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The Afrikaner and Afrikaans

24 April 2012, 13:40

Although Afrikaans is the Baby language of the world, her biography and that of the Afrikaner, like the rest of the world’s Tongues and Nations, also starts at the construction of a certain Tower. It is written that the pre-Babel humanity had only one language and one identity and they became so strong and powerful, that the LORD had the following testimony about them: “....nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” (Gen.11:6b)

But alas! The Time was not right and the LORD decided to rain Babel (it means confusion) over mankind. That action turned the clock back many centuries for the humans. Every group took their little piece of the jigsaw puzzle and went to their own little corner of the world. Most of them had to rediscover fire and reinvent the wheel.

In the meantime the sand in the hourglass had begun to run out for this world. Groups started to find each other, started to build new communities, their stuttering came together and formed languages and out of the languages new nations were born. Although they came from different corners of the world, they pooled their individual talents and they became united around one Language, one Flag, one Anthem and one Fatherland.

In South Africa things didn’t go any differently as in the rest of the world. Here at the foot of Africa, the Koi and the San people went on quietly with their nomadic lives, until the sea-horizon was punctured with the first ships landing on its shores. South-Africa was ‘discovered’, the seafarers planted their conquering-flags and things would never be the same at the southernmost point of Africa. Before long theSettlers came: It was the Dutch, Germans, French, Batavians, Africans (the list is unending) and then of course.......the English! It was a rare mixture of masters and slaves.

Those who had it, came with their baggage of own flags, anthems, symbols, religions, mannerisms, and more. But there was also a common denominator which Mother Nature bestowed upon everyone, to help with their cohabitation- the urge to communicate both above as well as beneath the blanket. Beneath the blanket thing obviously went smooth, because very soon the mixing of the races resulted in a thoroughbred Afrikaner-race, people with different backgrounds, but born and bred in and for the southern part of Africa.

The communication above the blanket was much trickier. The first Settlers came from Europe and found it very difficult to learn the tongue-clicking language of the Koi-San. This meant the hosts had to learn the language of the guests. With Dutch the overwhelming language of the Settlers, it was only natural that it was the language the Koisan would learn. And did they do it spiritedly and with ease- proof that the Koisan was better bent for languages then their European counterparts. At the same time some Koisan words started to slip into the conversations.

However, there were also other languages present at the Cape of those years. The presence of Arabic speaking slaves was considerable. Everybody had something to say for and about everybody else. Initially it was difficult but the resourcefulness of humankind triumphed again. Dutch shed its high-collared coat and donned a light Cape jacket. Very soon a Cape fanagalo was alive and well. Now the masters and slaves could communicate better, as well as slaves and slaves, even masters and masters (the foreign words started to slip in). This fanagalo even received a name: “Kitchen language”! Or simply “Hotnot’s (Hottentot’s) language”!

The masters started to communicate very well with their slaves in Cape fanagalo (let’s simply call it Capetongue). And when the masters wanted to say something in private to the maids, or the madams to the boys, they did it in Capetongue. However, in exquisite company, Capetongue was one big taboo! In Church, his Bible, or if he was speaking to his God, it was in High Dutch (how could it be anything else!) The master’s children, the slaves and their children experienced no such problems. They all communicated heartily in Capetongue. 

In the meantime Capetongue started to pick up speed. It was the lingua franca of the Cape and the Cape became less and less Dutch than the Dutch would have liked. The Afrikaners at the Cape increased with leaps and bounds and Capetongue started to turn into Afrikaans. The question of who was first, the egg or the chicken, could perhaps arouse some discussion. Not so with Afrikaner and Afrikaans. The little Afrikaners were there first. Afrikaans, as their language, followed suit.

About that time something alarming happened at the Cape. The English came and rocked the boat. If you wanted a Dutchman’s blood pressure shoot up higher than the top of Table Mountain, just say the word: Englishman! Must have been a premonition they had about what the English would do to them at the start of the 20th century. To the Dutch the English was nothing but a militant, power-hungry, land-hungry pest, always spoiling for a fight. The Dutch farmers started to get a hankering look in their eyes, and it looked like the African interior was winking to them. Before long the oxwagons were loaded and with the wagon-leaders in front and the maids and the boys at the back the Boers started the Trek north. But there was an unnoticed and unseen hitch-hiker who joined the Trek very quietly: Afrikaans! The Afrikaners also went along, but before long the masters would take that jacket away from them and put it on themselves.

In the interior things went well with the Dutch. They were Voortrekkers now and good farmers. They marked out their territory, proclaimed their republics, but Woe! Woe! Woe! There were gold, diamonds and other minerals hidden and before long the English were on their way to the north. The rest is history. The Voortrekkers was literally is sackcloth and ashes, but like Job of old, they rose up again. But now they hated the English with passion and they wanted to put as much distance between them as possible. They couldn’t do that on the ground, because the English were the bosses, but they looked with different eyes at the Hotnot language and the Afrikaner-Jackets their servants were wearing.

And one fine day it happened as though it was the most natural thing in the world. They became the Afrikaners, and Afrikaans became THEIR language. All of a sudden they became a Nation of their own, away from the English and the Dutch umbilical chord finally cut. To round everything off smartly, they founded the “Genootskap van ware Afrikaners” (‘Society of true Afrikaners’) and they started to make everything exclusive. THEY translated The BIBLE in Afrikaans; THEY compiled the dictionaries and made the grammatical rules; only the Afrikaans THEY spoke was regarded as Standard. All the other people’s Afrikaans was regarded as dialects. They called the other Afrikaans-speakers anything but Afrikaners: It was derogatory names like “coloured’, “hotnot”, “bushman”, “mixed” “cape-coloured”, “other coloured”, “a nation in the making” and similar despicables.

In the meantime these New Afrikaners became the bosses and they ruled by the sword. They believed that the Apartheid they practiced was a Divine Institution. But God eventually showed them: “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecc.3:1). True, on God’s watch there wás a time for Apartheid, but the time had arrived that this New Afrikaners had to relinquish power. That they did, but relinquish baasskap (Afrikaner supremacy)? Like Zacchaeus giving back fourfold what he had taken unlawfully? I do not want to use the cliché “never”, but I’ll say ‘let’s wait and see’.

In an article, Alan Boezak was exeptionalised together with Laurens van der Post and Charlize Theron as distinguished Afrikaners, but the racial stigmatising slur “colored’ is put behind his name. Why? Afrikaans speakers of “colour” are referred to as “Afrikaanses” (note the distinction from Afrikaners!) Why? Why walk into a divide-trap again? Why not simply put up the conspicuous signboards: “Afrikaner” and “Non- Afrikaner”? Is Apartheid so deeply burnt into our souls that it became impossible to cast away the shackles? We keep on perpetrating this monstrosity even with the official Laws abolished! Why? Apparently there was some effort to persuade “coloureds” to accept the term “Afrikaner”, but they would not take the bait. Why not? Did the deprivation of their Identity and the embarrassing and scornful names they had to bear for so long, made them sceptical and unforthcoming? To reunite the Afrikaners is going to be a difficult and steep road and would take a lot of education on both sides of the dividing line, but it’s going to be worth it in the long run, when we will eat the fruit of a united nation and enjoy the respect of the whole world.

And now I want to go into direct discussion with my fellow Afrikaner brothers, those who come from the line of the Voortrekkers. Remember, the Devil is the Father of the Lie! Please do not walk and live with this Lie any longer. Get out of this hypnotic sleep the adversary have put you under. Do not rob your fellow brothers and sisters of their rightful Identity any longer, but give back heartily what belongs to them. Think of the positive consequinces of such an act. Think of the happiness in heaven when Afrikaner brothers and sisters can REALLY live together. Do not marginalise yourselves any further. Think EX UNITADE VIRES! Just think how a United Afrikaner Nation can lead the rest of a torn and divided Babylonian world back to a pre-Babel reality where we will be ONE and the Wise Words of the LORD will once again reverberate over the world: “....nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”

However, there are some basic things we have to share with each other about the Afrikaner character:

1: Afrikaners are people who speak Afrikaans and stay in Africa. I thought in terms of South Africa, but why inhibit the Language? Was the statue of king Nebuchadnezzar not struck on its foot (of Afrika?) after which the whole statue tumbled down and broke into pieces? (Dan.2) Afrika turned into an Afrikaans-speaking Continent! Impossible? You ain’t seen nothing yet! (Remember, nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them!) Afikaans speakers outside Africa will have to come back from exile to qualify as Afrikaners.

2: Afrikaners do not dig up roots: The descendance of an Afrikaner is important, because our history is an indelible reality. Still, we must compare descendance with the roots of a tree. It is hidden beneath the surface. It is a fact that we descended from different historical and geographical backgrounds, but above ground we should be one gigantic Afrikaner Tree. The Time is ripe for Nebuchadnezzar’s tree-stump to grow out again and become even more gigantic than the first on (Dan.4). Thus Afrikaners (the tree above the ground) will never speak about white-, coloured- or black- Afrikaners, or use any other tags describing Afrikaners. Everybody who speaks Afrikaans is just Afrikaners- FULL STOP.

3. Afrikaners can be of any religious conviction. The binding factor is Afrikaans. Afrikaners can be Christians, Islamists, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Sciencists (oops, new word!) or belong to any Africa-religion or whatever religion may be their choice. A person’s religion is his or her personal matter and THIS ALL AFRIKANERS SHALL RESPECT.

About Afrikaans I also have something to say. Afrikaans in its current form was annexed by the Voortrekkers. Only they and they alone decided what Afrikaans should be like, the grammatical rules and the Afrikaans words. This will have to change. A Language Commission, coming from al the different roots of Afrikaans will have to be established to revise the whole language (we’ll have to uncover the roots for a while). All common words, swear words, derogatory words and cumbersome translations and etcetera must vanish from the language. A Standard Version of the Written Language must reflect all regional references and dialects, while the Spoken language can be more relaxed.   

Afrikaans must be one lovely easy-flowing language that must inspire one easy-gowing Afrikaner Nation on to great heights, so that the world can be inspired by the Afrikaners to shed the Babel-sindrome once and for all.

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