Funny this Weekly Photo Challenge: Earlier today I did a few photoshoots in Hermanus and in between I pictured a guy with a wheelbarrow and while I shot this image I already knew I’d give it a minimalist look and in Black & White.
In my eyes the wheelbarrow is the essence of the South African economy. Without the wheelbarrow there would be no economy. The wheelbarrow (kruiwagen) came with the Dutch. Indigenous languages don’t have a word for wheelbarrow so they all use the Dutch or the English word. Earth and rocks for roads, waterworks were moved with the wheelbarrow; diamonds, gold and other precious treasures from the earth were moved with the wheelbarrow. Nowadays mining companies and farmers use excavators and lorries but in small scale operations the wheelbarrow is indispensable. And so are the guys behind the wheelbarrow. They are the ‘hidden workforce’ that keep the South African economy going.
What would South Africa be without the wheelbarrow?
Who would have thought that the archive picture of an unfinished wall ended up in the Top 3 of a national (South African) photo competition. Well … I certainly did not.
So I added this announcement to my personal FB-page this morning (including the picture) and suddenly people started to like the picture…..
And than I went into my FB-archives … when I first published this picture on Facebook …. Just 1 like …. Now I wonder with the present likes … is it because of the high ranking in a competition or what????
From history people can learn that history is always repeating itself. Unfortunately history is not high on the list of subjects in education so people forget or are unaware of the existence of certain events. I’m not a South African but Dutch living in South Africa and, while not pretending to know it all, I do know that I know more about the South African history than the average South African.
Why am I writing this? Yesterday I was in my favourite South African bookshop and noticed some books about one of the most prominent South Africans of all times: Jan Smuts. Unfortunately the Wikipedia article does not mention everything except that Smuts walked on Ghandi’s sandals, was mentioned in one of Albert Einstein’s writings, had dealings with Winston Churchill, etc. etc. If the ‘General’ had won the 1948 elections there wouldn’t have been ‘Apartheid’ to the extend it grew into under the Broederbond (brotherhood) supported National Party. Neither does it say that many (white) South Africans moved out of the country after the 1948 elections in which Smuts was defeated.
Smuts’ funeral (15 September 1950) attracted more people (especially native Africans) than that of Nelson Mandela. How people forget … W.F. de Klerk’s older brother wrote in 1975 (!!!) “The Puritans in Africa‘ with as subtitle ‘A Story of Afrikanerdom‘ (Published by Penguin Books, UK).
About the last days and the funeral De Klerk writes:
“…. From everywhere in the world, inquiries and good wishes started pouring in to Doornkloof. From everywhere advice and a variety of medicaments were sent. ‘Never did he speak any words of criticism or bitterness of his political foes,’ his physician recounted. ‘The only tone of disappointment I ever noted during my conversations was against those of his fellow-Afrikaners who, he thought, did not regard him as one of them because he thought wider than the South African scene’ …..
…… At each station on the way …. the speed was slackened to permit the standing crowds on the platforms to pay their last respects. Crowds of all races… were on the station. At Irene Station, near his home, an African children’s choir stood to sing the train through the platform lined with flowers. At Olifantsfontein, Africans lined the fences along the rail track, heads bowed, hands folded. A quarry edge was lined up with silent watchers ………. ” etc. etc.
Again: Why am I writing this? Standing in the bookshop, seeing and picturing the ‘Smuts collection’, I recalled the paragraph I just quoted and wondered if Mandela’s funeral wouldn’t have been more respectful this way than the political propaganda spectacle it was made into last year …
Doing something different with #jewellery. Yvonne de Wit (she is just setting up her own blog; the ‘about’ page is more or less finalised), co-incidentally my wife and love of a life-time ( 😀 ), creates jewellery of sterling silver and South African Earth (such a diversity). Pictured is a pendant in the shape of a Zulu shield with a Nguni hide of soil particles. This is one of the pieces of a new collection that will be marketed in the course of 2014. All jewellery is, piece after piece, purely handcrafted and every piece is unique with different patterns. Every #design is own.