Language plays a huge role preserving culture and heritage: King Taaibosch

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THANDI XABA

A heart-warming remembrance of a Khoi-San people is from a well-loved movie “The God’s must Crazy” where a Khoi-San tribal leader Xi (N!xau) decides to take a bottle, that falls from a plan, back to the gods to restore peace in his village.

The movie follows the life of the leader and his two wonderful children, exposing the viewer, not only to a unique people with a distinctive click language, but to a tribe that first set foot on our shores.

According to history records, the Khoi-San is closely related to the Bushmen or San and lived in southern Africa since the 5th century AD. When the European settlers arrived in 1652, the Bushmen practised extensive rural agriculture in the Cape region, with large herds of Nguni cattle.

During a Free State Freedom Park Committee workshop at Bloem Spa Conference Centre held by Freedom Park National Heritage site, various traditional leaders joined in on a movement set to restore the history and culture of their distinct people.

The King of the Korana, a declining language of the ethnic Korana population, King Jafta Taaibosch-Davids says he is very happy with this up-coming committee. “This kind of initiative is part of nation building and I think Freedom Park is the best vehicle we can use to build our people that are my message to people of Free State,” he says.

For the Free State Khoi-San people, the Free State Freedom Park committee is really a light in the dark and according to the King Taaibosch-Davids, “it will really be something to cling to and to make use of. We are in the process of trying to restore what is left of this language, as well as the heritage,” he enthused.

“Language plays a huge role preserving culture and heritage,” says the royal spokesperson !Namseb Anthony Petersen.

“We still preserve the story of Saartjie Baartman with mixed feelings, with sadness but still with the same mixed feelings that some of our counter brothers in South Africa don’t have appreciation for that, after 20 years of democracy we still not recognised as Khoi-San people, there is no statistics where I fill in that I am a Korana. I think that is biggest sadness of this all,” he says.

History records say Saartjie also known as Sarah Baartman was born in 1789 in the Gamtoos Valley. She was exhibited overseas for her unique African body and eventually died in poverty in Paris.

Her remains were brought back to the country 187 years after she left Cape Town for London. Her remains were buried on Women’s
Day August 9th 2002.


Saartjie Baartman Pic: www.haaretz.co.il

“Our hopes as a the Korana people is for the truth to be told and for people to accept that this history of South Africa as we know it is not complete, that it’s not told in its totality, “ says Petersen.