Throughout my 40 000 kilometre journey under the ‘Shadows of Nimbus’, I’ve met and spoke to many folk — rich, poor, black, coloured, white, mixed. Some conversations were in large sprawling rickety houses that tipped towards the horizon; other discussions were in one-room tin shacks; often blackened by repeated paraffin fires.
I had a few chit-chats in lazy self-reflected lounges filled with ornate mirrors. Before entering their sheep farm homes surrounded by rich purple Bougainvilleas and swaying hundred year old silver glinting Eucalyptus trees I made sure I scraped the lamb dung on the boot scraper. As far as I am concerned it’s po-po over a cold beer.
On incessant hot days while I listened to their descriptive voices, I fanned myself on the front stoep with a Chartreuse paper fan, handed down from Great Grandma, to Grandma, to Ma. Of course their were interruptions from the socialising weavers that had ballooned their nest on the eaves and the inquisitive starlings who swiftly scooped the odd broken Marie biscuit off the table.
From time to time, I sat cross-leg on tin boxes in the local shebeen. But on most occasions I spent in big wide-open landscapes under the shadow of a tree, sitting in a bakkie, leaning on a Baobab or some type of Acacia tree or just parked under the cool fan of a kitchen.
I listened to their stories. Conversations flowed as fast as the dop they drank and the tea they poured. Their motor-mouths rich in the local gossip about the scandals over the years. The drunken Volk, who interrupted church prayers one Sunday morning asking the preaching pastor for a dop of brandy.
And what about Aunt Lettie – for what reason did she fill her chocolate cake with cotton balls? Was Meneer du Toit house in Rossouw Street, really possessed by the supernatural? And are diamonds a girl’s best friend, or do they belong to a one-eyed gentleman in Port Nolloth? Endless debates around the Potjie would go on until the late hours, without the need to resolve anything. When I had a moment of peace and tranquillity, I wrote these stories down to share my journey with you. And over time, I will tell you more.
This story was told to me in the karoo veld, a few kilometres from Kenhardt by Linda Mans, while picking Kanna for the cooking pot. Living on a farm in the far reaches of the Great Karoo can be a lonely place, especially...Read More