South Africa 50
Listen to South Africa 50, a 46-year-old woman from Cape Town and the Transkei, South Africa. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
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DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 21/10/1971
PLACE OF BIRTH: Cape Town (but raised in the Transkei)
OCCUPATION: psychology student, working part-time as campus assistant and server at a restaurant
EDUCATION: national higher education — matric
AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:
As the subject’s father worked at sea, the subject relocated frequently with her family. She was born in Cape Town and was moved to the Transkei at around age 1 where she was raised on a farm, but she also spent time in East London and the KwaZulu Natal province as a child. She has lived in Cape Town for most of her adult life.
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH: N/A
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): 14/05/2018
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:
Oh, I’ve got such a good, traditional background. [Subject laughs.] OK, uhm, come from a family where my mom’s mom is Xhosa, African; my mom’s dad is Irish. We grew up both an African and English way, in the Transkei. Uhm, my grandfather, obviously being Irish and well off after World War Two, settled in the Eastern Cape. Uhm, he had to register himself as a Xhosa, so it was quite an experience for us now as adults to have to know that this blond, green-eyed, handsome gentleman was a Xhosa! He spoke it as fluently, if not better than, a South African Xhosa did. It’s kind of led us as a mixed family to have lived, and grown up and accepted everybody, uhm, from different cultures, uhm, so for us there’s really no differentiation between people. We respect everybody, treat everybody the same, but we do hold onto our cultural backgrounds. Uhm, we respect the African traditional way, right down to slaughtering. I mean, we used to slaughter ourselves; eggs we used to get from our – from the hens, the dens, uhm. [Subject laughs.] We’d go and pick the fruit off the trees; we’d go on our horse rides; we’d do whatever was needed.
We were four children. Interestingly enough, because my dad worked at sea and my mom was into nursing — which explains why out of four children — each of us were born in different cities. [Subject laughs.]
I guess where I’m finding myself right now is — I’m probably at the prime of my life at the moment. Uhm, passionate, enjoying every single thing I can possibly enjoy, uhm, irrespective of an acrimonious divorce in progress, and I’m looking forward to graduating as an adult learner very soon, I hope.
I’ve got his birth certificate, and I have got his, uhm, what, what they used to call a pass, back then. Uhm, and this, this is the one where it’s got this green-eyed, handsome bloke, and his ethnic group is Xhosa, so. [Subject laughs.] She’d said take that, and take the birth certificate, and go to the archives in Grahamstown and go and find the what’s-his-name, and something about we would also have citizenship; we could possibly also get free citizenship to that side, I’m not sure?
Myself? Very fluent in Xhosa as a child. Uhm, obviously English also formed part of our home language, uhm, and we couldn’t speak a work – word of Afrikaans. Grade four: That’s standard two, where I remember being … not forced, but not had an option but to learn to speak Afrikaans, so that was like, you know, a very big adjustment for us, because we had to – we had no choice but to learn to speak Afrikaans.
You, you know you kind of — it’s not that you soften up, but you start to see things from a different perspective, and you start respecting people in all sectors, at any level, uhm, no matter where they come from, what they’re going through, what they’re experiencing. And for me that was probably the most valuable. I’m getting emotional. [Subject laughs.] Uhm, that was probably the most valuable gift that my mom left us with, uhm, was accepting others in the space and the capacity and whatever condition they were in. And I think that’s what kind of pushed me in the direction of — always, because I was always passionate about people, since a young age. And I think having come through my own trauma as a, a, a burn victim, being exposed to all of that. And then obviously with their divorce, and without us realizing what that trauma did to us as well.
How better to inspire a young child with something that you yourself have started experiencing. It’s wonderful.
TRANSCRIBED BY: Nadia Barnard
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 15/05/2018
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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