I have more than a year in Pretoria and let me admit I have grown fonder of the Afrikaners. My perceptions about this community or group was informed by the historical framework and as a boy who grew up in the township I was taught songs like Dubl’ibhunu and Umama uyajabula uma ngishaya ibhunu. This taught me that an Afrikaner is an enemy; luckily I was always good with languages. In Standard 3 Miss Nondumiso Mkhwanazi my Afrikaans teacher was a friendly teacher and I grasped the basics. I remember reading Afrikaans Sonder Grense and Rooikappie was my favourite story. I reached High School and Mevrou Lubhede propelled the love for Afrikaans in me. She taught it to us in a Sophiatown style and she called us Moegoes and told us when we go to eGoli ons sal die mampara wees. So these teachers really prepared me for my actual meeting with Afrikaners. Truth be told, they have something to teach me.
Surely you are asking why. Well, it is pretty obvious; they are so fond and protective of their language and culture. I work next to Brooklyn Mall and Afrikaans speaking community frequents this place. They come in all sizes and types. From the poor to the rich, the educated to the uneducated. One thing is certain; when there are two Afrikaners you will not hear English. The Afrikaner-kinders who comes to this mall om n fliek te sien met vriende en vriendine, dear Lord they converse in Afrikaans! The Afrikaner tiener- love birds they come with hulle nooiens and they praat! Afrikaners are not afraid to be who they are, no matter the environment. The amazing part is that they also know English and they speak it with asterk Afrikaanse accent.
Now look on the other side, you will find the people of the soil conversing in English. You will meet a gogo with her daughter and grandchildren they will be going on in English, Thapelo and Olwethu the little toddlers speaking through their nasals you would swear its Tiffany Norwood and Clark Woodhouse. The mother on over-applied foundation speaks to them with a twang, ngkono yena skaam die skepsel, she is trying too.
I know it sounds like I am exaggerating but please do visit such places you will see. The indigenous languages are rejected by the indigenous people themselves and they want to blame Afrikaners for preserving their languages. The government is busy here in Gauteng changing language policies of schools with a covert aim of doing away with Afrikaans medium schools. It does not sit well with our government officials that there are people who remain themselves and who are comfortable in being who they are. You want to tell me about the historical framework, right? I do not care, just tell me what is wrong with learning in your own tongue. Afrikaners are right, and I support them when they form private schools to send their kids, who want to mix their children with people who deny who they are and want to English by force.
Mandela spoke of the Rainbow Nation, but let us admit the rainbow has two colours. The Afrikaners and the rest. Afrikaners fight to remain Afrikaners. They get together to defend their taal and kultuur. They send children to English medium schools but make certain that at home they get grounding on Afrikanerdom. Where then is UbuZulu, BoSotho, Vhu venda? Once we lose our languages we will realise we have lost who we are, the history and indigenous knowledge systems. It will be genocide! Let me ask for all of us: Afrikaners se vir ons hoe doen julle dit. Nenza kanjani ngempela?