Leon Lemmer: Afrikanisering in Oos- en Suidelike Afrika

Stephen Taylor is ‘n Britse joernalis wat dikwels oor Afrika skryf. Hy is in 1948 in Seepunt gebore. Hy was ‘n joernalis by die Rand Daily Mail en World voordat hy in 1970 na Engeland geëmigreer het. In 1997 het hy die roete van blanke ontdekkingsreisigers in Oos-Afrika gevolg om te sien hoe daardie lande, Tanzanië, Uganda en Kenia, toe daar uitgesien het. Daarna het hy suidwaarts via Malawi, Zambië, Zimbabwe en Botswana tot in Suid-Afrika gereis. Die beskrywing van sy waarnemings is gepubliseer in die boek, Livingstone’s tribe: A journey from Zanzibar to the Cape (London: William Collins, 2000, 272p; Amazon Kindle $9,85).

David Livingstone (1813-1873) “had seen Christianity and civilisation as the means by which blacks would free themselves from slavery and ignorance” (Kindle 2295). Die Livingstone-stam waarna in die boektitel verwys word, is alle blankes wat in Afrika beland het en onderhewig aan afrikanisering is. “This is an account of a journey in search of a dying tribe. Even at the time I was travelling, in 1997, it was clear that whites as an ethnic minority were doomed in most parts of Africa. It seemed as though the colonial era had belonged to another century rather than to the previous generation. In Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia the whites had all but disappeared; in Kenya they clung on diffidently. In Southern Africa, however, there remained hope. Although politically redundant, their economic influence appeared to assure them a future” (50).

Dit is nou 20 jaar later. In Zimbabwe het die blankes weens regeringsrassisme myns insiens geen toekoms nie. In Suid-Afrika word blankes meedoënloos uit poste geweer en van hulle besittings (bv geld en eiendom) ontneem. Die ekonomiese waarde van blankes word sistematies geminimaliseer, gevolglik word hulle teenwoordigheid al hoe meer opsioneel, verkwanselbaar en ongewens. Dít omdat die meerderheid blanke kiesers in 1992 ten gunste van politieke magsdeling gestem en pleks daarvan algehele oorgawe aan swart mag bekom het. Die enormiteit van daardie verraad word steeds nie afdoende besef nie.

“The tide of venomous racism whipped up by Robert Mugabe in the election campaign of June 2000 led to almost a thousand white farms being invaded by squatter gangs … The land seizures in Zimbabwe had an eerie echo of events in post-independence Tanzania and Uganda. There too white farmers and planters were dispossessed in the name of agricultural and political reforms that proved to be disastrous” (66). “At the end of my journey I reflected that only time will tell whether whites are capable of enduring in Africa. In just three years [1997-2000] the prospects look less auspicious than they did even then. Increasingly parents, not only in Zimbabwe but also in South Africa, see their children attempting to make lives abroad. Inevitably, it is those with abilities and qualifications who are best able to leave. And as the brightest and most adventurous depart, the chasm between Africa and the developed world continues to widen” (77).


Taylor se reis het in Dar es Salaam in Tanzanië begin. “I was interested … in whites who had stayed on in Africa. I was starting a journey in the footsteps of the explorers, missionaries and settlers, along the routes of imperial advance and retreat, looking for those who had made their home in post-independence Africa, who had lived through coups and wars and learnt to live with the corruption, the collapse of services and the generally miserable lot of the African citizen. In particular, I was interested in those who had faith in Africa and its people, and who believed it still had something to offer the world. And now that the last protective white laager had fallen, I was looking for lessons on how they might endure in South Africa” (91).

Die blanke waaroor Taylor eerste skryf, is Daudi Ricardo, voorheen bekend as David Ricardo. “He had sacrificed everything on the pyre of Tanzania’s hopelessly inept experiment with socialism … he lived in genteel poverty in a shanty beside the beach twenty miles north of Dar es Salaam” (97). “Daudi was the last mzungu [white man] at Kunduchi, sharing his roof with Meshack, a smiling-faced [black] man, his [black] wife and their baby” (109). Die enkele besittings wat hy behou het, is ‘n lessenaar, ‘n gemakstoel met leerbekleedsel en ‘n aantal boeke. Ricardo is oor die sewentig jaar oud en het kanker. Taylor “knew enough about Tanzanian hospitals to marvel that, in the face of this final test, he had not submitted to the National Health Service” (127).

Voordat Tanganjika in 1961 onafhanklik geword het, was Ricardo die eienaar van ‘n indrukwekkende landgoed, Matanana, op die hoogland. Daarna het hy klere soos dié van ‘n Afrikaan begin dra, ‘n Moslem geword en sy voornaam van David na Daudi verander. “At uhuru [freedom], he took Tanzanian citizenship and became a member of Julius Nyerere’s [1922-1999, head of state 1961-1985] party. He handed over Matanana to his workforce and went to work for the people” (138). “After leaving the ranch, he worked for twenty-five years among peasants, a field worker for development projects. Most were doomed by incompetence and corruption” (156). “Now the homestead where liveried footmen had waited on guests was crumbling and Matanana had been reclaimed by the bush” (156).

“The flow of settlers to Tanganyika had been restricted under the British mandate and confined to two main farming areas, the Southern Highlands, where Daudi had his ranch, and the Arusha-Moshi region in the north; even there virtually no white farmers remained as they had lost their land in Nyerere’s disastrous nationalisation of agriculture. Old age had carried off all but the last of a handful of diehards” (1033). Daar was “the forced relocation under Nyerere’s ujamaa [community] policy of entire communities into model villages” (1125). Derduisende swartes het weens honger omgekom. Desnieteenstaande hou die Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland jaarliks ‘n Nyerere-gedenklesing terwyl daar uit daardie oord graag steen en been gekla word oor die opruiming deur die blanke regering van die krotbuurt en misdaadnes Distrik Ses. In Brittanje woon daar talle oud-amptenare wat uit Tanganjika padgegee het. “All continue to wish Tanzania well … Yet none had stayed on. It was as if their love of Africa had survived because of, rather than despite, their distance from it” (1038).

In sy huidige blyplek het Ricardo nie lopende water of elektrisiteit nie. Diewe is nie meer lastig nie, want daar is eintlik niks oor om te steel nie. “Actually, there was not much food either” (150). Ricardo sê: “I’ve often doubted, and I still do, whether we have any business being here” (162). “We have to learn a new cultural language and that can be very painful. Then, at some point, it just happens. We wake up to find we have been absorbed … We old mzungus are dying out. Soon we’ll all be gone” (187). ‘n Swarte het van Ricardo gesê: “He is a good man” (203). Van Ricardo se kultuur en besittings het daar egter feitlik niks oorgebly nie. Ricardo is myns insiens ‘n toonbeeld van wat verswelgende afrikanisering vir blankes behels.

Taylor het hierna Zanzibar besoek. Hierdie eiland het in 1963 onafhanklik en in 1964 deel van Tanzanië geword. “An Africanist revolution saw the eclipse of the Arabs. The Sultan fled and thousands of Arabs and Asians were massacred” (287). Taylor het ‘n eertydse sendingstasie vir bevryde slawe by Mbweni, sowat vyf myl van Zanzibar-stad, besoek. Al wat daarvan oorgebly het, is ‘n “crumbling school,” ‘n “dilapidated church and three lonely graves” (373) van blanke sendelinge. Frank Weston het in 1908 daar aangekom. “Unusually for a missionary, Weston recognised that for Africans to benefit from European influence, rather than be damaged by it, the institutions of tribe, family and custom needed to be nurtured, not destroyed” (390). Tydens sy reis is die blankes wat die outeur teëkom meesal sendelinge. Hulle word geduld omdat hulle skoolonderrig en mediese dienste verskaf en in daardie opsigte nuttig is; dus, sendingstasies vervul funksies wat die owerheid versuim om doeltreffend te doen.

Taylor het Bagamoyo in Tanzanië besoek. “Once the fifty-mile stretch from Bagamoyo to Dar [es Salaam] had been under tarmac, but that had long since dissolved and not a trace of bitumen was now left” (529). Bagamoyo is in ‘n vervalle toestand sedert die Indiërs en Duitsers daar weg is.

In Dar es Salaam kom die outeur ‘n Zoeloe teë, Ally Sykes Mbowane, wat hom in Tanzanië gevestig het. Mbowane sê: “The problem is the Asians. They corrupt everything. They are here to milk the blacks … They must go, by force if necessary … [Idi] Amin’s [1925-2003, Uganda’s president 1971-1979] mistake was he did not replace the Asians with intelligent Africans … You can’t trust them [the Asians]. They will always keep to themselves. Take the British Legion clubs here or in Kenya. You will find blacks and whites drinking together. But Asians do not have Africans at their clubs. The Asian is like that. He thinks differently to us” (613).

Die Ost Afrikanische Eisenbahn Gesellschaft “build a railway [from Dar es Salaam to Ujiji, 1905-1914] that would trace the explorers’ footsteps. To this day it is the only land link from the coast to Lake Tanganyika” (628). “In colonial times … the buffet car was well-stocked, compartments offered sleeping accommodation and … the journey was regarded as a pleasant prelude or coda to home leave. Now … there was no certainty of food or drink and even less about the time of arrival” (633). “Cat burglars are said to prowl the roofs of carriages at night in search of open windows through which to swing” (718). Taylor reis per trein die binneland in. “Looking out on this void, one is struck by the absence of opportunity for improvement or escape. The odd settlement consists of a few mud and thatch huts of a type unchanged for centuries, a mournful looking cow and a straggly maize patch. No road reaches here, no enterprise, only the train which passes four times a week” (724).

Die outeur reis per matatu (minibus) van Ujiji na Kigoma. “Africa’s roads [are] the most dangerous in the world” (778). “Africans tend to opt for the front seat if given a choice, while the few whites I met who used matatus went for the back” (801). “Power and Africa appear uncongenial companions. Too often the meek and affable young man has been transformed by the possession of a Kalashnikov into an unstable brute, the earnest graduate by some minor bureaucratic officer into a vindictive pedant, the new leader assuming office with the promise of reform into yet another egregious autocrat” (819).

Van Kigoma reis die outeur per trein na Tabora, “a dead end, isolated by the collapse of Tanzania’s road system” (973) en vandaar verder per trein na Mwanza, Tanzanië se tweede grootste stad, en Bukoba: “There was no piped water to the residential area, less than 500 yards from one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world” (1463), die Victoria-meer.


Taylor reis per minibus van Bukoba na Kampala in Uganda. “Tonight, as most nights, there is a power cut” (1521; ook 1973), maar die paaie is in ‘n beter toestand as in Tanzanië. Idi Amin het die Asiate uit Uganda gejaag. Hulle vervalle huise word nou deur plakkers bewoon. Amin se huis, met ‘n uitsig op die Victoria-meer, het hy “Cape Town View” genoem (1664). Swartes het mekaar uitgeroei; ook na onafhanklikheid in 1962. “At the root, it’s tribalism” (1714).

By die oorsprong van die Nylrivier, by Namasagali, is daar ‘n Rooms-Katolieke sendingstasie. In die skool word lyfstraf toegedien omdat dit as noodsaaklik geag word. ‘n Priester verduidelik: “English must be spoken at all times. If we allow youngsters to use their own languages, they very quickly start forming ethnic cliques. Besides, they must learn English if they are to use textbooks and it is a tool they will never lose if they should find careers in government or business” (1839). Engels is die enigste amptelike taal in Uganda. Taylor voeg by: “This was true. Swahili had never become the lingua franca of Uganda as it had of Tanzania and Kenya” (1839). ‘n Swart oud-leerling van die skool, Ann Namiiro, wil hê die huidige blanke skoolhoof moet deur ‘n blanke opgevolg word en nie deur ‘n swarte nie, want “an African would not maintain standards. We have seen it before, Africans are not firm on discipline. Favouratism creeps in, morale goes” (1910). Taylor skryf: “I suspected Ann was right” (1916).

Die vraag is of ons hier nie dalk by die kern van die ANC-regering se veldtog teen Afrikaans is nie. Deurdat Engels eintlik as die enigste amptelike taal in die nuwe Suid-Afrika funksioneer, word faksies/stamme by swartes ten minste taalgewys verbloem. Etniese eenwording, nasiebou, word ook aan blankes opgedring. Die kulturele kern van Afrikaners, naamlik Afrikaans, moet gevolglik vernietig word. Daarby kom die politieke oorweging van gedwonge integrasie, waarvolgens wit en swart bv saam in dieselfde klas moet sit. Rasse-integrasie is slegs moontlik as ‘n enkele taal, in hierdie geval die koloniale taal Engels, gebruik word. Omdat Afrikaans as onderrigtaal tans nog toegelaat word, bestaan daar steeds aparte skole en universiteite. Die ANC-aktivis, Russel Botman, wou as rektor van die Universiteit Stellenbosch hê dat die taalbeleid ‘n politieke doel moet dien, naamlik “verseker dat wit en swart saam in die klasse sit” (Pieter Kapp, Maties en Afrikaans, Pretoria: Protea Boekhuis, 2013, p 205). Dieselfde argument is aan die Universiteit Vrystaat gebruik ter regverdiging van die afskaffing van Afrikaans as onderrigmedium. Die ANC is besig met nasiebou, met as ideale ‘n enkele taal en uiteindelik net een etnisiteit en een ras. Die einddoel van transformasie, oftewel afrikanisering, is ‘n mono-kulturele samelewing.

In Uganda is daar glo net ‘n enkele blanke boer oor, Keith Anderson by Fort Portal (2016). Maar hy word geduld omdat hy ‘n swart vrou het wat nie Engels kan praat nie. Hulle praat Rutoro met mekaar (2073). Anderson sê: “Of course, you didn’t go round too openly, but it was generally known which of us had African girlfriends. We were not ostracised but we were looked down upon by the clubby types” (2073). “Then came independence [1962] and the mixed couples felt able to come into the open. ‘Quite liberating, really,’ Keith said thoughtfully. ‘That was when I decided that I would stay.’ A number of other planters stayed on as well but that all changed when Amin came to power and issued an edict that all property had to be handed over to Ugandans. At a stroke, white and Asian landowners were dispossessed. Only Keith and his friend, Chris [Marshall], retained their land because they had Ugandan wives. The same act that had cut them adrift from their own kind secured their place here, two old mzungus who had become true Africans. Chris had died two years earlier, well into his eighties, so Keith was, indeed, Uganda’s last white farmer” (2080).

Anderson is nie welgesteld nie. “They wore second-hand cast-offs from Britain and America” (2085). Hy het net een voltydse werker in diens (2091). Taylor verwys na die karakter Kurtz, “the imperialist who has gone native,” in Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) se novelle, The heart of darkness (1902), wat aan die einde mompel: “The horror! The horror!” (2122). Taylor skryf oor Anderson: “Here was a figure no less isolated than Kurtz, living in serenity with his stamp collection and extended family. A man of simple needs, he had become part of Africa just by submitting himself to it” (2122). Vir my lyk die prys van afrikanisering te hoog. Taylor noem aan ‘n swart man dat hy Anderson se storie aan die Britte gaan vertel. Daarop reageer hierdie swarte dadelik: “Yes! Because they cannot understand why they are still living in Africa!” (2129).

Hierna raak Taylor in sy teks die spoor op ‘n naïewe manier byster. “How different it might all have been if sexual contact between members of the colonial service and native peoples had not been prohibited in 1909. Up to then, relations between single officials who kept local ‘wives,’ concubinage as it was known, were tolerated by the authorities to the benefit of social contact and general understanding; local mistresses, known as ‘sleeping dictionaries,’ helped many a young official acquire fluency in a dialect. Lord [Robert] Crewe’s [1858-1945, colonial secretary 1908-1910] threat of ‘disgrace and official ruin’ for officials with concubines changed the entire character of relations between African and European. Africa was something of a sexual wonderland to early visitors. Ronald Hyam’s study, Empire and sexuality [1990], describes how the colonies liberated young Victorian men. Casual sex was a routine ingredient of life in many postings and, moreover, the status of being white put the single man in a strong position to get his way. In sex, as in so much else, the Empire was a kind of limitless playground for young, adventurous Englishmen” (2129). “Black women never won the status of wives and many were discarded along with any offspring when the relationship became inconvenient for the man” (2141).

“In the Britain of the 1880s … a doctrine of imperial race purity was on the rise, one which had as its goal the restoration of social distance between the ruling elite and the ruled” (2146). In 1948 “the Afrikaners acquired political power in South Africa. They were the longest established and the most deeply assimilated of Africa’s white people, as the large Afrikaans-speaking, mixed-race population at the Cape known as Coloureds bore witness. An act outlawing inter-racial marriage, in effect denying three centuries of cohabitation and blending, was one of the first laws of the race purity doctrine that came to be known as apartheid” (2158). Taylor oordryf. “JA Heese, bekende genealogiese navorser, het geskat dat 7% van die Afrikanerfamilies in the twintigste eeu ‘n nie-Europese stammoeder gehad het” (Hermann Giliomee, Die Afrikaners, Kaapstad: Tafelberg, 2004, p 14).


Taylor is via die Malaba-grenspos per bus na Kenia. Uganda het ‘n slegte naam tydens die bewind van Amin en Milton Obote (1925-2005, president 1966-1971 en 1980-1985) gekry. Daarna was dit Kenia se beurt. “Visitors were routinely mugged in Nairobi, tourists had been robbed and even murdered in game parks” (2266). Die invloei van blanke setlaars het teen die einde van die 19de eeu begin. “Unlike densely populated Uganda, large tracts, including those most suited to European-style agriculture, were uninhabited … At the outset, the Kikuyu actually saw the whites as a bulwark against the Maasai. At the time it seemed the only problem was that few whites were willing to throw in their hand with a new, self-supporting colony. Then, in 1908, the Afrikaners came, riders moving across the plains. Leonine and guttural, with wide-brimmed hats, they lived outdoors as naturally as the wildlife they loved to hunt, and in their wake followed covered wagons with their women and dirty, half-naked children as wild as Africa itself” (2305).

Vergelyk hierdie beskrywing met dié van Christene Nicholls (Praag 4 Maart). Nicholls het deeglike en Taylor oppervlakkige navorsing gedoen. Afrikaners het voor 1908 en daarna in verskeie groepe gekom. Watter van daardie kinders was vuil en halfnaak, of is dit suiwere vooroordeel wat Taylor uitspreek? “The wagons, pulled by a span of sixteen oxen, passed through the Great Rift Valley … and climbed up the Mau escarpment. They trundled on across the Uasin Gishu plateau where their leader, Jansen van Rensburg, called a halt. A solitary hill named Sergoit broke the plain that ran from horizon to horizon and teemed with game. Here the wagons were outspanned and the men rode out to mark off their farms. After a time they called the place Eldoret, as if this were to be their Eldorado, a new promised land for the Boers” (2311). “El Dorado fabled city of gold believed by the 16th-century Spanish and other Europeans to exist somewhere [in South America] in the area of the Orinoco and Amazon rivers” (Collins World Encyclopedia, 2003, p 305).

Taylor skryf hy was onder die indruk die Jansen van Rensburg-groep was “irreconcilables, bittereinders … who would not submit to Britain after defeat, and trekked away from their homes in the Transvaal just as their forefathers had once trekked from the Cape, and kept going for thousands of miles until they found a new Arcadia under the British yoke” (2316). “By the 1940s, Eldoret could have been a dorp on the platteland. The Dutch Reformed Church congregation alone was six hundred strong. The farmers held fêtes, with stalls selling melktert and koeksusters [koeksisters], and games of jukskei and the wheezy accordion dance known as tikkiedraai. They had their own schools, churches and clubs, and the Eldoret rugby side was the most feared in the country. Now they were all gone. Abandoned farms had been occupied by squatters, the Van Riebeeck School was Nakuru Secondary, and African gospellers had taken over the Dutch Reformed Church. The Boers’ Eldorado had suffered the fate they most feared” (2328). Toe Kenia in 1963 onafhanklik geword het, het die Afrikaners ‘n agterdeur gehad; hulle kon na Suid-Afrika uitwyk. Die blanke Suid-Afrikaners op hulle beurt “suffered the fate they most feared” weens die politieke dwaasheid van 1990/94.

Taylor het ‘n taxi gehuur om Fanie Kruger, die laaste Afrikanerboer, buite Eldoret by Sergoit te besoek (2322). Kruger dink die Afrikaners het onnodig gevlug. “By the late 1960s, there were just a handful left. Now it’s just me” (2346). Taylor skryf: Kruger “had not endured without compromise and his situation was not without risk. The Kruger homestead was a military-style compound with guards and two-way radios. Fanie pulled his weight in the local community – he was a stalwart of Kanu, the ruling party” (2346). Kruger sê: “Look, this government was very good to my dad and me, hey?” Taylor skryf: “So what, I asked, if Biwott decided that he wanted the Kruger farm? Nicholas Biwott was the local MP, the most powerful man in Kenya after his mentor, President Daniel arap Moi [born 1924, president 1978-2002]. He was also the most feared, the thugish minister who acted as Moi’s enforcer … He was also Fanie Kruger’s neighbour. Fanie’s eye narrowed, and he spoke a little too fast. ‘Biwott could have had me out, no problem, but he’s been a very good neighbour and if I can help him I will. I don’t judge people …. I respect the guy'” (2352).

Taylor skryf: “I asked him about Eldoret’s bittereinders, the heroes of Boer legend who gave up everything, joining Jansen van Rensburg to trek halfway across Africa in ox wagons to escape British rule. ‘Hell, man, they weren’t trying to get away from the Brits, they were trying to get away from their own people. The Brits had to move them – they were outcasts'” (2365). Taylor: “Britain had to provide a bolt-hole for them, far from the hand of vengeance. So Eldoret had been founded as a colony for pariahs. Not for the first time, the Afrikaners love of mythology cloaked a darker secret” (2377). Dit is ‘n skewe voorstelling. Soos ek in my vorige rubriek aangedui het, was al die Afrikaners wat hulle in Kenia gevestig het nie hanskakies nie.

Taylor gee voor dat Kruger daarna nog ‘n Afrikanermite nekomdraai; dat Jansen van Rensburg se groep nie die hele ent van Suid-Afrika af na Kenia met ossewaens getrek het nie. Kruger sê: “They all came up by ship to Tanga and Mombasa … Then they went by train to the railhead at Londiani. If there was any trekking by wagon, it was no more than forty miles” (2377). Die verskil tussen Nicholls en Taylor se vertellings is dat Nicholls deeglike en Taylor oppervlakkige navorsing gedoen het. Dit is algemeen bekend dat Jansen van Rensburg en sy geselskap per skip gekom en in Kenia osse gekoop en van daar na die plato getrek het. Ek het die indruk dat Taylor gepoog het om sy storie interessanter te plooi en dat hy min toegeneentheid jeens Afrikaners het. “The Afrikaner fondness for a past embroidered with nostalgia and fantasy should not obscure a reality that was often just as compelling as the myth. The story of their diaspora – not the Great Trek of innumerable and interminable South African school history lessons, but the more gradual and individual dispersal of hunters, farmers and downright nomads, beyond the Vaal, and Zambezi and the Kafue, settling in small clan-based colonies far distant from their Cape origins – was the very stuff of frontier saga” (2377).

Die oorblywende blanke boere in Kenia het groot las van diewe wat hulle vee en ander besittings steel. ‘n Ander plaag is brande wat opsetlik gestig word om die blankes te verdryf (2461). Daar is ‘n laaste groot landgoed in blanke besit wat onderhoud aan 5 000 mense verskaf en boorgatwater aan 50 000 (2467). Daar is ‘n Britse oud-offisier wat £500 000 nodig het om ‘n verwaarloosde plaas op te bou. Die Europese Beleggingsbank het die geld teen 5,5% rente via die Keniaanse Nasionale Bank beskikbaar gestel. “The Kenyan bank stated that it would charge 11 per cent. The farmer had no option but to accept this, but now, two months later, he had still not received the funds and, being committed to projects for the growing season, had been forced to take a bridging loan elsewhere at 28 per cent … This farmer employed about 100 full-time workers and another fifty as casual pickers. With dependants, however, the farm provided a livelihood for about 700 people. ‘If I go, we all go,’ the farmer said” (2538).

“A nearby farm was one of many enterprises owned by Kenya’s richest man, Daniel arap Moi, the president. It was of similar size, and had employed a similar number of people until the previous year. Then the entire workforce was dismissed, losing their homes as well as their jobs. A skeleton staff now ran the farm. Those who had been full-time workers had become squatters. They were hanging on in the hope of casual picking work. The farmer spoke with icy fury. ‘We have state-sanctioned murder, legalised gangsterism and, now that Mobutu [Sese Seko, 1930-1997, president Zaire/DRC 1965-1997] is gone, corruption on a scale that puts us top of the league in Africa. You’re writing a book? Well, I think someone should do a book on Kenya – as a straightforward study in evil'” (2549).

“Armed guards known as askaris were employed by virtually every farmer and resident of Nairobi’s better suburbs” (2692). Dominic Martin sê: “Here we have no macro freedoms at all – we can get shot one night or put away and that’s the end of it. He exploded: ‘Boy, do we have micro freedoms … There’s no one to fall back on, no welfare state, no dole'” (2823). Taylor: “I had hoped to visit the last old white savage himself, Wildred Thesiger, living with his extended family of Samburu [a black tribe] at Maralal in Kenya, where he had intended to die, then heard that he was back in London” (2908). Thesiger het uit Kenia vertrek nadat albei sy stiefkinders jonk aan vigs dood is (3021).


Taylor is per minibus van Nairobi na Arusha in Tanzanië en van daar per pad na Dar es Salaam. “I intended to take a train on the Chinese-built Tazara line, alighting at Mbeya and crossing by road into Malawi” (2875). Kenmerkend van Tanzanië is “pot-holed roads, collapsed pavements and empty shops” (2891).

Taylor vertel van ‘n Afrikaanssprekende blanke vrou, Katrina, wat in Tanganjika ‘n swart man as eggenoot gekies het (2382). Ek onthou dat ‘n artikel oor haar jare gelede in die Byvoegsel tot Die Burger gepubliseer is. “Katrina was among another colony of Afrikaner exiles, a small group who settled just north of here [Arusha] at a place they called Kampfontein in the western lee of Mount Meru, around the same time as their fellows went to Eldoret. The Boers of Meru lost their land when Nyerere nationalised the commercial farms, but whereas they had returned to South Africa, Katrina stayed, along with her dark secret. For she had violated a shibboleth of her people, stealing away from her family in the night to find love in the arms of a black man. They had two children, and Katrina became an outcast. When the Boers left, she stayed with her lover … living in a shamba [cultivated plot] with a handful of other peasants” (2926). “I have failed to find Katrina” (2920).

“I had encountered enough ghosts. They betokened a kind of failure, testimony that once whites had been a part of Africa, but no longer; only the lost and the hardiest endured and they had all but died out” (3017). “Our roots in East Africa had been shallow, a trail mapped by explorers and adventurers leading to colonisation and then withdrawal, all in the space of seventy years, so that those who remained were but an appendix of Empire. Southern Africa … was different. There, generation after generation had given bones to the earth. There, if anywhere, we [whites] belonged” (3021).

Taylor is per trein uit Dar es Salaam suidwaarts na Mbeya. Dit is die Tazara-spoorlyn, 1 162 myl lank, wat die Chinese binne vyf jaar (1970-1975) gebou het om lande in Suidelike Afrika, soos Zambië, Zimbabwe en Malawi, minder afhanklik van vervoer deur blankbeheerde Suid-Afrika te maak (3181). Vir die konstruksie is 25 000 Chinese na Tanzanië gebring (3197). Die Chinese werkers is nie toegelaat om met die plaaslike bevolking te meng nie. “They feared cultural contamination … the tendency of Chinese is to regard all other races as inferior, in much the same way that the British once did” (3203).

Die Chinese het ook die hoofpad in Kenia herbou en hiervoor ook hulle eie werkers gebruik. Klaarblyklik besef hulle dat Chinese werkers meer koste-doeltreffend as swart werkers is. Vergelyk dit met die situasie in die nuwe Suid-Afrika waar (gewelddadig en stakend) daarop aangedring word dat plaaslike arbeid gebruik moet word. Die Britte en Duitsers het die spoorlyne gebou wat die binneland van Kenia en Tanzanië, asook Uganda, toeganklik gemaak het. Hoe sou hierdie lande daar uitgesien het sonder Chinese hulp en die voordele, bv infrastruktuur, wat kolonialisme gebring het?


In Malawi “the roads were as bad as they had said, the poverty more dire than anything I had seen in Tanzania” (3269). “I was surprised by how few people of mixed race I saw” (3432). Naas verval sedert die eertydse koloniale glorie is daar min om te rapporteer. Taylor het so baie tyd in Oos-Afrika deurgebring dat hy hom moes haas om betyds in Kaapstad te kom. Die tweede deel van sy boek, oor Suidelike Afrika, is dus glad nie so informatief soos die eerste deel oor Oos-Afrika nie.


Van die Malawiese hoofstad, Lilongwe, reis Taylor per bus na Chipata in Zambië. “The Zambian roads were far worse than Malawi’s” (3626). “Northern Rhodesia’s white population, never much more than 70 000, was more easygoing and integrated than Southern Rhodesia’s, which reached a peak of about 280 000. The two groups never seem to have liked each other much until Zambian independence [1964] and Ian Smith’s rebellion [unilateral declaration of independence] against the Crown a year later. In the next five years about 40 per cent of Zambia’s whites decamped across the Zambezi. For those who stayed, things got tougher as the economy declined” (3712). Die hoofstad, Lusaka, “had a reputation for violent crime” (3654). “Armed robberies … started after the economic collapse” (3723).

“I loathed Africa and everything about it – the stoicism, the fatalism, but above all the fact that nobody ever complained, and so nothing ever got any better. Authority grew corrupt because it was unchallenged by a cowed citizenry” (3637). Onder swart bewind Zambië, “a country capable of producing enough to feed the entire continent became a food importer” (3690). “As elsewhere in Africa, game conservation and tourism were the two areas in which whites had remained a dominant force” (3758).


In Harare, die hoofstad van Zimbabwe, sê Taylor aan die swart taxibestuurder: “Zambia is a mess.” Hy antwoord: “Here also. It was better under Ian Smith” [1919-2007, eerste minister 1964-1979] (3876; ook 4247). ‘n Ander waarnemer sê: “What was better under Smith was honesty in administration. Now it is totally corrupt” (4453). Na onafhanklikheid het in Zimbabwe dieselfde as in die nuwe Suid-Afrika gebeur: “Integration of schools and medical facilities, the removal of statues of Cecil Rhodes, and the renaming of streets after so-called terrorists” (3968). Baie blankes het die land verlaat. “A black government was bound to make a priority of meeting black needs … The prevailing wisdom was that, having prospered off the sweat of black labour and done so little to integrate, whites were long overdue a bit of suffering” (3973). “Zimbabwe was racing towards economic ruin. Corruption and cronyism had plumbed depths greater than Kenya’s” (3990). “Harare was still a long way from the decay of Nairobi, Dar [es Salaam] or Lusaka, but the decline was unmistakable” (3996).

Watter raad is daar vir ‘n blanke as hy in Zimbabwe wou boer? ‘n Blanke Zimbabwiese boer sê: “‘I look after my blokes – I treat them well, not just because they are worth it, but because I have to watch my back. I stay in with the local party people, I give to the local schools … But they could still carve me up, chuck us out, and then what have we got to show for four generations in Africa?’ He shook his head. ‘No, my friend, Stay where you are'” (4123). Taylor: “It struck me that the idea – a bit of land, coming back to Africa – was absurd, just another hopeless dream of finding home” (4129). “If there was one characteristic that defined Africa, it was the capacity of its people to endure, and when it came down to it our own sticking qualities had not been impressive” (4135).

“The Roman Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, the most vocal internal critic of Smith’s war,* issued a statement censuring ‘the frightful consequences’ of army brutality in Matabeleland. A spokesman admitted privately that they had been concerned about speaking out earlier in case it only inflamed the situation, which sounded like just another way of saying that it was actually less risky to denounce atrocities by whites than atrocities by blacks … While Sharpeville still had immense international resonance, the name Tjolotjo was quite unknown, although the scale of that crime was certainly far greater” (4214). In vergelyking met Sharpeville (1960) het die Marikana-slagting (2012) internasionaal skaars opslae gemaak. Selfs die uiters linkse Garfield Todd (1908-2002, eerste minister 1953-1958), anders as FW de Klerk, “was not an advocate of universal suffrage which, he once said, ‘would lead to universal chaos'” (4423). [* Waarom “Smith’s war” en nie Robert Mugabe en Joshua Nkomo se oorlog nie?]


Uiteindelik kom Taylor in sy geboorteland, Suid-Afrika, aan. Hy regverdig sy emigrasie soos volg: “Racial tyranny had made it impossible for us to live in South Africa” (4226). ‘n Mens sou graag wou hê dat hy ‘n poging aanwend om die ou met die nuwe Suid-Afrika se vergelyk, maar hy doen dit glad nie. Taylor het sy jeug in Rivonia deurgebring. “Most of our neighbours were Afrikaners, and they were different” (3041). “Many white children had a degree of intimacy with Africans that no legislation could prohibit – or can now coerce” (3080). “My attitude towards Africans was, for one so young, remarkably condescending … I had the same attitude towards our white neighbours, the Afrikaners … I recognised even then that they and the Africans were both of this land in a way that we, the English, were not” (3148).

“Our social superiority to Afrikaners was unquestioned by us” (3169). “My fear of Africans and Afrikaners went deeper, and I think was founded in an unconscious understanding even as a child that they were partners in seeing the nature of true power in this cruel, beautiful place. They shared a destiny in it. We were equivocal … our way of straddling two worlds with one foot in Africa and one in England” (3175). “It had begun to appear that the African environment, whether under white or black rule, was not one in which our values – a confused amalgam of colonial Englishness, modern Britain and, yes, something of Africa as well – could survive” (4232).

“Forty years ago, with Kenya’s independence approaching, Elspeth Huxley [1907-1997] posed the question in a book, White Africans, whether black and white could ‘unite together to form a modern, reasonably well conducted state … In short, a multiracial state a possibility or a chimera?’ The prospects now looked a good deal gloomier than they did then. All the way south, the evidence had pointed to the eventual extinction of whites as a species capable of enduring in Africa. In Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia they had all but died out. Although these were countries which never had large white populations, the problem was even more evident in the two places which had started off with significant numbers of whites and comparatively developed economies, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Neither could any longer claim to be a modern, reasonably well conducted state and in both the white populations had been so whittled away that there was now insuffient regeneration to ensure survival. Ultimately, it would all come down to South Africa” (4778).

Tydens Taylor se 1997-besoek aan Suid-Afrika “virtually all those I spoke to had considered emigrating” (4755). Die blankes (eintlik FW de Klerk en ‘n klein groepie meelopers) “had negotiated themselves out of power, and for many the consequences had been traumatic. You saw them increasingly now, the poor whites who had shed their previous status like an old skin … Afrikaners had no bolt hole and they understood the cardinal rule – that to survive an African tribe must constantly adapt to new priorities” (4805).

Laurens van der Post (1906-1996), gebore in Suid-Afrika, “once made the point that, while a great deal was written about the devastating effect that the European has had on the native of Africa, no one stopped to inquire into the effect of the native on the European” (3312). Samevattend kan ‘n mens seker sê: Afrikanisering is kultuurversterkend vir die swarte, die Afrikaan. Terselfdertyd is afrikanisering kultuurvernietigend vir die Afrikaner, die blanke, die Europeër, die Westerling.

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