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Posts Tagged ‘Afrikaanse gedigte’

herfsblare

English Readers: my poem about Autumn in November. In the Southern Hemisphere, Autumn is not in November, but in March/April.

Hierdie gedig is my jaarlikse bydrae tot Afrikaans, wat ek tot dusver  14 Augustus probeer doen het – wanneer dit Taaldag. Ek’s so bietjie laat daarmee hierdie jaar, maar liewer laat as nooit. 

Herfs in November

Herfs in November – in die Noorde – 
is soos roomys in die winter. Dit pas nie.

Jy loop rond in stofverwaaide strate
Onverskillig kyk jy rond na
‘n mengelmoes van kleure
Bondels hare waai rond in die wind
En om hoeke van geboue fluit ‘n skerp windjie
Beelde van veranderinge flits om jou verby
Verslawend staar jy na bloedrooi papawers
En jy onthou: dis November maand!

Soms onthou jy ook van die fyn blomme
en die spruit wat iewers voort bly kabbel
in die berge waar die bobbejane geel perskes vreet
Dan dink jy aan die bloekombome en vinke in die lusernland
Vae gedagtes van die kleigat drentel in jou geheue
En jy strompel geduldig verder oor verkleurde blare
En wonder oor die liedjies van die lente.

Versperde donker wolke hang laag in die skemeraand
Dikgeweefde herinneringe van die aandkrieke wat
hul betowerende liedjies op vioolnote sing
sink en omvou onmiddellik jou gedagtes.
In die agterkamers van jou geheue
onthou jy die rooskleurige grassade wat buig in die wind
en skielik hoor jy die swaeltjies se twitter terwyl hulle
die lang, moeilike vlug terug huistoe neem.
©Nikita 22-11-2019 19:10

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Barend_J_Toerien

I have received a PDF document from my sister with the words, ‘…you will be interested to follow up the links in this document and read more, as you like to write as well. I think it runs in the family.’  Well, yes, I like to ‘write’, but where is the time if you haven’t got it? I wish I had all the time in the world! When I read the following paragraph about what AP Brink said about Barend Toerien, I thought by myself, hey, but this is me too! I love mountains and hiking in the mountains – I’ve done several  trips in the Drakensberg and the Wild Coast. I am a qualified librarian teacher, who LOVES libraries and books! Last, but not least, I’ve done some translations… not really something to get excited about, but at least one poem that got published… Barend Toerien grew up in Porterville, the ‘home‘ of my Grandma.  It’s great to know about your relatives and what they have achieved, it makes you feeling better about yourself ….hehehe!! Ok, I am proud of him, to be honest. 

 Please click here to access the PDF, which is in Afrikaans only. This PDF contains a number of news articles from various newspapers about Barend Toerien and MC Toerien. Both were writers/poets. 

Toerien

Barend_Toerien_Steenwerp_se_Bruinmense

Uit: Momente (herfs)

XV

Sê nou die koue maan

ruk hom los

en tuimel agter die trekganse aan?

 

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winter (1)
Picture: ecopreneurist.com

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

This entry is basically meant to be in Afrikaans – only.
What you see in this picture, is what almost hit me in my face about two weeks ago. I was travelling on a road and when driving round a bend, this popped up in my face. Barrels of numbness washed over me, as I watched in awe and admiration, wishing I could sit on a bench and just enjoy the scene for hours without end. Everything was just so… white! I then realised that Winter is also ‘special’.

Winter

Nou lê die aarde nagtelang en week
in die donker stil genade van die reën,
en skemer huise en takke daeliks bleek
deur die wit mistigheid en suising heen.
Dis alles ryk en rustig van die swaar
geheime wasdom wat sy paaie vind
deur warm aarde na elke skeut en blaar,
en ver en naby alles duister bind
in vog en vrugbaarheid en groot verlange;
tot ons ’n helder middag skielik sien
die gras blink, en die jong graan teen die hange,
en weet dat alle rus die lewe dien:
hoe kon ek dink dat somer ryker is
as hierdie groei se stil geheimenis?
-N P van Wyk Louw

Winter is koud. Winter is naar en ongenaakbaar, maar dan is daar ook ‘n misterieuse ‘stilte’ rondom Winter. Winter laat my soms dink aan ‘n gesprek wat jy met jouself het. Winter laat my dink, beplan – of soms herbeplan. Ek dink Winter probeer iets doen, maar is nie seker hoe om dit te doen nie, daarom verkies hy om in ‘stilte’  dinge te doen. Hy bekruip jou en ‘pynig’ jou met sy koue. Winter is soos ‘n ‘boelie’ wat mooi is, so mooi dat jy hom vergewe dat hy jou ‘boelie’. Geniet die Winter – as jy in ‘n land is waar dit nou Winter is! Geniet die sonskyn waar jy nou Somer het! Geniet die liedjie van Johan van der Watt: Straatfluitjie wat so bietjie ‘warmte’ gee met sy pragtige stem.

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Ek het die boek vandag raakgeloop. Dis die mees oulikste kinderboek boek wat ek lanklaas gesien het. Die tou – wat lyk soos rêrige tou – is deel van die boekomslag. Jy kry die idee dat dit ‘n regte stukkie tou is wat om die boek gebind is as jy op ‘n afstand daarna kyk. Meerkatte is een van my gunsteling Afrika-diere…My gunsteling voël is die Tarentaal.

Voorin is allerlei humoristiese sê-goetjies en interessanthede oor die Meerkat-familie, o.a. hulle motto: Stay Safe, Stay Together.

Sunny Meerkat decided to find the perfect place to stay – and then sent postcards home about his travels and experiences. The Meerkat motto is: Stay Safe, Stay Together. [and sleep together!] Click photos for a larger view, especially the photo following the next photo, so you can read the message.

Binne in die boek is verskeie poskaarte wat deur die Meerkat – wat besluit het om te travel om die perfekte plek te soek om te bly,  huistoe gestuur is. Hier kan jy een so ‘n poskaart sien. Die volgende foto is die agterkant met die boodskap. Klik die foto sodat jy die boodskap kan lees.

Die einde van die storie. Soort van ‘n foto-album.  Sunny Meerkat het besluit om terug te keer huistoe – slegs na ‘n week!  ‘n Baie oulike idee van die skryfster, Emily Gravett. Ek kyk graag Meerkat Manor, dit word nou weer op Channel 5 uitgesaai, episode 2 was gister en jy kan die video’s op hul webbladsy kry tot ‘n maand nadat dit uitgesaai is. Wel, terwyl ek heerlik kuier, onthou die Meerkat motto: Stay Safe, Stay Together! [and sleep together!] Ek sal nou nie soos Sunny Meerkat kan belowe dat ek gaan ‘skryf’ nie, dus, hou die blink kant bo en moenie vergeet: 14 Augustus is Afrikaans-dag nie! Die dag waarop die GRA gestig is. [14/8/1875] O ja, Vrouedag is 9 Augustus.


Hierdie volgende gedig het ek op laerskool geleer [moes!] en ek kan net nie die volledige gedig onthou nie, dus enige iemand wat hier lees en kan help, ek sal dit so waardeer! Ek het hulp uit talle oorde aangevra, maar dit nog niks opgelewer nie.Die woorde in ‘n ander kleur het ek opgemaak en die digter sal ek ook graag wil weet!

Die Meerkat

Spitse snoetjie skerpe ogies
Stertjie lank en kaal
Lange naels, skerp soos naalde
en ‘n jassie vaal.

In die môre-son se strale
In die oggend dou
Penorent sien jy die meerkat
Met ‘n stukkie tou. [ek weet hierdie reël is totaal verkeerd]

Die volgende gedig het ‘n vriendin vir my aangestuur [Lianda, baie dankie!] in die soektog na die bogenoemde gedig. Dis ook ‘n gedig oor ‘n Meerkat en  sy het die gedig gevind omdat ek gedink het die gedig dalk deur CM van den Heever geskryf was. Ek waardeer haar soektog na die gedig geweldig en sy’s altyd van groot hulp ten spyte daarvan dat sy ‘n besig Ma is met jong skoolgaande kinders – wat selfs nou besig met eksamens is. Waarlik ‘n steunpilaar!

DIE MEERKAT

Regop sit die meerkat teen die bult, sy koppie roerloos,
fyn gesny en slim met die ogies soos vonke daarin;
hy staar na die verdorde velde en die slingerloop van die paaie
en hou die bosse dop van waar die dood gou kan bespring.
Maar niks lewe of roer in die rondte en die somerson is `n bol
vlammende vuur wat ver en wyd die berge laat tril in die hitte
Dan roer hy sy kop en die omgewing, verras en ontwaak, vloei na die lewe
na wat daar beweeg het, en verstol dan weer gou in die doodsheid.
En waarom hy ook moet lewe, die rooimeerkat met penregop lyf,
dit weet niemand – hy, nog die lang ketting lewe lank voor hom.

Nou spring die omgewing in aandag; geluid het gekom oor die stilte,
`n gulsige hond met hangende tong het verskyn en sy woeste geblaf, val luid teen die lug en eggo die klowe dan in.
`n Paar draaie, vervolger en vervolgde die verskroeide aarde oor,
dat die pote dreun en gehyg van `n asem gulsig bly gaan.
Dan net `n fyn, angstige skreeu en die meerkat ril nog `n keer
en sterwe met sy tandjies wit na die sonlig daarbo.
Die hond gaan dan snuffelend verder en daar hoog kras `n
kraai –
was hy nodig – die meerkat – en wie van ons sal dit raai?

CM van den Heever



Ek is uiteindelik oppad, ongelukkig slegs vir ‘n baie kort tydjie. Gelukkig kon ek die tydjie afknyp om weer bietjie in Suid-Afrika te gaan kuier, anders sou nog ‘n jaar verby gegaan het sonder dat ek die familie gesien het.

Hierdie liedjie is baie mooi – met veral die mooi tonele uit SA.

Halala Afrika

Toe die wêreld hier nog jong was en die horison wyd en oop
Was dit groen hier in die halfrond, suid van die ewenaar
En in die skemer as die son sak en die beeste huis toe loop
Klink die roepstem van die vroue oor die heuwels van die land:
Halala, ewig is ons Afrika.
Tula tula mtanami, tula tula sanaboni, tula tula mtanami,
Ubab uzobuya sihlale naye, ubab uzobuya sihlale sonke, Hmmm-Hmmm

Toe kom die skepe uit die weste, wit seile oor die see
Om te vra vir koos en water en te bly vir so veel meer.
En die land wat een tyd oop was, die land het ons verruil
Vir die ghetto’s van die stede is ons koperdraad gegee.
Halala, ewig is ons Afrika
Halala, sasiphila, kamnandi, halala, mayibuye Afrika
Tula tula mtanami, tula tula sanaboni, tula tula mtanami,
Ubab uzobuya sihlale naye, ubab uzobuya sihlale sonke, Hmmm-Hmmm

Daar was rykdom in die maag van ons moeder Afrika
Diamante en ook steenkool, goud, edel metaal
En die mense word die slawe hier want die mense word betaal
Om te tonnel in die aarde elke greintjie uit te haal
En die groot en oop grasvlaktes span dit toe met doringdraad
En van die olifant tot die gemsbok al die diere moes kom buig
Voor die mag van die grootwildjagter voor die mag van sy groot geweer
Totdat net die stilte oorbly, totdat net die stilte heers.

Halala, ewig is ons Afrika.
Halala, sasiphila, kamnandi, halala, mayibuye Afrika
Sasidjapolutjoloythina
Halala, sasiphila, kamnandi, halala, mayibuye Afrika
Source: southafrica.com/forums/language/5041-zulu-translation-request.html  Krediet vir foto met Tafelberg: Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens

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…vir die trane wat ek nou kon stort.

Vir die wat gedigte op my blog soek deur Adam Small: Hier is een. Op die bladsy oor: Afrikaanse digters en gedigte sal jy nog kry.

Die Here het gaskommel

Lat die wêreld ma’ praat pêllie los en vas
’n sigaretjie en ’n kannetjie Oem Tas
en dis allright pêllie dis allright
ons kannie worry nie

’n sigaretjie en ’n kannetjie Oem Tas
en ’n lekker meid en lekker anner dinge
oe!
lat die wêreld ma’ praat pêllie los en vas
wat daarvan
wat daarvan
wat maak dit saak
soes die Engelsman sê it cuts no ice
die Here het gaskommel
en die dice het verkeerd gaval vi’ ons
daai’s maar al

so lat hulle ma’ sê skollie pêllie
nevermind
daar’s mos kinners van Gam en daar’s kinners van Kain
so dis allright pêllie dis allright
ons moenie worry nie
–Adam Small

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LEES HIER!

Jan 2015 –Indien jy beplan om my eie gedigte te ‘leen’ vir jou Facebook bladsy of jou privaat blog of website, kan jy asseblief so vriendelik wees om my daaroor in te lig en daarna ook my skryfnaam ‘Nikita’ daarby te publiseer -soos dit by al my eie gedigte hier op my blog is! Dit is my skuilnaam. Dit is ‘n klein en simpel versoek. Ek vind my eie gedigte op heelwat ander websites and dit is vir my aangenaam om te weet dat ander mense my gedigte waardeer, maar daar is kopiereg reëls en ek sal dit waardeer indien jy dit sal respekteer en erkenning gee aan die skrywer van die gedig. Baie dankie dat jy verstaan. Indien jy nie aan die versoek wil voldoen nie, MOET DAN NIE my gedigte iewers anders gebruik nie. 

Tomorrow, 14th August, is an important day in the history of Afrikaans. On the 14th August 1875, an organisation was founded to promote Afrikaans as a language. The language Afrikaans has its roots in seventeenth century Dutch but it has been influenced by many languages including: English, Malay, German, Portuguese, French and some African languages. Some of the first written work in Afrikaans was done using the Arabic alphabet in the work Bayaan-ud-djyn written by Abu Bakr. Apart from this development and minor writings in so-called Cape Dutch Afrikaans acted mainly as a spoken language for people living in the Cape and Dutch was used as the formal and written language. Afrikaans is a language spoken by many people of different races and ethnic groups throughout Southern Africa. I have decided to contribute something every year on this day [ or as near as possible to this date] to the celebration of Afrikaans as a beautiful language spoken by beautiful people. This first poem is my contribution and the second a poem from one of our famous poets. Both poems’ titles are Die Beste which means The Best.  Then you can read my 2008-contribution: Afrikaans and the last poem is my 2009-contribution.  The Afrikaans song’s title is Sypaadjie Mense [you can read the translation on the given link at the 3rd poem where you can listen to the song and follow the words in English.] –Sidewalk People. Afrikaans readers: the poem at the bottom is my contribution of last year. When I was at Primary School, we always had to learn poems and from Die Beste I had to know the first two stanzas by heart when I was 11 years of age. I must say I don’t regret it!

You can see photos of the Afrikaans Language Monument – the only language monument in the world! – and an explanation/meaning of the monument.

Die Beste

Afrikaans:

Ek is aan jou verknog
Jy is vir my ‘n sieraad
Jou wingerdstokke groei welig
in my opgeploegde land
Jy is besprinkeld met
onbeskaamde liefde en
jy bring voort troetelkinders
Jou sprekers strek
van die Ooste na die Weste
en jy bly verreweg
Die Beste!
-21:30 Nikita

The Best
Afrikaans
I’m attached
and devoted to you!
To me you are a wreath
Your grapevines flourish
In my ploughed land
You’ve been irrigated with
Impudent love
You bear cuddly-children
Your speakers stretch
From the East to the West
And by far:
You’re the BEST
-(c) Translated: 16/2/2012 Nikita – 20:00

[Translated for friends to understand the Afrikaans poem!]

Image: farms-for-sale.co.za

Die Beste

Geil lusern in die laagste landjie;
Geil groen blare en blomme blou;
Aalwyn rooi op die voorste randjie,
Rooi soos bloed teen die rotse grou;
Somer en son en saffier daarbowe;
Ruik van die keurbos rondgesprei;
Kort klein skadu’s oor die klowe;
Somer en son en saffier vir my!
Wonder van kleure uitgesprei –
Wat is daar meer deur die dood te rowe?
Somer en son en saffier vir my!

Hoog oor die water skommel die vinkies,
Vol van die vreug van die somerdag;
Bly die gekwetter van bruin tinktinkies;
Blyer die son wat goudgeel lag.
Algar wat lewe, algar tevrede,
Hoog op die heuwel en laag op die vlei;
So was dit gister, en so is dit hede –
Somer en son en saffier vir my!
Heer, wat die hemel oor my sprei,
Dit is my eerste en laaste bede:
“Somer en son en saffier vir my!”

Het jy ’n vrind wat jou hand kan vashou?
Vrinde vergaan en faal in nood!
Het jy ’n vyand, jou grootste las nou?
Vyande, vrinde gaan algar dood!
Wat’s dit vir my as die gras vergrys word?
Somer sal kom met sy groen daarby;
Wat as in winter die water ys word?
Somer en son en saffier sal bly.
Boetie, ek vra jou, wat sê jy?
Wat’s dit vir ons as die gras vergrys word?
Somer en son en saffier sal bly.

Roem van mense, rykdomme, pragte –
Alles vergaan soos die mis op die vlei:
Sterre wat skiet in pikdonker nagte,
Het langer lewe as roem kan kry.
Boetie, as ons nou ’n keus moet wae,
Hier op die wêreld, wat vra jy?
Roemryke lewe en lengte van dae?
Somer en son en saffier vir my!
Boetie, as jy nou jou keus kan kry,
Wat is die wens wat jou hart sal wae? –
Somer en son en saffier vir my!

C. Louis Leipoldt (1880-1947)

Het jy die boodskap bo-aan die bladsy gelees?

 Afrikaans
Die taal wat ek liefhet
Afrikaans
Die taal wat ek praat
Afrikaans
Die taal waarin ek dink
Afrikaans
Die taal waarin ek droom
Afrikaans
Die taal van my hart


Afrikaans

 Die taal wat ek koester
Vir nou en altyd
Afrikaans
Jy is myne
Afrikaans
Jy is nou
Afrikaans
Jy is besonders
Afrikaans
Jy is uniek
Afrikaans
Jy is getrou
Afrikaans:
My denke
My wese
My lewe!

Nikita –

Het jy die boodskap bo-aan die bladsy gelees?

Suid-Afrika: my land

Jy’s indrukwekkend, manjifiek
jou sondeurdrenkte landskappe
weerkaats helder beelde in my siel
jou pragtige wonders flikker oneindig
lank in die stilte van jou nagrus

Mount Aux Sources – so elegant en grasieus
verrys jy vanuit die voetheuwels, soos
‘n fakkel by die Spele ets jy lekkende
beelde teen die muur van my geheue
en voel ek jou hitte gloeiend teen my hart

O Blyde! ek fantaseer oor jou
magiese kragte wat jy sorgloos
en galant in die galery van my
stille gemoed stilletjies uitpak terwyl
my dawerende applous eggo
oor die velde van my gedagtes

Moederstad! hoe inskiklik laat jy my
telkens hakkel wanneer ek my herinneringe
sagkens koester – jou fasades!
waar ek jou gambiet betree
en gewillig my pionne oorgee

En saans voel ek jou fluweelagtige
skoonheid van elke sonsondergang
stadig neerdaal in my gemoed terwyl
ek stadig drink van jou geloofs-fonteine
wat borrellend bruis in oorvloed

Fragmentaries vier ek feeste
ek dans en omhels jou en jy –
jy blus my gees telkens met jou
magiese heildronke: een-vir-een
op ‘n toekoms – wat mag wees!
–Nikita –14/8/09 14:00
https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/afrikaans-afrikaans-afrikaans/


The Afrikaans Language Monument (Afrikaans: Afrikaanse Taalmonument) is located on a hill overlooking Paarl. Its outline is visible from a considerable distance.

This is the only language monument in the world and was completed in 1975. The design represents the growth and developement of Afrikaans and recognises its roots which is spread over three continents – Africa, Asia and Europe. The three colums on the left that are close together (A) represents the influences of the three Western languages on Afrikaans – Dutch, French and English. The wall on the steps (B) represents the Malayan language and culture. Architect Jan van Wijk was inspired by words of prominent Afrikaans authors N.P. van Wyk Louw and C.J. Langenhoven. The “roof” (C) refers to Van Wyk Louw’s words: “Afrikaans is the language that connects Western Europe and Africa… It forms a bridge between the large, shining West and the magical Africa…”

The main column (D) which is 57 m high, represents the growth, evolution and achievement of Afrikaans and was inspired by a quote from Langenhoven: “If we plant a row of poles down this hall now, ten poles, to represent the last ten years, and on each pole we make a mark at a height from the floor corresponding to the relative written use of Afrikaans in the respective year, and we draw a line, from the first here near the floor to the last over there against the loft, then the line would describe a rapidly rising arc…”

The last column (E) symbolises the Republic of South Africa which was the birthplace of Afrikaans. On the photo below, the three round shapes symbolises the contribution of the African languages – Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho.

http://www.what-to-do-in-cape-town.com/afrikaans-language-monument.html

This song is a mix of Afrikaans and Netherlands. Stef Bos [from Holland] and Amanda Strydom [South Africa] sing the song: Die Taal van my hartThe language of my heart

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Photo: Mrs Otto Krantz 

One of the women who received the Government’s sanction to join a commando was Mrs. Otto Krantz, the wife of a professional hunter. Mrs. Krantz accompanied her husband to Natal at the commencement of hostilities, and remained in the field during almost the entire campaign in that colony. In the battle of Elandslaagte, where some of the hardest hand-to-hand fighting of the war occurred, this Amazon was by the side of her husband in the thick of the engagement, but escaped unscathed. Later she took part in the battles along the Tugela, and when affairs in the Free State appeared to be threatening she was one of the first to go to the scene of action in that part of the country.

Read on this link more about the women and the boer war.

A people are what its women are. The woman is the conscience of her nation as well as the measure of its values. The moral life of a nation is controlled by the women and by the women can we measure the moral condition of the people. – Postma

I have a very famous poem of a very famous South African poet to celebrate Women’s Day in South Africa. “Die Vrou” – in English “The Woman”. She translated some of her works in English/German/Italian/French and Hebrew and won many prizes in South Africa and in the Netherlands. She was born in 1915 and died in 2007  in Amsterdam. Sarah Raal [picture] was one of those strong women during the South African/British War [Boer War] and she fought alongside the Boer Soldiers. You can read this book written by her:

Die vrou

Somer en herfs en winter trek in wye
onafgebroke wisseling deur die land,
maar sy bly draer van die lente want
liefde het haar verhef bo die getye.

Haat en verwoesting plant hul lamfervlae
in honderd stede en oral sink die nag;
vir háár op wie ook bloed en worsteling wag
klink nog die lied van vrede en welbehae.

Die uitgeteerde ruiter neig sy sens
en aarselend voor die klaarheid van haar blik
erken selfs hy sy heerskappy se grens:

in haar wat die onsterflikheid bewaak
ontkiem die toekoms in die flou getik
van lewe wat voorwêreldlik ontwaak.

Elisabeth Eybers

Tomorrow,  9th August, South Africa celebrate’s Women’s Day. I’ve decided to create a special entry on Women. I have for you photos from family – both sides – dated back just before the 1800’s.

I agree with the above quote from Postma. Women are  the anchor of a nation and if women are not taking the lead when it comes to morals and values, well, then its tjaila-time [like we say in South Africa] for a nation. We as women need to conduct ourselves in a way that our children can look upon us, be proud and so be proud adults too. I’ve come across a very interesting piece of writing and copied part of the article here. The complete article can be read on the given link at the bottom of this entry. 

Mrs G Botha

Mrs General Botha

Mrs G Meyer

Mrs General Meyer

British colonization and its positive, beneficial effects dominated nineteenth-century South African historiography written in English. Dutch settlement, as well as the Great Trek and the founding of the Boer republics, was regarded as peripheral to the saga of British settlement and government at the Cape. Works by Noble (1877) and Wilmot and Chase (1869) remained the standard source material on South African history until G. M. Theal began to publish research based more closely on archival material, during the latter part of the century. The writings of Noble and of Wilmot and Chase portrayed Boers settlers outside the Cape Colony as ignorant, illiterate and cruel, as ‘living on the margin of civilisation’, their ‘moral condition … scarcely higher than the Hottentots or slaves who were household companions’.

During the last quarter of the century, especially after the mineral discoveries and the Boer victories during the Transvaal War of Independence (1880-1), such criticism began to be countered by an apologist approach to the Boers in both English and Dutch historical writings (the latter emanating from the Netherlands as well as the Boer republics). Historians such as Klok, Van der Loo, and Du Plessis took great pains to paint a positive picture of Boer society, drawing close parallels between the Boers and their exemplary European heritage.

In the new historiography Boer women received greater attention. They were described as extremely courageous  and, owing to their sufferings in the past, were considered by some writers to be ‘the greatest patriots’. ‘Taking all the sufferings a mothers and daughters during the early days into account, it is indeed no wonder that it is amongst the female sex, especially amongst the older generation, that the greatest patriots are found’. These authors painted a detailed picture of the simple and unassuming Boer lifestyle, which was presented as an overt sign of a classless and egalitarian society. At the same time, their ordered and structured society was emphasised, by way of countering the negative images mentioned above. Van der Loo, in his work De Geschiedenis der Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek aan het Volk, lavished praise on Boer women. Despite their contact with ‘wild barbarians’ and their isolation from civilisation, they remained true to their traditions of ‘virtue, moral sensibility’ political independence and free institutions’. An added dimension was their purported racial superiority and purity. Symbol of her racial purity, the white complexion of the Boer woman – despite exposure to the African wilderness – was highlighted by Lion Cachet, who maintained ‘a Transvaal woman is, for Africa white’ . This feature was likewise stress Klok in his description of Boer women. He also paid attention to their lips, implicitly contrasting them with Negroid features: ‘thin lips, a round chin and a white neck…. Seldom does one see ugly, that is, really ugly women’.

In the projects of these men there is a clear convergence between the development of the ideal of the volksmoeder and the rise of Afrikaner nationalism. In 1918 Postma (then retired because of ill-health) was requested by two Afrikaner organizations, the Nasionale Helpmekaar4 and the Kultuurvereniging of Reddersburg, to write a book entitled Die Boervrouw, Moeder van Haar Volk (The Boer Woman, the Mother of her Nation). The timing of this publication was important. It followed on the unveiling of the Vrouemonument, the Rebellion of 1914 and the termination of the First World War. The war was a significant event in the history of Afrikaner nationalism, for it was during this time that secondary industry, in particular labour intensive industries utilising mainly cheap female labour, began to flourish in South Africa. At the same time, a population explosion in the Afrikaner community, coinciding with the impoverishment of the rural areas, resulted in a massive influx of young, mostly unskilled Afrikaner men and women to this labour market in the urban areas. The presence of these unsupervised and unattached young men and women in the cities gave rise to grave concern for their moral safety in state, church and welfare organisations. In this social context, the characteristics of the Boervrouw as enumerated by Postma gained particular relevance for reformers, cultural entrepreneurs and concerned Afrikaners in general. His book was both an articulation of the already established image of the volksmoeder and a glorification of Afrikaner women, aimed at the instruction of Afrikaner youth and young girls in particular. In his writing the volksmoeder ideal was propagated as a role model for a new generation of women. This involved the emulation of characteristics such as a sense of religion, bravery, a love of freedom, the spirit of sacrifice, self-reliance, housewifeliness (huismoederlikheid), nurturance of talents, integrity, virtue and the setting of an exam others. Of particular significance is that Postma extended the prevailing notion of ideal womanhood to include their nurturing of the volk as well. For the first time the Boer woman’s role as mother and central focus of her family was expanded to include the concept of Boer women as mothers of the nation: The motherhood of the Boer woman extends itself to her volk just as it does to her child’ (Postma, 1918 164; translated). To substantiate his argument he cited the demonstration of Afrikaner women at the Union Buildings in 1915, when a delegation marched to Pretoria to protest against the capture imprisonment of General Christiaan de Wet as a rebel. The idea of demonstration had originated with women suitably connected prominent men and thus well qualified to be regarded as mothers of the nation’ – Mrs. Joubert, wife of the famous Boer general, and Elsie Eloff, the daughter of the late President Kruger. Yet the way in which Postman saw the demonstration taking form portrays a revealing disregard for the women’s initiative: ‘In true womanly fashion the call was complied with, without delay, not taking account of expense or trouble. Love called, love obeyed’ . The limitations of Postma’s perception of the women’s action are evident in these words: women did not argue, they did not stop to consider the consequences and they did not calculate the cost or the trouble of their actions. They were motivated irrationally, solely by love. But having disregarded any political significance in the women’s action, Postma weeded to link the moral strength of the Afrikaner people to that its women: ‘A people are what its women are. The woman is the conscience of her nation as well as the measure of its values. The moral life of a nation is controlled by the women, and by the women can we measure the moral condition of the people’ .

…. In it many of the characteristics already outlined by Postma emerge: Afrikaner women had a purifying and ennobling influence on their menfolk; they would sacrifice much for their families and were loyal housewives and tender nurses, earnest in prayer, sage in advice, with sat love of freedom and steadfastly anti-British. Stockenstrom maintained adamantly that Voortrekker women were ire of their calling as volksmoeders: ‘The women profoundly realised that they were the mothers of the future Afrikaner nation, and were fully conscious of the fact that their children and grand-children could never develop into a virtuous and glorious nation unless they were absolutely independent and free’.

Click HERE to read the complete article on the site of SA History Org za.

Photo: A Teacher and her class – 1913, this image is from the same site as the website where you can read about Elizabeth Russel Cameron [next picture]. She was a remarkable lady and her history is a must read! You can read how she obtained the right to vote in a time in South Africa when women were not allowed to vote, but that was not the reason for what she’s done. 

Image:http://www.mpumalangahappenings.co.za/pilgrimsrest_characters.htm

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