Afrikaans: the language of dissent

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Members of the Afrikaaps ensemble, left to right: Shane Cooper, Kyle Shepherd, Janine van Rooy-Overmeyer (Blaq Pearl), Quintin Goliath (Jitsvinger), Moenier Adams (Monox) and Emile Jansen (Emile YX? Jansen) (Image source)


“Voorts seg ik!” ---> “Voetsek!”1

During apartheid, Afrikaans was perceived as the language of the white Afrikaner oppressor. The 2015 and 2016 #AfrikaansMustFall student protestors connected Afrikaans to persistent white Afrikaner hegemony and whiteness. During the 1976 Soweto protests, posters read, “To hell with Afrikaans”. Slogans of the more recent protests proclaimed, “1976?” and “Afrikaans: Go back to the sea!!!” The public perception in many quarters of Afrikaans is, therefore, one of oppression, discrimination and racism.

The 2015 and 2016 #AfrikaansMustFall protests are linked to the 1976 Soweto uprisings (Photo: Imraan Christian)

This article, however, highlights a different aspect of Afrikaans, namely, the fact that Afrikaans was historically utilised as a language of defiance by its speakers in the face of white hegemony. White and coloured Afrikaans speakers did not protest against Afrikaans; they opposed colonialism, Afrikaner nationalism and apartheid in Afrikaans.

As early as the Dutch East India Company era, slaves resisted Dutch colonialism, leaving cultural traces still celebrated today. In the 1870s, Afrikaner nationalists defied Dutch colonialism and British imperialism by fighting for Afrikaans as the cultured, “civilised” language of the white Afrikaner. During apartheid, both white and coloured Afrikaans speakers opposed apartheid – in Afrikaans.

A colonial painting of the Cape of Good Hope, c 1780 (© Iziko Museums of South Africa) (Image source)

This article traces historical resistance against white hegemonies by white and coloured Afrikaans speakers alike throughout colonialism, Afrikaner nationalism, apartheid and the post-apartheid era. The resistance of coloured Afrikaans speakers ‒ key contributors to the development of Afrikaans ‒ is especially foregrounded. The argument is framed against the background of the development of Afrikaans as an African language with creole roots. A theatre production that celebrates the creole roots of Afrikaans is Afrikaaps.

  • See the preview of the 2010 Afrikaaps documentary, directed by Dylan Valley:

Afrikaaps: Kaaps, Africa, Afrikaans

In the Afrikaaps documentary, Dylan Valley underscores the general perception of Afrikaans “as a European language”, emphasising the disconnection of the language from its “creole birth”:

Afrikaans originated in the early 1600s in the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. It was a creole language derived from Dutch, spoken by slaves of mixed origin, as well as the local Khoi population. By 1870 it was recognised as a separate language ‒ Afrikaans.

In the move towards Afrikaner nationalism in the 1940s, Afrikaans became perceived as the language of the oppressor and a symbol of apartheid […] The language had become totally disconnected from its history.2

In this regard, the late Neville Alexander attributes the origins of Afrikaans to the Khoi and San indigenes and the imported Malay slaves:

If the Khoi, the San, and especially the slaves, weren’t forced to learn Dutch, then the Afrikaans language would not really have developed.3

Neville Alexander (Image source)

Similarly, heritage activist Patric Mellet highlights the contribution of the slaves, crediting the authors of the first Afrikaans texts to Muslim scholars at the early Cape:

The literature first also came from the black community. If we go back to the early Muslim scholars in the Cape, the teachers, who taught at the madrassas. This is where Afrikaans, written with Arabic script, first emerged.4

A representation of a madrassa, an Islamic religious school (“The Afrikaans language is thought to have developed as a lingua franca for the slaves, as well as their masters, to be able to communicate effectively. Educated Muslims were in fact the first to write texts in Afrikaans.”) (Image source)


#AfrikaansMustFall: “Go back to the sea!!!”

Fast-forward in time: In 2015 and 2016, the #AfrikaansMustFall nationwide campus protests (which formed part of the #RhodesMustFall protests) demanded that the language be “scrap[ped] […] as a language of tuition”.5 The aforementioned historical severing of the language from its creole roots is demonstrated by the continued, prevalent perception of the language as “European”. The following image of a student protester in 2016 holding up high a poster with the slogan “Afrikaans, Go Back To the Sea!!!” evidences this view:6

An #AfrikaansMustFall protestor at the University of Pretoria (Image source)

The root of these protests is the view that Afrikaans still functions as a colonial symbol of white Afrikaner hegemony (and the white Afrikaner oppressor). Therefore, behind the call that Afrikaans must fall, is the demand that white Afrikaner hegemony/whiteness, of which standard/“academic” Afrikaans is a symbol, must fall.7 In summation: these protests called attention to the perceived continuation and preservation of the hegemony via the use of standard Afrikaans as a language of tuition. The broader “decolonisation” endeavour calls for, among other things, the removal of Afrikaans in this regard.

Indeed, Afrikaans has a violent and racist history of oppression during the eras of white Afrikaner nationalism and apartheid.8 Given the language’s connection to these historical periods, Afrikaans is, as previously mentioned, popularly identified as a “white” language.9 According to André P Brink (in Van den Heever), the apartheid ideology “colonise[d]” the language.10 Similarly, Dylan Valley and Greer Valley assert: “Afrikaans, originally a language of the free slaves and the Khoi inhabitants of the Cape, became a tool used by the oppressor.”11 Afrikaans is thereby associated with racism, repression and violence.12 It was, after all, the medium through which the apartheid government (including police officers, ministers and civil servants) imposed “laws prohibiting contact between races in matters of housing, sexual relations, schooling and land ownership”.13

“To hell with Afrikaans”

The #AfrikaansMustFall protests have unsurprisingly been compared with the 1976 protests against Afrikaans: both movements resisted the use of Afrikaans as a language of instruction (and the associated oppression enforced by white Afrikaner hegemony).14 Patric Mellet discusses the root of the 1976 protests:

The rebellion against Afrikaans in 1976 was against Afrikaans, the white oppressor’s language. Forced on people as a language, a medium of instruction in schools. You’re hearing commands, you’re hearing abusive language, and so on, and you’re supposed to learn in this. So it was a natural thing for young people to say: “To hell with Afrikaans.”15

The 1976 uprisings against Afrikaans (Image source)

The 1976 Soweto protests against Afrikaans as a forced medium of instruction in black schools received international attention.16 The “coercive power” of the apartheid government enforcing Afrikaans upon its populace led to “the uprising and especially in the wake of the state’s violent response, a hardened suspicion of its speakers”.17 The infamous photograph of murdered 13-year-old Hector Pieterson is one of many that were distributed on the global stage and brought attention to the contempt that black people felt towards Afrikaans.18 In addition, photographs circulated of protest slogans which proclaimed, for example, “We do not want Afrikaans.”19

Afrikaans: white/European/colonial or African?

The perception of Afrikaans as a white/European/colonial language contrasts with the view of the language as an African language. The former view is an outcome of the hegemony of Afrikaner nationalism: the “black history” of Afrikaans was denied via indoctrination “by Afrikaner Christian national education, propaganda and the media”.20

Taking this socio-historical and -political denial into consideration, it is ironic that, currently, the majority of Afrikaans speakers in South Africa are not white.21 White Afrikaans speakers make up only 40% of all South African Afrikaans speakers.22 Coloured people, black Africans and South African Indians constitute the other 60% of Afrikaans speakers.23 Fifty percent of Afrikaans speakers are coloured people.24

Many scholars have accepted and documented the crucial contribution of coloured people’s ancestors, especially the foreign slaves and indigenous Khoikhoi, to the historical development of Afrikaans (including the Afrikaans variety Kaaps).25 Yet, colonists subjugated and discriminated against these population groups. Similarly, Afrikaner nationalism and apartheid oppressed their descendants, including coloured people.26

Within the context of this oppression, Afrikaans has, according to Hein Willemse (1987), a “double identity”: the language is “at once the language of the conqueror and the language of the oppressed”.27 Afrikaans, therefore, occupies a somewhat awkward space in South Africa’s linguistic historiography. This article delves deeper into the much less emphasised history of Afrikaans as the language of the oppressed. Only in recent years has this history received much more popular attention in the media, with the publication of books such as Kaaps in fokus and Ons kom van vêr – bydraes oor bruin Afrikaanssprekendes se rol in die ontwikkeling van Afrikaans.

In order to contextualise the utilisation of Afrikaans as a language of defiance against historical white hegemonies, a brief history of the language’s formation in Africa is provided.

Ena Jansen defines Afrikaans as a unique “African-Germanic” language: it did not develop on the European continent and it is predominantly spoken within African borders.28 Afrikaans can also be termed a [southern] African creole language, spoken in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.29 Furthermore, Afrikaans is the third most spoken language in South Africa.30 According to the 2011 census, distribution of the population by first language spoken includes, amongst eleven, the top four spoken languages: Zulu (22,7%), Xhosa (16%), Afrikaans (13,5%) and English (9,6%).31

"The dominant language in the different regions of South Africa. The map does not indicate the number of language speakers, simply the language most commonly spoken. So, while Afrikaans dominates the Northern Cape, that province is sparsely populated, so the actual number of Afrikaans speakers is limited. Similarly, KwaZulu-Natal is densely populated, so there are a great many isiZulu speakers in the province." (Image source)

Scholarly literature accepts that three groups played a central role in the formation of the language: the European settlers, the indigenous Khoikhoi, and slaves from African and Asian countries.32 Eastern political exiles also furthered language contact (between 1652 and 1767, political prisoners were exiled to the Cape from countries such as Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka).33 Afrikaans is thereby influenced by “Dutch; the seafarer variants of Malay, Portuguese and Indonesian; and the indigenous Kh[oikhoi] and San languages”.34 Valley and Valley affirm this point: “while [A]frikaans’s [D]utch heritage cannot be denied, it must be acknowledged that it was shaped and molded away from [D]utch by the [K]hoi and [M]alay slaves.”35 Some of these influences are highlighted in the following section.

banyak ---> baie; gogga; piesang

In the Afrikaaps documentary, Dylan Valley emphasises that an everyday Afrikaans word cited in the prescriptive standard Afrikaans dictionary, such as baie/“many”, actually stems from Malay (therefore, not Dutch).36 Other vocabulary words that illustrate influences other than Dutch, include, for example, piesang/“banana” (Malay-derived); baadjie/“jacket” (Malay-derived); sambreel/“umbrella” (Portuguese-derived); mielie/“mealie” (Portuguese-derived); and gogga/“bug” (Khoikhoi-derived).37 The expression baie dankie/“many thanks” is half-derived from Dutch (hartelijk dank) and Malay (banyak).38 The socio-historical context of these influences is explored in more depth in the next section.

The Cape Colony: a creole community

Afrikaans developed locally as a language of contact in a colonial milieu39: the Cape was a “melting pot of languages”.40 In 1595, initial contact between Dutch traders and the indigenous Khoikhoi took place at the Cape:41 this contact was the beginning of the early development of the local language, Afrikaans.42 Fast-forward to 1652, the year the Dutch East India Company established a refreshment station at the Cape:43 it was in this creole community of the Cape Colony during the era of the Dutch East India Company (1652–1795) that Afrikaans was formed.44

The indigenes encountering Jan van Riebeeck (Image source)

In colonial marketplace locales, the indigenous population generally had no choice but to attempt to communicate in the invading settlers’ language.45 The local population was forced “to quickly adapt to the newcomers’ [Dutch East India Company officials] shrewd tactics when it came to negotiating and bartering”.46 In this regard, Valley and Valley state: “Afrikaans developed as a bridging language to ease communication between the indigenous people, imported slaves and their masters.”47

Krotoa (Image source)

Interpreters such as Krotoa, Autshomao [colonial name “Herrie die Strandloper”] and Doman thereby became vital negotiators.48 Patric Mellet argues that these interpreters were “in a sense … the first to mold this new creole language, Afrikaans”.49 In 1658, the languages Malay and Portuguese were imported to the Cape via the incoming slaves; these languages were “the lingua francas of trade in the Indian Ocean world in which the Dutch East India Company operated”.50

In the Dutch East India Company era, the slaves’ spoken language played a significant role in the development of Afrikaans: recorded court case testimonies documented “some of the earliest examples of the restructuring of Dutch, which eventually resulted in the formation of Afrikaans”.51 Consequently, Jansen affirms that “[t]his significant early shift from standard Dutch was first heard through the ‘voice of the slave’”.52

The Muslim community in the Cape Colony had increased exponentially by the end of the eighteenth century.53 The Cape Muslim community played a very significant role in the recording of Kaaps.54 Christo van Rensburg states that the first book in Afrikaans was written in Kaaps.55 Robert Shell asserts that “an imam, a slave descendant” was the author of the first Afrikaans book.56 Achmat Davids identifies this “first published Afrikaans work” as the religious book Gablomatiem (1856), “written in Cape Dutch but in Arabic rather than Roman script”.57 Copies of this religious text did not survive.58 Before this text’s publication date became known, it was thought that the first Afrikaans book was Zamenspraak tusschen Klaas Waarzegger en Jan Twyfelaar (LH Meurant, 1862)59 (Hermann Giliomee regards this book as the first secular Afrikaans book).60

Indian Ocean slave routes (Image source)

Another text written in Arabic script is authored by Abu Bakr Effendi, a theologian born in Turkish Kurdistan.61 He was dispatched to the Cape in 1862 in his capacity as a religious advisor (the British government requested his assistance as mediator regarding a disagreement between Cape Muslims).62 Written in Cape Town around 1869, the text Uiteensetting van die godsdienst is a Cape Dutch translation of “Bayan al-Din” (“Exposition of the religion”).63 The Ottoman Empire’s Foreign Ministry authorised the complimentary distribution of this text among Cape Muslims.64 Jansen emphasises the historical value of this text for the development of Afrikaans: it adheres “to the norms of Cape Dutch”.65

At the time, Malay (an Islamic religious language) was the language of trade of the East; the Kaaps of that era was thereby greatly influenced by the imported slaves (as previously stated).66 The Muslim religion was taught in the newly established Muslim schools, wherein Malay was the medium of instruction.67 However, the community was not familiar with Malay; they continued to speak Afrikaans.68

Consequently, Afrikaans had replaced Malay by 1815 as the medium of instruction in the religious schools: Afrikaans written in Arabic script became a religious language.69 When the Cape became a British colony in 1806, English became the official language.70 Even though English replaced Dutch as the only medium of instruction in schools as part of Lord Charles Somerset’s 1822 Anglicisation policy71, the Muslim schools still utilised Afrikaans.72 Van Rensburg situates “Muslim Afrikaans” predominantly in the Bo-Kaap.73

A page from a recently discovered 1860 student notebook with transcription and translation (Image source)

A mosque in Cape Town’s Bo-Kaap (Image source: Nkansahrexford (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

During the late nineteenth century, the creole language Afrikaans was appropriated by “patriotic male European colonists”: these slave owners “call[ed] [Afrikaans] their own”.74 The consequence of this appropriation is, as previously stated, the disregard of creole roots: “there is a side to the [A]frikaans language, the creole birth and coloured connection that has been overlooked in our collective [S]outh [A]frican consciousness”.75

Taking the mentioned appropriation into consideration, it is ironic that, according to the late Neville Alexander, early Afrikaans was ridiculed as kombuistaal [kitchen language] and Hotnotstaal [the pejorative label “Hottentot language”].76 Valley and Valley similarly affirm: “this new language” was regarded as “‘bastard [D]utch’ and […] a ‘mongrel language’ reserved for communicating with the slaves and lower classes”.77 The next section discusses the stigmatisation of the local, multiracial Cape Dutch spoken language by the Dutch and English upper classes.

Local, multiracial Cape Dutch

The [early to mid-nineteenth century] local Cape Dutch dialect deviated from metropolitan/standard Dutch: at the time, “Afrikaans was still definitely seen as an uncivilised patois spoken mainly by non-whites.”78 Dutch was the language of the public sphere, utilised in the press, in schools and in churches.79 Varieties of Afrikaans were spoken by white people and “people of colour” in the sphere of the home and in informal contexts.80 Cape Dutch was “spoken by the peasants, the urban proletariat whatever their ethnic background and even the middle class of civil servants, traders and teachers”.81 As previously mentioned, Cape Dutch was ridiculed as, for example, Hotnotstaal [Hotnot language, an extremely derogatory label] and Kitchen-Dutch by the Dutch and English upper classes of the Cape Colony.82

The multiracial language Afrikaans was considered an embarrassment: at the time, race- and class-based distinctions had become entrenched into society.83 It was not considered by the upper classes as a language that “could express learning, writing or upper middle class culture”.84 White, middle-class Cape Dutch speakers therefore set out “to disprove and counter such elite perceptions”.85

The “struggle to give Afrikaans its rightful place” is, among other things, attributed to nineteenth century political events such as the First Boer War.86 Furthermore, the emergence of Afrikaner nationalism during the 1870s was a response to the Anglicisation policy, enforced over decades by British governors87 in the church, in schools and in the civil service.88 Therefore, the fight for Afrikaans paralleled the rise of Afrikaner nationalism.89

On 14 August 1875, Die Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (GRA) [The Fellowship of True Afrikaners] was established.90 The GRA endeavoured “to convince Dutch and Afrikaans speaking white people that Afrikaans could play an important role in their national consciousness and to regard themselves as a special community called Afrikaner”.91 At the time, many Afrikaners regarded the language “as an incorrect form of Dutch”.92 Consequently, the group aimed “to get Afrikaans recognised as a language distinct from Dutch” and to develop a “high” variety of Afrikaans.93 In order to distribute their message, the GRA published a newspaper,94 first published on 15 January 1876.95 Die Afrikaanse Patriot “was established to help convince the Afrikaners that Afrikaans is their own language”.96

Stephanus Jacobus (SJ) du Toit, leader of the Fellowship of True Afrikaners (Image source)

According to Valley and Valley, the GRA initiated the “forced Europeanisation of Afrikaans”.97 For this society, Afrikaans was the language of the white Afrikaners.98 Coloured Afrikaans speakers were thereby excluded from the struggle for Afrikaans language rights.99 Valley and Valley affirm that these speakers are still being stigmatised: “it seems that the version of [A]frikaans spoken in the coloured community [Kaaps] is seen as a colloquial version of ‘pure’[A]frikaans and is almost always represented as being comical and never taken seriously”.100 Another outcome of the GRA: the creole nature of Afrikaans was actively rejected:101 written Dutch was chosen as the foundation for the standardisation of Afrikaans.102

An early version of “baie”, namely “baiang”, on the first front page of Die Afrikaanse Patriot. Thanks to Imam Hashim Salie for pointing this out at the August 2017 Taalmaandvieringe of Die Afrikaanse Taalraad (ATR) and Die Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en -monument (ATM). (Image source)

As previously stated, language planners set out to separate “high” Afrikaans from “low” Afrikaans: the language was therefore promoted as “a formal written language with real cultural clout”.103 This image of “high” Afrikaans included viewing the language as one that was “as ‘civilized’ (read: white) as possible”.104 But, “a standardised form of Afrikaans … became a marker of ‘whiteness’; ‘Coloured Afrikaans’ was considered quaint and sub-standard”.105 Standard Afrikaans is, according to social opinion, the “prestige” Afrikaans variety; other varieties are considered inferior and lower in status.106

Hein Willemse underscores the consequences of the construction of Afrikaans as a white language by Afrikaner language nationalists such as the GRA:107

In denying the commonality of their fellow Afrikaans speakers who were descendants of slaves, indigenous people or simply poor, they were elevating the language to a narrow ethnic nationalist cause. Through a web of actions and policies that influenced education, cultural and economic policies well into the 20th century, Afrikaans was constructed as a “white language”, with a “white history” and “white faces”.108

The coat of arms of the Fellowship of True Afrikaners (Image source)

However, Willemse highlights the agency of Afrikaans speakers; the language is also one of resistance:

While our recent sociopolitical history often casts Afrikaans as the language of racists, oppressors and unreconstructed nationalists, the language also bears the imprint of a fierce tradition of anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, of an all-embracing humanism and anti-apartheid activism.109

Other authors similarly assert that the language does not solely represent suppression and racism. For example, Jansen affirms that “Afrikaans is not merely the language of white Afrikaner nationalism … Afrikaans predates and extends beyond apartheid”.110 Likewise, Danny Titus emphasises that “Afrikaans does not equate Afrikaner”.111 Cecyl Esau reminisces that many coloured people “fought just as hard [as the 16 June 1976 protestors] in the struggle against apartheid … in Afrikaans”.112

However, authors such as Randall van den Heever and Franklin Sonn note the ambivalence experienced by coloured Afrikaans speakers. Van den Heever notes “the conflict between his Afrikaans mother-tongue and his vision of liberation from Afrikaner-dominance [which] unleashed an intense ambivalence in the mind of the oppressed Afrikaans-speaker”.113 Likewise, Sonn underscores on the back cover of the book Ons kom van vêr: bydraes oor bruin Afrikaanssprekendes se rol in die ontwikkeling van Afrikaans,that coloured Afrikaans speakers simultaneously speak the language and were oppressed in the language: he notes “the ambivalence about the Afrikaans of our heart and the distasteful way in which we were oppressed and disregarded” in Afrikaans.114 Yet, he asserts that “Afrikaans is not only the language of apartheid; Afrikaans is also the language of the struggle and reconciliation”.115

Previous sections discussed the socio-political and -cultural conditions wherein the standardised form of Afrikaans emerged. Ethnic nationalists defied Dutch and British colonial linguistic influence [albeit ironically using written Dutch as the basis of standard Afrikaans].

This article argues that Afrikaans historically functioned as a language of resistance much earlier than the era of Afrikaner ethnic nationalism. Slaves utilised early Afrikaans to express resistance against colonialism during, it is thought, the Dutch East India Company era through ghoemaliedjies [ghoema songs]. A few years before Die Patriot was published, coloured Afrikaans speakers resisted colonial linguistic influence in the Moravian mission station town of Genadendal (South Africa’s first mission station) via printed texts.

The following sections discuss the historical use of Afrikaans as a language of defiance against white hegemonies by slaves and coloured people throughout colonialism, Afrikaner nationalism, apartheid and the post-apartheid socio-cultural milieus.

Challenging colonialism

  • Ghoemaliedjies [ghoema songs]

Ghoema songs, part of Cape Muslim slave culture, were the earliest forms of defiance against colonialism (and colonial linguistic influence). As previously discussed, slaves and Eastern political exiles were transported to the shores of the Cape in 1658, and between 1652 and 1767. Indonesian prisoners thereby brought their literary traditions, such as the pantun, to the Cape: the ghoemaliedjie resembles this form of song.116

Even though ghoemaliedjies are difficult to date117, they “include references that could, arguably, be used to claim that during the period of the Dutch East India Company rule slaves created adaptations of both … the pantun, and the Dutch popular song, the mopje”.118

As already mentioned, ghoemaliedjies played a significant role in slave culture.119 They comprise a melange of Dutch and Indonesian folksongs.120 They were historically sung in Malay-Portuguese, Malay-Dutch, Afrikaans and English.121 Many early Dutch folksongs “developed into Afrikaans (sometimes in a dialect which reveals their Dutch origins)”.122 A particular form of this song employs the form, rhythm and lyrics of traditional Dutch (and subsequently Afrikaans) folksongs.123 Winberg emphasises the importance of these songs’ language use:

The adaptation of the colonists’ language by slaves was not an act of submission. They took the white man’s language, altered it, added new words and, very often, threw it back in parody … Song, as Vernon February has pointed out, was one of the few means by which white society could be satirised (February 31). Adaptation of the oppressor’s language and culture is a feature of many slave societies.124

Generally, ghoemaliedjies are overtly satirical: slaves utilised them to comment on the colonists.125 The Dutch colonists’ songs were subtly modified by their servants for commentary on their masters.126 The ghoemalied is predominantly influenced by a particular form of Dutch folk song, the pieknieklied [picnic song].127 This form ridicules respected elderly figures within the conservative Dutch community: many ooms [uncles] and tannies [aunties], such as “oom [uncle] Jannie”, were parodied as so-called “picnic personae”.128

The appropriated ghoemalied also ridicules the “sentimentalised boerenooi [farm girl]”.129 Christine Winberg notes that “[t]he idealised farm girl is the heroine of a multitude of romantic folksongs”.130 Adding to the derision expressed against the boerenooi, the slaves disparaged their white madams131/the boerevrou [boer woman].132

Slaves sung ghoemaliedjies during their annual picnics (which slave owners were required to provide).133 A ghoemaliedjie is thereby also called a “Malay picnic song” or a moppie.134 Nowadays, ghoemaliedjies are still performed at the annual Malay Choir Competition.135 Traditionally, these songs form an integral part of the Cape Minstrel Carnival.136

Malay Choir (Young Men Sporting Club) (Photo: Menán van Heerden)

Members of the Santam District Six Entertainers at the Castle of Good Hope (Photo: Leon Lestrade)

Du Plessis (1935:113, 134) claims that the [apparent] Afrikaner folk songs, for example, “Siembamba” and “Suikerbossie”, emerged within the Muslim community:137 “[s]ongs which originated in the Dutch community were sung as parodies by Muslims and then re-emerged as Afrikaner folk songs”.138 For Winberg, the appropriation of Malay songs by Afrikaners “as expressions of a folk consciousness” is ironic:139 “[t]he satirical traditions of the ghoemaliedjie live on … in the most soulful utterances of Afrikanerdom”.140

  • The Genadendal printing press

Genadendal (initially called Baviaanskloof) is the oldest mission station in South Africa.141 It was established in 1738 by the missionary Georg Schmidt, whose “main task was to teach the Khoikhoi the Christian doctrine”.142 In this Moravian mission town, Afrikaans is “the mother-tongue”.143

Genadendal Mission Station (c 1849) (Image source)

Titus underscores the importance of the Genadendal printing press in resistance against colonial linguistic influence: “[o]ther than the Fellowship for True Afrikaners in 1875, Genadendal Dutch had already in 1816 cut itself off from the High Dutch and is also printed on a Gutenberg-model-printing press.”144 Titus also notes the contribution of Genadendal to the Afrikaans language: “[it] played a large role in the establishment of the spoken language to a written language … on the other hand because it had one of the first printing presses in the Cape where this language could be promoted and published in letter and book form”.145

Genadendal texts discussed here include a monthly journal (De Bode van Genadendal, 1859) and a novella (Benigna van Groenekloof of Mamre, 1873), both published by the printing press.

De Bode van Genadendal was a monthly journal established in 1859 (since 1914, published as Die Huisvriend).146 It is, therefore, argued that Die Afrikaanse Patriot, published in 1876, was not the first Afrikaans newspaper: the latter viewpoint persists in “Afrikaner-centric … traditional language history textbooks”.147 The white Afrikaans speakers of the GRA were therefore not among the first Afrikaans speakers to further the establishment of Afrikaans in written form.

The first editors and writers for De Bode were white people; however, it “quickly became the mouthpiece of coloured Afrikaans talent”.148 The white (and successive coloured) editors invited members of the congregation to contribute in the form of articles, stories and poems.149 Other submissions also included letters.150 These contributions, encompassing hundreds of pages, are deemed very significant Afrikaans literary pieces.151

The Genadendal printing press also published a novella about a coloured woman, titled Benigna van Groenekloof of Mamre152 (published anonymously in 1873).153 Theo du Plessis argues that the book by CP Hoogenhout, published in the same year, was not the first Afrikaans novel.154 On the other hand, Kannemeyer regards Hoogenhout’s book, titled Die geskiedenis van Josef, as the first “extensive [Afrikaans] work of prose”.155 Wium van Zyl points out that Benigna is predominantly written in Dutch, with some of the dialogue “more or less in Afrikaans”.156 However, Van Zyl acknowledges Benigna as a very interesting story to take note of in the study of the Afrikaans language.157

The novella Benigna endeavoured to address the needs of Christian coloureds.158 This novella also aimed to enable the people to tell their own real-life stories, as well as stories from their history, in their own language (much of the material originated from oral sources).159 In addition, Benigna addresses political ideology: it comments on problematic human relationships with regard to racial discrimination (Benigna, a coloured girl, is prohibited from attending school with her white friend; their friendship is thereby threatened).160

Letters published in De Bode are also considered important anti-colonial Afrikaans texts. Between1899 and 1914, former students corresponded via letters.161 These letters were deliberately written in this era’s common spoken language: the writers voiced that if a text were written in one’s spoken language, one had a better understanding of it.162 As previously mentioned, in contrast to standard Dutch, Afrikaans was, at the time, distinguished as “plattaal” [flat language].163

Disregarding such a label, these letters claimed that readers wished to read something “in their language”:

It is indeed true, that a lot of people say that what the people speak here at the Cape is not a language.164 I do not agree with this. Even though the language does not have grammar, the people indeed express their thoughts with the language and indeed in words (De Bode 1904:68).165

Another letter questions the use of the then standard language (colonial Dutch) at school. The writer asks: how would school inspectors ‒ those also “fight[ing] so hard for the Dutch language” ‒ react if learners did not write in standard Dutch? (De Bode 1899:76)166

Resistance against white hegemony did not cease, given socio-political and -cultural circumstances. Between the years 1900 and 1930, Afrikaner nationalism became a more serious and purposeful national movement; it extended beyond the endeavours of the GRA.167 In addition, the South African War “was the spark needed to fight for Afrikaans”.168

Within the first three decades of the twentieth century, various Afrikaner language organisations, publications (such as newspapers) and publishing houses were founded.169 In 1918, Afrikaans was instituted as a university subject.170 In the same year, the Afrikaner Broederbond was launched, aiming to “[help] build the Afrikaner in cultural and economic terms”.171

By 1925, Afrikaans was an established medium of instruction (for Afrikaans speaking learners) in schools.172 In 1925, Afrikaans was ‒ together with English ‒ “fully recognised as a language of South Africa”.173 A comprehensive Afrikaans dictionary was published the following year.174 The Bible was first translated into Afrikaans in 1933.175 In the next section, texts that question Afrikaner nationalist hegemony – including, firstly, the satirical column Straatpraatjes and, secondly, protest poetry – are examined.

Challenging Afrikaner nationalism

  • Straatpraatjes

The satirical column Straatpraatjes was published between 1909 and 1922 in the newspaper of the African Political Organisation (APO).176 The APO ‒ established in 1902 in Cape Town ‒ was “the first substantive [c]oloured political pressure group in the Cape Colony”.177 The first issue of the APO’s newspaper, titled APO, was published on 24 May 1909.178 The APO criticised “the white commercial press” of, among other things assuming “that South Africa belongs to the whites … by right of conquest”.179 The leader of the APO, Abdullah Abdurahman, is thought to be the writer of Straatpraatjes (written under the pseudonym Piet Uithalder).180

Abdullah Abdurahman (Image source)

Straatpraatjes is based on the white middle-class Afrikaans column, Parlementse Praatjes; the latter was published in the newspaper De Zuid-Afrikaan, “the leading Dutch newspaper in the Cape”.181 For the APO, this column solely represented Afrikaner interests.182 The Straatpraatjes column thereby aimed “to express coloured interests in the language of the coloured community”.183 Herman Giliomee and Bernard Mbengaconsider Straatpraatjes as “the earliest example that we know of where Afrikaans is used to articulate black resistance to white domination”.184 Satire was employed as a “weapon … against [Abdullah Abdurahman’s] Afrikaner nationalist opponents”.185

For example, the column scorned segregation and white racism; it also “mocked the operations of Parliament”.186 The spoken language of Cape Town’s coloured working classes (also described as “the Afrikaans vernacular [of] the urban coloured community of the Western Cape”) was deliberately utilised. Addressing “readers in the unique language of his community” was a “novelty”.187 This use of language was intentionally contrasted with the form of Afrikaans used by white middle-class speakers in, for example, Parliament.188

  • The first black Afrikaans poet

Approximately two decades after the publication of Straatpraatjes ceased, SV Petersen published his first collection of poems. Petersen is regarded as the first black Afrikaans poet.189 His debut collection of poems, titled Die enkeling, was published in 1944.190 Willemse cites Petersen as “the first coloured writer to debut in Afrikaans”.191 His poetry openly challenges the social environment;192 his social position denied him access to “mainstream Afrikaans cultural life”.193

SV Petersen (Image source)


Afrikaans and the liberation struggle – in Afrikaans

In 1948, the National Party came to power.194 Between 1948 and 1953, most apartheid laws were implemented.195 During the 1940s, “Afrikaans became perceived as the language of the oppressor and a symbol of apartheid.”196 Afrikaans gained more power: “[b]y the time that the nationalists came to political power in 1948, Afrikaans’ position was further bolstered and it gained a foothold in all sectors of society, including the civil service and the economy”.197

Alan Boesak (Image source)

However, it was during the era of the apartheid liberation struggle that people simultaneously resisted Afrikaans and resisted in Afrikaans. Valley and Valley make this point:

[W]hile black students in Soweto were protesting against the use of Afrikaans as the language of instruction, Afrikaans-speaking coloured youth joined in the fight against the government, and used their Afrikaans to mobilise communities to fight against the injustices of the day. Members of the UDF, Ashley Kriel, Allan Boesak and Cheryl Carolus come to mind as some of the youth who were at the forefront of resistance politics in Cape Town in the 1970s and ’80s.198

Willemse echoes this point, citing the “history of resistance” in Afrikaans as an alternative history of Afrikaans:199

[The decision to resist was] rooted in the uprisings in which Afrikaans was labelled “the language of the oppressor”. The slogan was rightly an emotive, visceral response to Afrikaner ethnic, nationalist hegemony and its concomitant coercive state power, but it also obscured the experiences, lives and histories of black and non-nationalist Afrikaans speakers.200

Franklin Sonn (Image source)

The next section examines the ways in which Afrikaans was utilised as a language of resistance during the apartheid liberation struggle by writers, academics, educators, student activists and artists. Anti-apartheid poetry collections, conferences, movements, protests, theatre and hip-hop resisted throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. An important component of resistance in Afrikaans against the hegemonic system included literature such as protest poetry and the activism of writers.

  • Protest poetry

In 1961, Adam Small published one of his most famous poetry collections, Kitaar my kruis.201 It was protest poetry written in Kaaps, “launch[ing] a cutting attack on South African society …”202 Jakes Gerwel also regards Hein Willemse as a political struggle poet.203 During the 1980s, writers and scholars also expressed anti-apartheid sentiments at conferences.

Adam Small (Photo: Naomi Bruwer)

  • 1980s writers’ conferences

The Victoria Falls conference (Zimbabwe, July 1989) was attended by predominantly [white and coloured] Afrikaans writers,204 such as Breyten Breytenbach, André P Brink, Antjie Krog, Vernie February, Etienne van Heerden, Hein Willemse, Julian Smith and Patrick Petersen.205

Vernie February (Image source)

At the time, Afrikaans writers began to resist “the cultural hegemony on which the ruling class built its political regime … apartheid and National Party authoritarianism” in the 1960s.206 This conference was an opportunity for dialogue:

… as the ANC had been banned and demonised by the ideological state apparatus since the sixties these progressive voices were left without a means of discourse. For the writers of that decade and their literary descendants to meet writers in exile and ANC political workers became an opportunity for them to be more actively involved in a solution for South Africa – to realise that this country can have a future away from apartheid and violence.207

In one of the conference talks, Patrick Petersen spoke in Afrikaans about the politicisation of black Afrikaans poetry. He asserted that his “political involvement … as word artist [is] unavoidable”.208 In this regard, he emphasised the importance of poetry in the struggle:209 “[p]oetry … has to break the silence … break through barriers … go to the podium and give the black power sign”.210 He also affirmed that poetry resisting the struggle “offsets the policy of disguise and distortion of reality that is followed in the official culture … The black writer is therefore called to evoke the liberation struggle with his own people”.211

Patrick Petersen (Image source)

Petersen underscored another role of black Afrikaans poetry, namely the “challeng[ing] of the traditional notions about what literature is and what should be made part of the canon”.212 Furthermore, he stressed several impediments to the development of black Afrikaans literature: structural problems within society, such as poverty, censorship, “colonialism, violence, humiliation and oppression and also the struggle against it”.213

Another conference took place in April 1985: a symposium for Black Afrikaans writers was held at the University of the Western Cape. According to the editors of the conference report, the conference aimed to highlight literary activity other than literature canonised by the Afrikaans establishment.214 Participants included academics and writers such as Jakes Gerwel, Julian Smith, Patrick Petersen, Peter Snyders and Hein Willemse.215 Willemse reminisces that, at the time, “young Black Consciousness inspired academics” such as himself “understood that a different story needed to be told”.216 He elaborates:

At the very least, one that tells of a more encompassing history, a history that explored the life and culture of those marginalised, ie the neglected histories, language, literature and culture of Black Afrikaans speakers.217

A historical movement that focused on marginalised Afrikaans speakers in the sphere of education was the Alternative Afrikaans Movement.

  • The Alternative Afrikaans Movement

During the 1980s, Cape Afrikaans teachers challenged the exclusive focus on and backing of standard Afrikaans / “white” Afrikaans in education.218 They emphasised, among other things, the struggles of Kaaps speaking learners facing standard Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.219 Educators expressed their grievances via their education union, the Kaaplandse Professionele Onderwysersunie (KPO).220

During a February 1988 congress of the KPO, the notion of “alternative Afrikaans” in relation to the subject Afrikaans was a point of discussion.221 The predominant definition of alternative Afrikaans comprises the idea that “the school subject Afrikaans has to be purified from racial judgements and … prejudices, and from its white favouring. The conversations … emphasise that Afrikaans belongs to all its speakers. It is not so that one subgroup can claim the language”.222

Peter Snyders

Van den Heever stresses the importance of “alternative Afrikaans”: it “is of utmost importance in the democratic movement because the conflict between his Afrikaans mother-tongue and his vision of liberation from Afrikaner-dominance unleashed an intense ambivalence in the mind of the oppressed Afrikaans-speaker” (as previously mentioned).223

In addition to teachers, community leaders, students and learners also confronted white Afrikaner hegemony in Afrikaans.

  • Student political mobilisation and activism

As previously mentioned, coloured people contested apartheid oppression also in Afrikaans.224 Van den Heever underlines prominent Afrikaans community leaders, such as Allan Boesak, Jakes Gerwel and Franklin Sonn.225 During the liberation struggle, they fought oppression in various spheres: the church and education.226 Coloured learners in the Cape and students at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) also resisted apartheid in Afrikaans.227

Jakes Gerwel

Willemse reminisces how the University of the Western Cape (UWC) of 1976 was central to student activism:

[UWC] became the hub of the student uprising in the Western Cape and we as students sang revolutionary songs in isiXhosa, English and in Afrikaans … We performed plays and poetry in Afrikaans and a young, eloquent firebrand named Allan Boesak whipped us all into rousing Black Consciousness fervour − in Afrikaans … This is an example of Afrikaans in resistance; it is also an example of a counternarrative unknown to those outside the sphere of Afrikaans speakers.228

MacMaster highlights the leading role of UWC in the 1976 Cape Peninsula revolt: colleges, schools and communities were inspired by the student protest.229 They “began revolting in solidarity with Soweto, in the fight against apartheid and in support of the liberation struggle”.230 MacMaster reminisces about a song from the Cape Flats: “Oubaas Vorster, Oubaas Vorster/ Slaap jy nog, slaap jy nog?/ Hoor hoe skreeu die kinders/ Hoor hoe skreeu die kinders:/ Equal rights, equal rights!” [Old man Vorster, Old man Vorster/ Are you still sleeping, are you still sleeping?/ Hear how the children shout/ Hear how the children shout:/ Equal rights, equal rights!]231

Hein Willemse (Photo: Naomi Bruwer)

Basil Kivedo, a former MK soldier, asserts: “… I was arrested by the security police in Afrikaans, I was detained in Afrikaans, I was tortured in Afrikaans, but I fought back in Afrikaans.”232 Kivedo also underscores his involvement in student leader politics:233 he “targeted certain students as possible recruits for the liberation struggle” in, for example, Bonteheuwel, Hanover Park, Lavender Hill and Manenberg.234 He had “close ties with radical members of the Bonteheuwel Military Wing (BMW)”,235 including Ashley Kriel, Anton Fransch and Colleen Williams (Kivedo and the commander of the BMW initiated political education sessions with members).236 According to Kivedo, “[t]he medium of instruction [was] in all cases Afrikaans” (given that it was in Bonteheuwel).237

Ashley Kriel (Image source)

Kivedo affirms that numerous student leaders, such as Cheryl Carolus, fought in Afrikaans.238 At the 33rd anniversary of the UDF, Cheryl Carolus asserted: “[w]e spoke everyone’s language at public meetings” (including Afrikaans, English and Xhosa when meeting in Bonteheuwel).239

Cheryl Carolus (Image source)

Community activism also comprised black community theatre and the hip-hop movement on the Cape Peninsula.

  • Black community theatre

During apartheid, black community theatre thrived in the predominantly Afrikaans speaking northern suburbs of the Cape Peninsula (including, for example, Belhar, Elsiesrivier, Ravensmead, Bellville, Kuilsrivier and Kraaifontein).240 Categories such as social-political dramas were performed mainly in Kaaps (“the language of the [Cape] Flats”).241 These dramas include, for example, Melvin Whitebooi’s Dit sallie blerrie dag wies.242 Fransman highlights the significance of the socio-political dramas of the drama group Cape Flats Players (established in 1973 by Adam Small243).244 They performed dramas such as Kanna hy kó hystoe (Adam Small, 1965) and Joanie Galant-hulle (also by Adam Small, 1978).245 These dramas “tackled the issues of their own communities”,246 such as racism and the Group Areas Act.247

Julian Smith (Photo: sun.ac.za)

  • Indigenised hip-hop

Hip-hip in Cape Town emerged during the 1980s,248 “mainly as a platform for articulating resistance to the apartheid regime”.249 The group Prophets of da City 250 was part of the “Old Skool [School]”, “a group of young MCs with a political conscience, coming mostly from coloured townships, and addressing current issues in the language of the street”.251

Two decades before Die Antwoord, Prophets of Da City released South Africa’s first hip-hop album. According to Valley and Valley, the first recorded Afrikaans hip-hop song was “Dallah Flet” by Prophets of Da City (Image source).

During this era, hip-hop was banned on radio, thereby remaining underground.252 The establishment regarded hip-hop as “subversive” and repressed it.253 Haupt defines “indigenised”/localised hip-hop as the “use of local dialects and idiomatic expressions” that focuses on “very local concerns”.254 Battersby also discusses the use of the vernacular in hip-hop:

The standardisation of Afrikaans by whites played a decisive role in the discourse of power during apartheid, through its exclusion of the variants of Afrikaans spoken by black/coloured speakers. The use of the vernacular subverts the impacts of colonialism [and] creates a unifying force among the colonised and a site of intercultural conflict. Invariably in South African hip-hop the vernacular is used in such a manner as to challenge the logic presented by power structures.255

Defiance against colonialism and Afrikaner nationalist hegemony did not end with apartheid. In the next section, a local and international protest theatre production, titled Afrikaaps, is discussed as post-apartheid dissent.

 

Afrikaaps 

Dylan Valley (Image source)

A contemporary theatre production that combines hip-hop with Kaaps is titled Afrikaaps.256 Afrikaaps is a protest theatre production that performed mainly in Cape Town and the Netherlands between 2010 and 2015. The 2010 documentary film with the same title, directed by Dylan Valley, chronicles the 2010 performances of the production.

Afrikaaps ‒ directed by Catherine Henegan with Aryan Kaganof offering creative input ‒ comprises eight hip-hop artists and social activists from the Cape Flats: Emile Jansen (Emile YX? Jansen); Jethro Louw; Janine van Rooy-Overmeyer (Blaq Pearl); Quintin Goliath (Jitsvinger); Moenier Adams (Monox); Charl van der Westhuizen (Bliksemstraal); Shane Cooper and Kyle Shepherd. In addition to clips from the Afrikaaps documentary and dialogues, the production uses hip-hop, soul, jazz, R&B, reggae and performance poetry / spoken word.257

Poster advertising the 2011 Afrikaaps Dutch tour (Image source)

The production advocates Afrikaans as an indigenous, creole language.258 Afrikaaps thereby affirms that the language was formed at the early, cosmopolitan Cape [also] by the ancestors of coloured people (namely, the indigenous Khoikhoi and Malay slaves). Afrikaaps thereby aims to refute the claim that Afrikaans is a colonial language of the white Afrikaner oppressor. The white appropriation of Afrikaans during Afrikaner nationalism and apartheid is especially highlighted.

Furthermore, the production highlights issues surrounding marginalised and stigmatised Kaaps as a response and resistance to the racialised hegemony of standard/“pure” Afrikaans of the white Afrikaner oppressor. Indigenous (Khoikhoi and San) and slave (Malay) cultural heritage, and Kaaps as a mother tongue, are celebrated. The origin of the Afrikaaps concept is an article written by Dylan Valley and Greer Valley in 2009. The term “Afrikaaps” was coined by Jitsvinger.259

Conclusion

This article aimed to demonstrate the various ways in which white and coloured Afrikaans speakers have resisted oppression throughout various eras in South African history: colonialism, Afrikaner nationalism, apartheid and the post-apartheid era. Since the era of colonialism, songs, newspapers, writers, academics, educators, students, theatre practitioners and hip-hop artists have all challenged repression – in Afrikaans.

  • The original version of this article was produced for South African History Online on 20 September 2017 by Menán van Heerden, reworked for LitNet by Menán van Heerden with permission.

 

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Endnotes

1 Urban Dictionary, “footsack”. Urbandictionary.com. Date posted: 6 July 2006, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=footsack.

2 Afrikaaps, directed by Dylan Valley (Cape Town: Plexus Films, 2010). Documentary film.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 “EFF declares what’s at stake at the University of Pretoria: #AfrikaansMustFall”, dailymaverick.co.za. Date posted: 24 February 2016, https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2016-02-24-eff-declares-whats-at-stake-at-the-university-of-pretoria-afrikaansmustfall/#.Wdxxx2iCzIV.

6 Ibid.

7 “Whiteness, not Afrikaans, must fall”, mg.co.za. Date posted: 11 March 2016, https://mg.co.za/article/2016-03-10-whiteness-not-afrikaans-must-fall.

8 Ena Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, in Good Hope: South Africa and the Netherlands from 1600, eds Martine Gosselink, Maria Holtrop and Robert Ross (Rijksmuseum: Vantilt Publishers, 2017), 337.

9 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 337.

10 André P Brink, “Afrikaans en oorlewing”, in Skrywer en gemeenskap: tien jaar Afrikaanse skrywersgilde, eds Charles Malan and Bartho Smit (Pretoria: HAUM, 1985), 167.

11 Greer Valley and Dylan Valley, “Hip hop masala”. Kaganof.com. Date posted: 22 May 2009. http://kaganof.com/kagablog/?s=hip+hop+masala.

12 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 337.

13 Ibid.

14 “#FeesMustFall protest reminiscent of 1976 uprising”, enca.com. Date posted: 24 October 2015, http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations.

15 Afrikaaps, directed by Dylan Valley (Cape Town: Plexus Films, 2010). Documentary film.

16 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 337.

17 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans”, up.ac.za. Date posted: 22 February 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

18 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 337.

19 Ibid.

20 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans”, up.ac.za. Date posted: 22 February 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

21 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 337.

22 Danny Titus, “Afrikaanse boek van bruin kant ‒ taal en identiteit op die Afrikaanse werf”, in Ons kom van vêr: bydraes oor bruin Afrikaanssprekendes se rol in die ontwikkeling van Afrikaans, eds WAM Carstens and Michael le Cordeur (Tygervallei: Naledi, 2016), 188.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid.

25 Menán van Heerden, “Afrikaaps: a celebratory protest against the racialised hegemony of ‘pure’ Afrikaans” (Master’s thesis, Stellenbosch University, 2016). http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100364.

26 Ibid.

27 “Postcolonialism and Afrikaans literature”, postcolonialweb.org. Accessed: 6 March 2017, http://www.postcolonialweb.org/sa/viljoen/1.html.

28 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 337-338.

29 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans”, up.ac.za. Date posted: 22 February 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

30 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 337.

31 “Census 2011: census in brief”, statssa.gov.za. Date posted: unknown, http://www.statssa.gov.za/census/census_2011/census_products/Census_2011_Census_in_brief.pdf.

32 Paul T Roberge, “Afrikaans: considering origins”, in Language in South Africa, ed Rajend Mesthrie (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 79.

33 Paul T Roberge, “Afrikaans and creolisation”, in Afrikaans. Een drieluik, eds Frans Hinskens, Jerzy Koch and Hans den Besten (Amsterdam: Stichting Neerlandistiek VU, 2009), 213.

34 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans”, up.ac.za. Date posted: 22 February 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

35 Greer Valley and Dylan Valley, “Hip hop masala”. Kaganof.com. Date posted: 22 May, 2009. http://kaganof.com/kagablog/?s=hip+hop+masala.

36 Afrikaaps, directed by Dylan Valley (Cape Town: Plexus Films, 2010). Documentary film.

37 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 341.

38 Ibid, 338.

39 Ibid, 337.

40 Ibid.

41 Ibid.

42 Ibid.

43 JC Kannemeyer, Geskiedenis van die Afrikaanse literatuur I (Kaapstad: Academica, 1978), 9.

44 Roberge, “Afrikaans and creolisation”, 209.

45 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 337.

46 Ibid.

47 Greer Valley and Dylan Valley, “Hip hop masala”. Kaganof.com. Date posted: 22 May 2009. http://kaganof.com/kagablog/?s=hip+hop+masala.

48 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 337.

49 Afrikaaps, directed by Dylan Valley (Cape Town: Plexus Films, 2010). Documentary film.

50 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 337.

51 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 338.

52 Ibid.

53 Christo van Rensburg, So kry ons Afrikaans (Pretoria: Lapa, 2012), 84.

54 Van Rensburg, So kry ons Afrikaans, 83.

55 Ibid, 85.

56 Robert Carl-Heinz Shell, Children of bondage: a social history of the slave society at the Cape of Good Hope (Hanover: University Press of New England, 1994), 64.

57 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 340.

58 Ibid.

59 Ibid.

60 Hermann Giliomee, Die Afrikaners: ’n biografie (Kaapstad: Tafelberg, 2004), 176.

61 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 340.

62 Ibid.

63 Ibid.

64 Ibid.

65 Ibid.

66 Van Rensburg, So kry ons Afrikaans, 83.

67 Ibid, 84.

68 Ibid.

69 Ibid, 84-85

70 Ibid, 87.

71 Ibid, 87.

72 Ibid, 85.

73 Ibid, 86.

74 Shell, Children of bondage, 64.

75 Greer Valley and Dylan Valley, “Hip hop masala.” Kaganof.com. Date posted: 22 May 2009. http://kaganof.com/kagablog/?s=hip+hop+masala.

76 Afrikaaps, directed by Dylan Valley (Cape Town: Plexus Films, 2010). Documentary film.

77 Greer Valley and Dylan Valley, “Hip hop masala”. Kaganof.com. Date posted: 22 May 2009. http://kaganof.com/kagablog/?s=hip+hop+masala.

78 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 339.

79 Ibid, 340.

80 Ibid.

81 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans”, up.ac.za. Date posted: 22 February 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

82 Ibid.

83 Giliomee, Die Afrikaners, 176.

84 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans”, up.ac.za. Date posted: 22 February 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

85 Ibid.

86 JC Kannemeyer, Die Afrikaanse literatuur: 1652-1987 (Pretoria: Academica, 1988), 27.

87 Ibid, 27.

88 Kannemeyer, Geskiedenis van die Afrikaanse literatuur, 41.

89 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 340-341.

90 Giliomee, Die Afrikaners, 178.

91 Ibid.

92 Ibid.

93 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 340.

94 Giliomee, Die Afrikaners, 178.

95 JC Steyn, “Ons gaan ’n taal maak: Afrikaans sedert die Patriot-jare (Pretoria: Kraal Uitgewers, 2014), 22.

96 Steyn, Ons gaan ’n taal maak, 21.

97 Greer Valley and Dylan Valley, “Hip hop masala”. Kaganof.com. Date posted: 22 May 2009. http://kaganof.com/kagablog/?s=hip+hop+masala.

98 Giliomee, Die Afrikaners, 179.

99 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 340.

100 Greer Valley and Dylan Valley, “Hip hop masala”. Kaganof.com. Date posted: 22 May 2009. http://kaganof.com/kagablog/?s=hip+hop+masala.

101 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans,” up.ac.za, date posted February 22, 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

102 Ibid.

103 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 340.

104 Ibid, 340-341.

105 Ibid, 341.

106 Frank Hendricks, “The potential advantage of an egalitarian view of the varieties of Afrikaans”, in Mainstreaming Afrikaans regional varieties, ed Kwesi Kwaa Prah (Cape Town: The Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS), 2012), 48.

107 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans”, up.ac.za. Date posted: 22 February 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

108 Ibid.

109 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans”, up.ac.za. Date posted: 22 February 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

110 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 337.

111 Titus, “Afrikaanse boek van bruin kant”, 189.

112 Cecyl Esau, “Die impak wat 16 Junie 1976 op my lewe gehad het”, in Ons kom van vêr: bydraes oor bruin Afrikaanssprekendes se rol in die ontwikkeling van Afrikaans, eds WAM Carstens and Michael le Cordeur (Tygervallei: Naledi, 2016), 171.

113 Van den Heever, Tree na vryheid, 3.

114 WAM Carstens and Michael le Cordeur, eds. Ons kom van vêr: bydraes oor bruin Afrikaanssprekendes se rol in die ontwikkeling van Afrikaans (Tygervallei: Naledi, 2016).

115 Ibid.

116 Winberg, “Ghoemaliedjies”, 79.

117 Ibid, 80.

118 Kay McCormick, Language in Cape Town’s District Six (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.), 200.

119 Winberg, “Ghoemaliedjies”, 78.

120 Ibid.

121 Ibid, 80.

122 Ibid, 81.

123 Ibid.

124 Ibid, 80.

125 Ibid, 82-83.

126 Ibid, 83.

127 Ibid.

128 Ibid.

129 Ibid.

130 Ibid.

131 Ibid, 84.

132 Ibid, 87.

133 Ibid, 78.

134 Ibid.

135 Ibid.

136 Ibid.

137 Ibid, 88.

138 Ibid, 89.

139 Ibid, 88.

140 Ibid, 89.

141 Isaac Henry Theodore Balie, “Die 2½ eeu van Genadendal: ’n kultuurhistoriese ondersoek” (Magistertesis, Stellenbosch University, 1986). SUNScholar Research Repository (http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/65102).

142 Ibid.

143 Titus, “Afrikaanse boek van bruin kant”, 189.

144 Ibid.

145 Ibid.

146 Ronnie Belcher, “Afrikaans en kommunikasie oor die kleurgrens”, in Afrikaans en taalpolitiek: 15 opstelle, eds Hans du Plessis and Theo du Plessis (Pretoria: HAUM Opvoedkundige Uitgewery, 1987), 29.

147 Randall van den Heever, Tree na vryheid: ’n studie in alternatiewe Afrikaans (Kasselsvlei: Kaaplandse Professionele Onderwysersunie, 1987), 17.

148 Belcher, “Afrikaans en kommunikasie”, 29.

149 Ibid.

150 Steyn, Ons gaan ’n taal maak, 39.

151 Belcher, “Afrikaans en kommunikasie”, 29.

152 Ibid.

153 Ibid, 30.

154 Van den Heever, Tree na vryheid, 17.

155 Kannemeyer, Die Afrikaanse literatuur, 35.

156 Steyn, Ons gaan ’n taal maak, 39.

157 Ibid.

158 Belcher, “Afrikaans en kommunikasie”, 30.

159 Ibid.

160 Ibid.

161 Isaac Henry Theodore Balie, “Die 2 ½ eeu van Genadendal: ’n kultuurhistoriese ondersoek” (Magistertesis, Stellenbosch University, 1986). SUNScholar Research Repository (http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/65102).

162 Ibid.

163 Ibid.

164 Ibid.

165 Ibid.

166 Ibid.

167 Kannemeyer, Die Afrikaanse literatuur, 39, 41.

168 Jansen, “Afrikaans: a language on the move”, 341.

169 Kannemeyer, Die Afrikaanse literatuur, 42-43, 103.

170 Kannemeyer, Geskiedenis van die Afrikaanse literatuur, 89.

171 Ibid, 79.

172 Kannemeyer, Die Afrikaanse literatuur, 43.

173 Ibid, 45.

174 Kannemeyer, Geskiedenis van die Afrikaanse literatuur, 257.

175 Kannemeyer, Die Afrikaanse literatuur, 44.

176 Hermann Giliomee and Bernard Mbenga. Nuwe geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika. Kaapstad: Tafelberg, 2007, 267.

177 Mohamed Adhikari, “Voice of the coloured elite: APO, 1909-1923”, in South Africa’s alternative press: voices of protest and resistance, 1880-1960, ed Les Switzer (Pretoria: HAUM Opvoedkundige Uitgewery, 1987), 127.

178 Adhikari, “Voice of the coloured elite”, 127.

179 Ibid, 127.

180 Giliomee and Mbenga, Nuwe geskiedenis, 267.

181 Ibid.

182 Ibid.

183 Ibid.

184 Ibid.

185 Ibid.

186 Ibid.

187 Ibid.

188 Ibid.

189 GJ Gerwel, “Van Petersen tot die hede: ’n kritiese bestekopname”, in Swart Afrikaanse skrywers, eds Julian F Smith, Alwyn van Gensen and Hein Willemse (Pretoria: HAUM Opvoedkundige Uitgewery, 1987), 11.

190 Gerwel, “Van Petersen tot die hede”, 11.

191 Hein Willemse, Aan die ander kant: swart Afrikaanse skrywers in die Afrikaanse letterkunde (Pretoria: Protea Boekhuis, 2007), 12

192 Willemse, Aan die ander kant, 187.

193 Ibid, 109.

194 Giliomee and Mbenga, Nuwe geskiedenis, 310.

195 Ibid, 306.

196 Menán van Heerden, “Afrikaaps: a celebratory protest against the racialised hegemony of ‘pure’ Afrikaans” (Master’s thesis, Stellenbosch University, 2016). http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100364.

197 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans”, up.ac.za. Date posted: 22 February 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

198 Greer Valley and Dylan Valley, “Hip hop masala”. Kaganof.com. Date posted: 22 May 2009. http://kaganof.com/kagablog/?s=hip+hop+masala.

199 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans”, up.ac.za. Date posted: 22 February 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

200 Ibid.

201 Gerwel, “Van Petersen tot die hede,” 15-16.

202 Ibid, 16.

203 Ibid, 19.

204 Ampie Coetzee and James Polley, eds, Crossing borders: writers meet the ANC (Bramley: TAURUS, 1990), 8.

205 Coetzee and Polley, Crossing borders, 207.

206 Ibid, 8.

207 Ibid

208 Ibid, 92.

209 Ibid, 91.

210 Ibid.

211 Ibid, 92.

212 Ibid, 90.

213 Ibid, 90-91.

214 Julian F Smith, Alwyn van Gensen and Hein Willemse. Voorwoord tot Swart Afrikaanse skrywers, edited by Julian F Smith, Alwyn van Gensen and Hein Willemse (Bellville: Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland, 1985), iii.

215 Julian F Smith, Alwyn van Gensen and Hein Willemse. Swart Afrikaanse skrywers (Bellville: Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland, 1985), 104.

216 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans”, up.ac.za. Date posted: 22 February 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

217 Ibid.

218 Christo van Rensburg, Afrikaans in Afrika (Pretoria: JL van Schaik Uitgewers, 1997), 17-18.

219 Ibid, 17.

220 Ibid, 18.

221 Ibid.

222 Ibid.

223 Van den Heever, Tree na vryheid, 3.

224 Esau, “Die impak wat 16 Junie 1976 op my lewe gehad het”, 171.

225 Van den Heever, Tree na vryheid, 14.

226 Ibid.

227 Le Cordeur, “Herinneringe aan studente-opstande en hoe dit my lewe geraak het ‒ 1976 tot 1980”, 220-227.

228 “The hidden histories of Afrikaans”, up.ac.za. Date posted: 22 February 2016, http://www.up.ac.za/en/faculty-of-humanities/news/post_2235567-the-hidden-histories-of-afrikaans.

229 MacMaster, “Tokkelok, teologie en toi-toi in die tagtigerjare by UWK,” 244.

230 Ibid.

231 Ibid.

232 Kivedo, “Narratief van ’n voormalige MK-soldaat: ek het die bevrydingstryd in Afrikaans gevoer,” 481.

233 Ibid, 482.

234 Ibid, 481.

235 Ibid.

236 Ibid, 481-482.

237 Ibid, 482.

238 Ibid.

239 Felix, Jason. “Tyd om oor UDF te besin, sê Carolus”. Netwerk24. Date posted: 28 August, 2016. http://www.netwerk24.com/Nuus/Politiek/tyd-om-oor-udf-te-besin-se-carolus-20160828#.

240 Smith, Swart Afrikaanse gemeenskapsteater ‒ ’n voorlopige ondersoek, 23, 25.

241 Fransman, “Die swart Afrikaanse skrywer”, 534.

242 Ibid.

243 Smith, Swart Afrikaanse gemeenskapsteater ‒ ’n voorlopige ondersoek, 26.

244 Fransman, “Die swart Afrikaanse skrywer”, 534.

245 Ibid.

246 Ibid.

247 Van Rensburg, Afrikaans in Afrika, 20.

248 Denis-Constant Martin, Sounding the Cape: music, identity and politics in South Africa (Somerset West: African Minds, 2013), 294-295.

249 Adhikari, “Voice of the coloured elite,” 127.

250 Denis-Constant Martin, Sounding the Cape: music, identity and politics in South Africa (Somerset West: African Minds, 2013), 294-295.

251 Martin, Sounding the Cape, 295.

252 Ibid.

253 Ibid.

254 Adam Haupt, Static: race and representation in post-apartheid music, media and film (Cape Town: HSRC, 2012), 34.

255 Jane Battersby, Sometimes it feels like I’m not black enough: recast(e)ing coloured through South African hip-hop as a postcolonial text (Cape Town: Kwela, 2003), 114.

256 Menán van Heerden, “Afrikaaps: a celebratory protest against the racialised hegemony of ‘pure’ Afrikaans” (Master’s thesis, Stellenbosch University, 2016). http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100364.

257 Ibid.

258 Ibid.

259 Ibid.

  • 2

Kommentaar

  • Johannes Comestor

    Ek het al baie oor Afrikaans gelees. Hierdie artikel is sekerlik by verre die eensydigste wat ek in hierdie konteks teengekom het. Dit val ook op dat die outeur gekies het om die artikel in die koloniale taal Engels te skryf eerder as in die wit onderdrukkers se Standaardafrikaans.

  • André Badenhorst

    Excellent article that tells an often untold but very necessary side of the history of Afrikaans. Unfortunately it stops a few leaps short of a comprehensive portray that extends far beyond a typical simplistic black-white dichotomy of "THE STRUGGLE".

    Although It claims otherwise, "this article aimed to demonstrate the various ways in which white and coloured Afrikaans speakers have resisted oppression", it clearly downplays the role of the "white tongue" in the language's formation phases (also during Apartheid) as a medium of resistance against - for the most part - an oppressive establishment. A colonial establishment that often strategic-divisionally partnered the "coloured tongue" in their imperialistic ventures, hence - in my view - the primary source of a relationship still today of misunderstanding and deep distrust.

    However, the time is right, I naively believe, to start breaking through the current paralysing ideology-driven narrative towards new pathways that will uncover a perhaps politically incorrect for now, but not so binary truth: A (hermeneutic - if I may) understanding of the history where interaction between the two main Afrikaans groups extends far beyond a grossly simplified master-slave relationship. That of shared households (marriage not excluded) and shared geography in the narrowest sense of the word as the fertile habitat for Afrikaans. A story that will hopefully be addressed in the upcoming book Die storie van Afrikaans by Wannie Carstens (together F.H. Raidt) sadly as his apparent grand finale of a much acclaimed academic career.

  • Reageer

    Jou e-posadres sal nie gepubliseer word nie. Kommentaar is onderhewig aan moderering.


     

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