?] is ‘opstaan’, sien jy?
BV ǀoona [‘kinders’] is mos nou die kenners
CvR Mmm, ǀoona
BV khoes-e [‘vrou’-e] is nou dié
MB Die kxoes-e [sic], wat is dit?
CvR Die vrouens
BV khoes-e [‘vrou’-e], die khoes-e is nou vrouens. Khoeku-s [‘manne’-s] is julle manne. ǂ’hae is ‘loop’, kom ons ǂ’hae, nou sê jy ‘kom ons loop’. Die ding, kx’ommi, is ‘huis’. Nou so het ek maar nou o’k geleer. Jou kooigoed, is my ǃonka [sic ǃxonka ‘komberse’]
MB Ja, ǃonka [sic]
BV maa [‘gee’] my ǃonka [sic ǃxonka ‘komberse’], gee my my komberse. ǃ’om [? ǁoe ‘gaan lê’] is mos nou weer lê, nou. Taa is praat, taa ‘bly stil’, ‘is nou ‘stil bly’, jy moenie praat’ie
MM En haa [‘kom’]?
BV ǂnoa [‘sit’]?
MM haa
BV Is ‘kom’
MB Uh, ja
BV ǂnu [‘gaan sit’] is ‘sit’, khaima
MF ‘opstaan’
BV maa [‘gee’] my daai x’aba [‘skottel’], is ‘gee my daai skottel daar’. gǃanni [‘vleis’] is vleis, maa [‘gee’] vir my gǃandan [‘bietjie vleis’, ‘vleisie’], jy sê ‘gee vir my vleis’. Nou die ander sê nou mos wara [?] my gǃanni [‘vleis’], en sê ‘gee my vleis’. Die vleis se buitekant is ǁnoedan [? ‘vetjie’, ǁnuip ‘vet’], maa [‘gee’] vir my ǁnoedan, jy sê ‘gee vir my vet’. As jy was, maa my ǀnabi-tjie [‘seep’-etjie], jy vra seep, tjee vir my seep, maa my ǀnabi-tjie
MF Jy’t nou klaar gepraat
BV Ek is nou klaar
MM Oukei
MF Daar’t die ouma nou klaar gepraat
MM En praat enige van julle ander ook?
All Uh-uh
MM Nie?
MF Ouma’t no klaar gepraat, nou’s o’s klaar….
MB Praat jy net van die ding die, wat o’s gemaak het en wat o’s daar gebruik
MF Dis die bont, jy sien die mos die bont
BV Ja, jy moet maar sê
MB Sê net
BV Dis nou al’ie talle nasies
MB Die, die, as jy die taras [‘vrou’] insit, sê nou hoe sit jy die taras in
BV Ja, sy moet nou met, by daai werk nou afgee
GB ǂnau [sic ǁnau ‘hoor’], ǂnau vir hom van die goete, hoekom ons daar in die…
MB As jy die taras daar in’ie kx’ommi [‘huis’] insit
GB Die hokmeisie
MB As jy die taras [‘vrou’] na die ǀammi [sic ǁ’ammi ‘water’] toe vat
MF Nee, ons het dan laas gepraat met hom, dis in’ie boek in
CvR Hulle het die gepraat
MB O, het jy gepraat?
MF O’s het gesit hier, ek en, ons twee
MB Ja, as jy die taras [‘vrou’] ingesit het in’ie kx’ommi [‘huis’], as jy die taras het jy afgevat daar by…
MF ǀxammi [sic ǁ’ammi ‘water’] toe
MB kx’ammi [sic ǁ’ammi ‘water’] toe
MF Ja, ons het al gepraat
GB O, hy weet van die?
MF [inaudible] daaroor is o’s Grukas
MB Die, die is mos die
MF Dis nou onse Grukwakleed
MB Nou, hoe roep jy die op jou taal?
MF Jy kan mos sien dis die kheirase [?] wat ek aan het
MB Jy moet nou ǂhae [sic ‘loop’]wat is dit
MF Jy’s die insitter, jy’s vêr en verby. Hy sit in, ek moet maar net loop kyk, ek. Nou sit stuur hy vir my terug. Nee, hierdie, ons, as ons nou hier by die djongmeisies, as ‘n djongmeid nou djongmeisie kom word, dan [inaudible] bel die eene my (vat hom huistoe!) dan bel sy vir my, “Jong, hier’s ‘n jongmeisie wat o’s moet in’ie kx’ommi [‘huis’] in, dit ǀnu [?]”, sien? O’s moet hom in sit, in’ie geloof in. Dan kom ek loop kyk ek wat maak hy daar. Dan song [sic sãu ‘het’] hy nou die meisiekind, songǀna [sic ? sãu ǂxau ‘het’ ‘smeer’] hy nou die meisiekind met die rooiklip, dan sit ons hom in, en dan kom ons weer uit, kom o’s weer bymekaar. Dis nou die sikitares, dis’ie ouma van’ie tradisie, o’s is nou by die tradisionele, by die tradisie, dan kom o’s weer bymekaar, die sikitares, die’s’ie ouma wat insit, en ek kom haal uit, ja. Dan kom o’s ‘n groep bymekaar, dan word kafferbier gemaak, regte kafferbier daardie, en dan word dit nou geslag daai oggend, dan sit die meisiekind drie, of veertien dae in die geloof in, moet nog skool toe gaan, die vyftiende dag dan haal ek hom uit en
GB Rivier toe met hom
MF O’s is ‘n hele groep, o’s is nog, o’s is’ie almal bymekaar nie, dis ‘n groep. Daai groep moet my digstaan, so die wind nie deur my kan waai nie as ons by die ǃgarip [‘rivier’] kom, ǀnau [? ‘gaan’, ǀnau ‘vee’] na die ǃgarip [‘rivier’] toe ǂ’haa [? ‘weg’], dan moet die khoeb [‘man’, d.w.s. die Waterslang] my ǃaba [‘kyk’] daar, ek moet hom o’k kyk
CvR Die waterslang
MM Mmm
MF Ek moet hom kyk.
CvR Hy kom so halfpad uit
MF So as ons’ie reg is’ie dan verloor o’s almal, saam met die meisiekind
CvR Ja, breek, hy breek, jy moet skoon wees
MF Jy moet skoon is, jy kan o’k’ie met khoeb [‘man’] loop kx’ommi [‘huis’, geslagsverkeer?] en meisiekind moet water toe gaan nie, nee. Jy moet skoon wees
CvR Jy kannie loop slaap met hom saam nie
MF Daai man is ‘n skoon man
CvR Ja, hy’s skoon, hy ry skoon deur’ie water
MF En hy soek ‘n skoon ouma en ‘n skoon meisie. Dan moet jy nou loop slaa’t, dan as ‘it daar terugkom dan kom o’s weer by mekaar dan’s’it ‘n, dis dans en dis sing, kyk dis ‘n fees wat o’s hou. Daai jare het die boere o’s mos geslaa’t, my ou grootjiese, oumase, is geslaan daar by Tierman Germis, hy’s Willem Germis huis-goed [d.w.s. familie], Sap Germis huis-goed, hy’t geslaa’t, maar my ouma kon hy nie slaa’t nie want my ouma was blind gewees en as hy vat dan vat hy, en ek staan o’k’ie terug’ie want ek’s opgeskoot, kyk o’s waag’it’ie, nes hy hand oplig dan gooi o’s, ek en my suster, laat hy sy hand moet sak, hy moes na die tyd weg hardloop, sy bakkie daar los, dan kom ons Sandkroek toe op. Maar dit was baie lekker daai jare, die boere was maar net kwaai gewees. Soos ma-Botha gesê het, ons moes werk, hierdie tyd het ons nog gestaan diep in die tamatie-water in, in’ie water in om dit te werk. Daar word ek geleer, my ouma was blind toe sê hy, “Jy moet die meisie insit, jy moenie met khoep-e [‘man’-ne] kx’om [‘huis’, geslagsverkeer?] en laat khoep-e [‘man’-ne] jou knyp en sê ‘oe, nee’, nee, daai goed moet jy glad nie. Jy moen hom skoon in sit, jy moet hom skoon uithaal. Daar waar met ‘n djongmeisie inkom, dan moet hy ‘n jong lam geslag word daar, die ouma wat daar by hom is moet daai vleis vir daai drie weke, of ‘n maand, moet hy saam met daai kind eet.” Die bier word gemaak, as hy is die bier-maker, die kafferbier-maker, hy is daar, my skoonsuster hy maak die kafferbier, en daai kafferbier moet ingaan waar die skaap gaan meisiekind toe, maak hom net toe dan moet hy die skaap vang, en kom’ie skaap en hy word slag, word hy geslag, en daarvan af hou ons nou die fees. Die wat drink, drink, en die wat nou net eet, eet. Nou o’s is’ie drinkers’ie, o’s is net nou eet, dan gaan o’s af dan kom o’s terug. Maar dis baie lekker, die meisiekind insit en die huismense bestand hou. Daar’s’ie marib [‘geld’] ‘ie, op’ie einde van’ie dag moet ons twee, ons sal in die skande in kom want ons twee moet onse riempiese dunner sny, want hulle’s te dik, moet o’s baie vinnigspeel want hier’ie tyd dan moet ek weet waar staan ek, want die meisiekind moet môre oggend afgaan water toe. Maar nou’t hulle mos nou gesê daar is nou geld vir ons wat die tradisie doen, daar is nou geld, nou kyk Maandag ek wag op die Koning dat die Here die grendel oopmaak, as hy hom oopmaak dan weet ek ek vat daai maiesiekind soos ek hulle elke tyd maar water toe vat en terug. Die Here help o’s daar deur. Daar’s partymaal waar daar goete op’ie water is wat ek o’k sien, dan sien ek daar partymaal die eene, ek loop hier vier-uur dan sien ek die eene, daar lê so ‘n groot kruper, dis’ie kruper daai wat daar lê nie, dis reeds ou Vol [?] wat daar lê, hy lê daai kruper sò skuins, dan sê ek vir die eenetjie sy moet, hy sal moet laat reg daai kant kom, dat ek daai kant kom. As ek weer my kop draai dan sien ek daai kruper is weg, is’ie kruper’ie, dis oom Vol, dis’ie water se baas wat daar lê, hy lê van hiervan af lang tot daar dan lê hy so hoog, ‘is’ie kruper kannie so hoog is’ie. Dan sê ek vir’ie jonges ‘is ‘n kripertjie, sy moet mooi staan, maar ek staan vir hom reg, ek kannie wegharploop’ie, ek moet staan
CvR Jy moet klaarmaak
MF Ek moet staan. So as ons verloor dan verloor ons almal
MMin Almal
MF Maar die Here hou sy hand so oor my. Ek dink dis nou ‘n hele nege-en-twintig jaar wat ek daai werk doen, hele neg-en-twintig-jaar, of dertig jaar wat ek daai werk doen? Maar ek het nog’ie so ‘n loon ge-ontvang laat hulle kan sê, “Hier is joune, hier is joune, hier’s joune”, hier ‘bless’, net uitdeel. Maar ek’s dankbaar daaroor, die Here het o’s bevoorreg om daai werk te doen met ‘n vrywillige hart. Sien as jy nie vrywillig is nie dan kom die meisiekind iets oor. Daar’s party meisiekinders wat, as ek hom was dan kry hy aanval in my han’e in, dan moet ek wat hom was moet nou baie net, moet nou net, kyk die moet bitter-vinnig oor gaan, baie vinnig moet die oor ga-, oor skakel, met die Here baie moet ek praat en ma se taal moet ek praat, as ek op’ie water kom dan moet ek, ek sien daar kom, daar kom, hy kom van daai kant af, die mannetjie en die een wat daar by my, my suster se seun, hy’s in my hand in, dan fluit hy my dan fluit ek o’k soos daai man wat daar in die water is, ek fluit net soos hy maar ek fluit baie stil laat niemand my hoor’ie, dan fluit ek, dan praat ek my ma se taal, dan sien ek die water, die ǀxammi [sic ǁ’ammi ‘water’] kx’ae [? ‘op’], hy kx’ae, hy kx’ae, hy kx’ae, hy kx’ae. Dan nou, nou slaa’t ek, nou slaa’t ek hom, ek slaa’t hom linkerkant, hy moet regterkant moet hy goed slaa’t want linkerkant is hy nie so kwaai nie, gee hom net so nou en dan, as ek hom een hou gegee het dan sê ek ǀnau [? ǂnau ‘(met ‘n stok) slaan’]. Ek het nou net vergeet om daai fotose te bring dan kon ek net vir jou die fotose gewys het. Maar dis baie mooi. En dis baie netjies, jy moet netjies o’k wees, nugter o’k is as jy die werk doen, en daaroor sien ons is bont
MM Hoekom slaan jy die water?
MF Die oupa van die rivier is daar, daai man is
CvR Hy raak kwaad
MF Kyk, as hy sy nete oor jou gooi, hy trek jou toe…
CvR Ja, hy trek jou in
MF …dan moe’jy, jy moet hom slaa’t, jy moet laat hy kan ka tshee [?], laat hy lê, laat hy stil word. Nou, as hy stil is, nou slaa’t ‘it, o’s slaa’t dan, dan kom o’s nou uit met die meisiekind dan’t hy, dat sy vriende hom nou swaai en kom met hom so om en dans, ons sing en ons dans en kitaar is o’k daar, die hand-kitaar, dan’s’it o’k daar en ‘is lekker. Nou kan die een nie daar is’ie…
GB Eintlik moet ‘n mens…
MF …want die oupa kan nou nie o’k daar is’ie met die… nou moet ek net hierdiese vat. Maar dis baie mooi. En daaroor is o’s die Grukwase, van wat is’ie ‘trust’? Van’ie ‘trust’. O’s is op’ie ‘trust’, o’s tradisionele ‘trust’.
GB Wat wou ek gesê het, u ken miskien vir Welyn
GB Wat is sy regte naam?
MF Rooitjie
GB Uh-uh, nie Rooitjie nie
MF Wat is’ie regte naam, is ‘it Frans, of…
GB Welyn, hy bly daar bo op’ie bult
CvR Hy’s mos die opperhoof
GB Hy’s ‘n opperhoof van die Griekwas
MM Waar is hy?
GB Hy bly daar by, want hy’t gesê as u-hulle eendag kom dan moet ons hulle soontoe bring
MMin Soontoe vat
GB Hy wil kennis maak saam met u. Vir julle vir hom gaan wys. Want hy’s nou opperhoof van hierdie besigheid
CvR Van die Griekwas
MF Van hierdie
GB Want dié besigheid is nou besig om uit te sterf, hy’s besig om uit te sterk want daar is nou nie meer hokmeisies nie, want die meisiekinders kry nou skaam…
MF Hulle wil nie dit doen nie
GB …vir hierdie ding van in die hok gesit word. En nou sterf die besigheid, maar ons hou maar nog die lappies aan as ‘n bewys laat die ou mense, daai jare, in sulke goed geglo het, en dit was as ‘n meisiekind kom jonk word, ‘n teenager, dan verander die kind na ‘n vrou toe, nè. Dan word hy in die hok gesit vir ‘n maand. Sy’s nou vroumens, as daar boyfriend by haar kom dan kan sy babetjie kry. Nou dan word sy in die kamer in gesit vir ‘n maand. As die maand verby is dan word sy mooi aangetrek, lipstick en eyebrows en so aan, dan vat ons haar af rivier toe, dan so iemand wat kitaar speel, maar hy’s nou oorlede, en dan sing ons, die oumas slaa’t die water, sy pas die meisiekind op vir die hele maand, vir haar kos en goete gee en haar was, en die ouma is nou die kop, hy gaan slaa’t die water dat die water oopmaak
CvR Hy praat met hom saam, praat met hom
GB Ja, en dan het hy mos nou die skaap geslag, en die skaap se bene word nie gekap nie, die vleis word afgekook, die word in ‘n sak in gegooi, en dit word anderdagmôre as ons af gaan met die meisiekind, dan word, die ouma slaan di water dan gooi o’s die bene in, dan moet die slang die bene vat
GB As hy dit klaar gevat het, dan kom ons op, dan maak ons die meisiekind oop dat die mense sien hoe lyk sy nou, sy’s mooi opgemaak en so aan, dan kom ons nou op huis toe, dans-dans, dan kom ons huistoe dan kom eet die mense nou die kos en dan drink hulle nou daai kafferbier, gemmer, wyn, en dan word gedans, dan word sy nou change rok om aangetrek, dan word sy geswaai al in die rondte in, dan is ‘it nou. Nou, die kinders kry nou skaam
MMin Skaam
MF Hulle kry skaam
GB Nou, die mense hou nou funksies met die goed van ons. Donderdag is daar weer by die hospitaal, ons moet die goete vat…
CvR Nee, lyk my Poon het gesê huh-uh
GB …en soontoe gaan. Die tronk soek die goete, hulle dans die goete soos ons nou maak, dan vat hulle foto’s, dan weet ek’ie waarn’toe stuur hulle daai goed nie. So julle gaan een van dia dae baie die goete sien, die TV op ‘Fokus’, want die mense leen onse goeterse. Ek weet’ie wat maak hulle daarmee nie. Nou trek hulle die goete aan en dan dans hulle daai dans en hulle sing daai dans en hulle kry iemand om kitaar te speel
BV Haai, hulle moet mos die goete doen
CvR Maar hulle kry geld en ons het…
GB Nou sê ek, ons sal moet iets doen
MF Hulle moet’ie die goed leen nie
CvR Nee, ek kannie weer nie
GB Ons kannie onse klere so uitleen nie. Daai mense hou concerts dan maak hulle geld
CvR Ja, hulle kry geld
GB Met òns se goete. Hulle gaan maak concerts. Dit word gebetaal twintig Rand by die deur, of twintig Rand vir daai een se rok twintig Rand vir daai een se rok. Maar ons gebruik dit net vir’ie hokmeisies, ons maak nie geld met die klere nie
MB En hulle’t o’k begrafnisse net, dan moet die Griekwase almal daar wees want ‘n Griekwa het nou gesterwe, dan moet ons met hom loop, anders moet hom beweeg, ons moet staan en daai… daai eene saam met daai ligaams moet staan, dat ons kan onse rondte hier doen, en as ons na die graf toe gaan dan gaan o’s nét so, na die graf toe, sò
CvR Ja, daar na die kerkhuis toe
MB Ja, na die kerkhuis toe, so swaai o’s him, so swaai hy, so gaan o’s in, gaan o’s binnekant, en vat o’s foto’s en watter goeterse, maar ek weet’ie wat het Poon met daai dinge toe gemaak nie
GB Nou sy, Welyn se dogter gaan nou die nege-en-twintigste September gaan sy trou
MF Ja, jy’t my gesê
GB Dis ‘n tradisie-trou, dan moet ons almal dié klere aan het. Daai dingese, het Poon nie video van ons’ie?
MB Hy hèt ‘n video, ja
GB Sien, ek sal dit gelaaik as mens vir hom’n video speel, sien?
MF Ja, ek sien
GB Laat hy sien… [inaudible]
MB Hoe swaai hy… daai video van Poon van daai ou wat daar gesterwe het, daar’t hy mos twee gevat
GB Sien, op ‘n video gaan hulle ons mooi sien
MB Ja, dis soos tolle, so
GB Maar nie so, ons is nie…
MB Loop o’s met daai ligaam, sò
MF Langman het een
GB Wie Langman?
All Mami
MF Nou ek wil nou los hier, ons moet nou bymekaar sit. As ‘n mens, al o’k o’s hom gevra het jy die kant toe daai kant toe gaan, laat hulle na my toe kom. En daar word’ie aangetrek, ek wil weet wie is hy en waar is hy, waarvan af kom hy. Laat hy na my toe kom, of laat hy Welyn toe gaan, net o’s twee. Want ek wil’ie hê goete moet geleen word’ie, dan kry o’s nooit weer onse goeterse terug nie
CvR Nee
MB Ek het mos gesê ek leen nie meer my goeters uit’ie
MF Ding word uitgeleen, hy word uitgeleen, jy kry niks terug as jy ding inkry nie, jy tjee uit, hulle kry iets, ons kry niks
GB Die tronk het ook laas onse goed geleen
MF En niks word meer getjee nie
CvR Niks, niks. Kyk hier…