Monday, March 31st, 2014

What they don’t tell you in the brochure about Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch strikes me as one of those places that got put on the table by the National Partyduring the negotiated settlement pre-1994, something the ANC conceded in exchange for democracy. In fact, there's a joke with more than a single grain of truth that the design of apartheid was conceived in one of the student residences of...

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Meet Bittereinder

I discovered the three piece Afrikaans outfit Bittereinder through the internet and fell in love with them because of their live performance. Their music, a bass-heavy flurry of high-energy drops and subdued melodies, develops a different personality...

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

This man is Afrikaans

The waiter at the breakfast table here in Bulawayo starts speaking Afrikaans to me, before I even open my mouth to let my accent betray me. He had worked in Cape Town before, where he learned the...

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

The Afrikaans struggle

The obituary of British anti-apartheid campaigner Bruce King makes reference to his marriage to his South African wife, Jamela Adams. It describes their wedding in "a Muslim ceremony in Cape Town" in 1964 in defiance of the...

Friday, March 9th, 2012

The Afrikaans movie template

The creatives at South African satellite TV channel Kyknet — which also produces movies now — not only blatantly rip off American romantic comedy plotlines, but inhabit a South Africa where there is not a single black...

Saturday, October 15th, 2011


Tonight, the Afrikaaps crew, the South African musical about the history of the Afrikaans language, dedicated their last show in Holland to slain rapper Mr Devious; Michael Miranda, Shaun Magmoed and Jonathan Claasen, the three youngsters who died...

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Holland is Kaaps

Monday, February 14th, 2011

True Blood or Sushi

S: What does this say about contemporary white Afrikaans speaking music culture?

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

The Liberation of Afrikaans

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Video Interview: Lee Ursus

I recently interviewed South African hip hop artist, Lee-Ursus Alexander, who, until this week, was based in Brooklyn. (The video interview is for a proposed series on African immigrant life in New York City. The video is...

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Sleeping Dogs

Recently my man Lee Ursus introduced me to the Afrikaans poetry of Ronelda S. Kamfer. Born in 1981, Kamfer’s poetry reflects her split upbringing on a farm and in coloured townships in Cape Town. This poem, “Noudat...

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Ingrid Jonker on Film

Jacob Boersema, a Dutch PhD student who works on Afrikaner identity in postapartheid South Africa, recently told me about a new film, “Black Butterflies,” about the life of Ingrid Jonker, the late Afrikaans poet (she committed suicide...

Friday, December 11th, 2009


Yes it is that time of year. “The Best of 2009″ lists. Spin Earth, the web-based project of music magazine, “Spin,”(it relies on “300 cultural correspondents in 75 major cities spanning all continents”) has published a list...

Sunday, November 15th, 2009


I like this Dutch’s rapper’s flow. I also like it because I understand the lyrics.

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

The Radio Kalahari Orkes

Let’s talk about the video for the song, “Staan My By” by Die Radio Kalahari Orkes, a South African band that count among its members the controversial author Rian Malan and the actor Ian Roberts (his credits...

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

The Boerewors Curtain

The South Africans–more specifically Afrikaans speakers–will get the joke. Dripping with hipster irony, Jack Parow does the Afrikaans rap (?) ,”Jy dink jy’s cooler as ekke” (You think you’re cooler than I) for the web music series,...

Monday, September 21st, 2009

“District 9″ and the Nigerians

Online comment to New York Press on a film review of “District 9,” the sci-fi movie about aliens landing in Johannesburg: As a young Afrikaans South African with a fondness for interspecies-conflict-based fiction, I enjoyed D9, and...

Friday, August 21st, 2009


Earlier this week I posted a comment by my friend, Christi van der Westhuizen, going after novelist-singer Toast Coetzer for this statement in an interview: “One probably writes about the things that you think about a lot....