MAY GOD BLESS SOUTH AFRICA

MAY GOD BLESS SOUTH AFRICA

(Despite being an Afrikaans boytjie, I will try my best to do this in English in an effort to make it accessible to non-Afrikaans speaking readers as well.)

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I am probably as distraught about the recent spate of farm murders in South Africa as the next person. The pictures of blood-soaked rooms and  grief-stricken faces of friends and family in the newspapers, left me staring at the ceiling in the dark room at night.

Cry my beloved country.

So why am I not changing my profile picture on Facebook in support of the farmers? I am, after all, a proud Boerseun (with a capital B) and have people very dear to me making a living off the red soil of South Africa.

I read many South African (and international) newspapers every day ( not just the Afrikaans publications which are aimed at a specific target market). I read about the joys and heartaches in so many homes across the country – from farmsteads to suburban homes and shacks. About the brutal killings of our farmers, the senseless murders in our secured suburbs and the daily heartbreak of yet another killing or ten in townships and squatter camps.

I watched a programme about the Chinese philosopher, Confucius, last night. He also lived in a time when his country was buckling under turmoil and political transgression. Many of his aphorisms are still quoted today. One of them, is:

Before you go on a journey of revenge, dig two graves

We all are in a state of despair and shock and frustration and we all want to shout: Enough is enough!

Enough is indeed enough, so what are we going to do about it? Fight fire with fire? How many more deaths as a result? Will it really solve the problem? Is this war going to end, like most other wars, in destruction and death and further hate?

Confucius also said:

If your plan is for one year, plant rice.

If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.

But if your plan is for hundred years, educate.

We are all occupying ourselves with short term plans. We protest against current issues and burn busses and universities and discuss revenge plans around the braai with no vision of the consequences of the lasting effect of our selfish acts. What are we leaving behind for our children and grandchildren? What will they, one day, read about us in their history books?

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When I read the different comments of ordinary people in newspapers, see the conduct of some people at shop counters and listen to conversations at social gatherings, I realise why I am staring at the ceiling at night. Another one of the wise old Chinese man springs to mind:

Attack the evil that is within yourself

Rather than attacking the evil that is in others.

Stop stereotyping all people. Not all whites are racists and not all blacks are non-racists. Not every black person is a Zuma or a criminal or a killer and, yes, white people are also corrupt and they do kill people. We should unite against the corrupt government, their sponsors and cronies  and make them accountable for their actions (or lack of it).

The moment we realise that we are all inhabitants of the same country, under the same law (or disrespect of it), victims of the same criminals and all dependant on the same sun, rain and air, we will make progress towards unity. And unity is what we want. Unity against the thugs, and killers and the corrupt government. And against people who don’t want to share this beautiful country with others who are not the same as them.

SPRINGBOK RUGBY

And for that reason I am not changing my profile picture, because I do not want to marginalise any of the good people in South Africa. I support the farmer, the housewife, the teacher, the policeman, the car guard and all the souls in South Africa who try to bring about unity. People who don’t engage in hate crime, destruction, murder, rape, child molestation and so many of the horrible actions that fill the news columns of newspapers worldwide. I support people who can truly embrace the words of our Lord:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Let us show our condemnation of the farm attacks by wearing black T-shirts or changing our Facebook profiles or by any non-destructive way we want. But keep in mind that there are so many more victims of all walks of life. We should unite and combine our energy against CRIME and CORRUPTION in our country.   Full-stop!

I remain on my knees: Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika!

Let’s shake hands on that.

SA SUPPORTERS

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OM AFRIKAANS OP ‘N ENGELSE TAALKONGRES RAAK TE LOOP!

OM AFRIKAANS OP ‘N ENGELSE TAALKONGRES RAAK TE LOOP!

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Die afgelope naweek het ek toe mos die voorreg gehad om ‘n “Language Show” hier in die Engelse hoofstad by te woon. Ek het nie werklik geweet wat om te verwag en het meer uit nuuskierigheid gegaan en om my belangstelling in tale, en meer spesifiek die geskrewe taal (lees, veral, Afrikaans) te voed. Ja, ek het besef dat die kanse maar skraal is om Afrikaans op so ‘n internasionale kongres in die hartjie van Londen raak te loop, maar het tog die geleentheid om die verskeidenheid tale en kulture te beleef, aangegryp.

Vrydagmiddag is ek en vroulief toe per trein Londen toe – ek vir die kongres en sy om bietjie ma-dogter-tyd met onse prinses, wat in die middel van hierdie kosmopolitiese stad woon, te spandeer.

By die Business Design Centre in Islington, word ek deur ‘n verskeidenheid aksente verwelkom.

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Stalletjies laat my proe aan eksotiese lekkernye van wydverspreide wêrelddele en ander laat my besef hoe agter ek geraak het met kennis oor langafstandonderrig.  Die nuutste tegnologie en elektroniese hulpmiddels en toepassings is verstommend. Kort lesings word aangebied deur mense van verskillende lande om te vertel van hulle taal en die metode van onderrig in hulle lande. Die loopbaanmoontlikhede van taalvaardige mense word ook bemark.

Ek soek vir Afrikaans, maar kry dit nêrens nie. Weet hulle dan nie in Suid-Afrika van hierdie enorme geleentheid om die wêreld van ons pragtige taal te vertel nie? Ek weet daar is wêreldwye belangstelling in Afrikaans. En daar word dit toe bevestig!

By die Universiteit van Cambridge (nogal!) se stalletjie val die alfabetiese lys tale my oog. Heel boaan pryk dit. Afrikaans!

Ek gesels met die mense wat my vertel dat die belangstelling in Afrikaans inderdaad so groot is, dat dit vir hulle ekonomies lonend is om die kursus aan te bied. Die kursus is vir leerlinge oor die wêreld heen wat Afrikaans as deel van die IGCSE-kurrikulum wil neem. Dit is die internasionale kursus wat by Britse skole, maar ook as deel van ‘n tuisonderrigleerplan, wêreldwyd aangebied word in meer as 140 lande.

Ek kon egter nie verdere getalle by hulle kry nie, maar was nogtans verstom.

Miskien is dit iets wat Afrikaansdepartemente bietjie oor kan dink …

Om volgende jaar betrokke te raak by hierdie groot geleentheid.

MICHAEL JACKSON EN DIE GRUMPY OU MAN

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Kyk, ek moet sommer uit die staanspoor bieg dat ek nog nooit werklik ‘n groot aanhanger van Michael Jackson was nie. So driekwart deur een van sy liedjies, begin daai helium-gevulde stemmetjie my soos ‘n muskiet op ‘n warm somersnag vang. Toegegee, daar is wel van hulle wat ek al enduit geluister het. Toe daar dus die afgelope naweek aangekondig word dat ons Thriller in die Lyric-teater in Londen gaan kyk, was ek nou nie noodwendig in ekstase nie. Maar nou weet ek ook teen hierdie tyd ook al dat ek nog nooit NIE ‘n vertoning in Westend geniet het nie.

Die Lyric het in 1888 geopen en die oomblik toe ons kaartjies aan die plekaanwyser oorhandig word, toe kom klim die atmosfeer van 128 jaar se teaterproduksies in my klere.

Om ‘n lang storie kort te maak … ek is meegesleur op ‘n sensoriese belewenis. Kostuums en musiek het my nostalgies teruggeneem na die 1970’s en 1980’s (en ook later toe popmusiek nie meer so hoog op my prioriteitslys was nie). Die talent was uitstekend. Ek dink daai een ou was selfs beter as die grote MJ homself. Maniertjies en bewegings was perfek tot in die fynste detail. Earth Song het my emosioneel gelaat. Die dansroetine met Dangerous (eintlik al die vertonings) was asemrowend en Billy Jean alleen het die prys van die kaartjies die moeite werd gemaak.

Ja Swaer en nou moet hierdie ouman erken …

Ek het dit geweldig geniet!

LET WEL: Aangesien die neem van foto’s tydens die vertoning verbied word, is geen van die foto’s myne nie – almal op Google geleen.

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