The Gathering, an intimate garden rendezvous where local talent is celebrated and given a platform to express their art, hosted storyteller, 2019 K and L Prize winner Sisca Julius, on Saturday 28 September at the home of its founder, Sadi Barnett.
Sol Plaatje University (SPU) students, songbird, final year humanities student Monique Williams and musician, Carl Julius set the tone for the evening with Williams’ heart stirring rendition of Demi Lovato’s Sober and Hou my styf vas accompanied by Julius’ keys. Afrikaans teacher Lydia Barnett also shared some of her personal poetry that deals with issues of drug abuse and the youth, in the dialects of the Northern Cape.
Celebrating Heritage Day with potjiekos and Nama musiek, Sisca Julius told her stories Gertie Girl’s Hair salon, Ricky Rama, Hier slaap jy met een oog oop and other stories that won the PUK- Kanselierstrustprys for prose, in Nama-Afrikaans as a tribute to the rich dialects of the Northern Cape, that often play second fiddle to Kaaps, to the intimate crowd.
“Afrikaans is so much more than the language of the oppressor. I understand that Afrikaans has been used as a tool to hurt many people, but Afrikaans is the language I first skinned my knee in. The language I had my first heart break in. The language I swear in. My Afrikaans is so different from standard Afrikaans and should be treated differently. My Afrikaans is all I have left of Nama, in a way, it carries my heritage,” says Julius.
Julius won the K and L Prize for African literature in 2019 for her story Honey Bee, which talks about the ways in which Khoi people were forced to unlearn their language.
Providing a platform for local artists in and around Kimberley, founder Sadi Barnett relates that “The Gathering is just that, a GATHERING. A gathering of art, artists and art lovers”.