Since the 1950’s and into the 1970’s there existed a standoff between Boer and Brit. This xenophobia existed as a consequence of the South African war which ended in 1902. The Engels man was seen as a threat to the harmony as found in the Afrikaner communities. This segregation could, then, clearly be seen in the language of government officials and which jobs were occupied by them.
A classic example was the make-up of the provincial and national rugby teams (except Natal) most players were Afrikaners. When I was in primary school it had become obvious that there was a clear split between English and Afrikaans children. The German kids too had their own playing area. Seldom was there much integration between the different cultures.
As time passed so did the segregation between English and Afrikaans grow and become more polarised. That polarization is still present today and still creates a divide between the White cultural communities. It was only until recently that mine workers were selected for promotion even though mining was mainly an Afrikaner pastime while the rest were subservient to them. Where does this rant end and what is the point? The point is that Afrikanerdom dominates much of the industry, mining and otherwise and therein lays the answer to my marriage to an Afrikaner woman.
Thousands of Afrikaner women and children were murdered in the British concentration camps spread over the entire country. One must bear in mind that women and children in that period of history were seen as scarce commodities and after the genocide perpetrated by Britain fewer remained alive and hence an unequal ratio of women to men.
As time went on many of the Afrikaner women were poached and married to buitelanders who may have been English, Dutch, German, and a host of many of the Eastern European countries as the influx of foreigners grew. Females had become a national asset and were seen as something almost holy.
There, too, was the perception that women must be fruitful and produce more children to build the nation up from scratch It was not uncommon for families to have up to 10 children. In many cases the parents, ie the father never had any formal education and ended up on the South African Railways as a low level worker like a shunter or railway line worker.
This practice changes to some extent when black labour from rural areas and townships entered the labour market. As time went on so did dissatisfaction enter the labour market too, seen as the black worker, now in many aspects, were equal to the white worker.
Ultimately the Afrikaner of the 1950’s and earlier garrisoned their community, culture and political leaning and having the power to change minds in governments and elaborate on their tendency to apartheid. Much had to do with the outcome of the South African war. I was about 7 years old when this youngster, younger than myself, told me that his father had said he can only mix with Afrikaans kids because the English lost the war.
In most cases where I changed jobs, hopefully for better or worse did the spectre of Afrikaner domination control the front which haunted marriage and other cultural movements to favour the Afrikaner ambitions aims and aspirations? In fact the view held by the Afrikaners was mainly one of racism to protect the Afrikaner culture which was considered to be sacred.
This cultural movement was, in turn, controlled by the Afrikaner Broederbond with an iron fist. On several occasions I was summonsed before a low level tribunal to explain my motive in marrying an Afrikaner woman. These interrogations were usually done behind locked doors and carried an austere atmosphere as to the outcome for the Boer vrou abuser. Much of the time it was seen as serious and hilarious at the same time: these manne out to castigate the donnerse Engels man.
The proceedings often petered out and became a boozing contest. In some cases the wives were used to embed the message in the wife of the donnerse engelsman. Well, we can carry on until the stars fall but very little actually materialised: A set of twins out of that marriage, A marriage extended for 36 years and half the country baying at my heels to conform to their manners and cultures.
I hold no grudge but do have a snicker over a beer now and again. There is no intention to attack the Afrikaner but an attempt to see his history. Soon I will be marrying another boere Vrou.
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