South Africa 44
Listen to South Africa 44, a 37-year-old woman from Grassy Park, Cape Town, South Africa. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
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DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/02/1980
PLACE OF BIRTH: Grassy Park, Cape Town
ETHNICITY: (Cape) Malay
EDUCATION: high school (grade 9)
AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS: N/A
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:
The subject’s first language is Afrikaans, but she received her school education in English. Her husband is Chinese, but she doesn’t speak Mandarin. As she is a practicing Muslim, she knows some Arabic for reciting the Quran.
The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.
RECORDED BY: Nadia Barnard
DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 15/12/2017
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:
Um, I was born in Grassy Park. My parents lived in Lavender Hill at, at, at the time. We moved to Mitchell’s Plain; I lived there until the age of 16, and from there I got married, and I’ve been on my own ever since. I’ve got five boys. …
Oh, I went to school at, er, er, Imperial Primary, and then obviously Kenil High, and, ja, we — I didn’t like study further. My parents didn’t have enough money, so, er, my parents were suffering and there was a lot of, ja. We had quite a hard upbringing. I mean, I turned out OK, and my k- my family’s OK [subject laughs], I think [subject laughs]. And, um, it’s quite an experience to grow up like that, but, I mean, you know, it’s what you make of your life, and, you know, the choices that you make. I mean, I didn’t get to finish school, but, um, I set goals for myself, and [subject continues to speak in Arabic], I think I did very well for myself, until I met my husband, of course, and then life just turned for the better.
The fact that I just, I, I, I just hated struggling; I hated being unhappy; I hated the environment that I grew up, and I always just looked at other people and their happiness; they looked so happy from afar, you know? And I always — I mean I’m sorry it’s going to sound very weird, but you know, my mom used to do, um, cleaning, um, for — at the time — the whites [subject laughs]. And she would like trot us along and whatever, just to make it easier for her, because, I mean, she worked as well, and then we would go with her, and I always used to admire these people and the way that they lived, and how soft and gentle they were to their kids and whatever, and I s- said to myself, “You know what: It’s not that you want to copy or mimic other people; this is just what I want for myself.” And if I ever had to have a family, I would never let my children suffer. I didn’t get the chance at a, at a education, but, um, that is something that I’m very strict about when it comes to my kids. I would rather live like a m- a hermit, but I would want the best for them as far as their education is concerned. I don’t need a lot of money, but I want my kids to be educated. …
Ja, it was — it was quite hectic. I mean, you could, you, you s- saw the abuse everywhere. My eldest brother passed away, ‘cause he also belonged to a gang, and, ja, he was assassinated by his own, because he wanted to leave. For me, it was just a matter of just pulling my act together and just making things happen for myself. I didn’t depend on anybody for anything. I must tell you, it was hard. After my first marriage — this is my second marriage — I was married to Daahl’s father for three years? Ja. Which didn’t work out, but, um, I literally went and I looked for a — the lowest-paying job because of my no-education [subject laughs] background. And, um, I ended up having to see to myself, my one — my child, and I the — I literally just earned enough to pay my rent. I didn’t go back to my parents, because I vowed when I got married and I had my child, I would never, ever, ever let my child grow up in that area. Never! That I grew, grew up in Mitchell’s Plain, and I mean Mitchell’s Plain is just as bad as Lavender Hill, I must tell you. Now even more. Because, I mean, we, we grew up with gangsters. At the time, I didn’t even know that the lady was — that was looking after me was the sister of one of the major [subject laughs] gang [subject laughs]. I don’t even think my parents knew [subject laughs]. She was just so kind. I swear to you, she was just so kind, and you wouldn’t say. But, ja, so you just don’t show fear [subject laughs]; that was my motto [subject laughs].
TRANSCRIBED BY: Nadia Barnard
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 18/12/2017
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY: N/A
COMMENTARY BY: N/A
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
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