By: Andre Brink
Location: FIC BRI
Those of you that are regular blog readers here will know about my connections in CapeTown- I am not South African- I am a visitor to her shores. Some say it is the nicest city in the world- some parts of it are. Camps Bay is stunning, Kirstenbosch Gardens are breath taking, the town of Simontown lulls by the sea in a mesmerising way, even Observatory has its bohemian charm. BUT- and its a big but these places are sometimes bereft of heart and soul- they took it from themselves. If you want soul- go to Khylelitsha, or Mufalani, if you want music go to Mitchell's Plain. Sure many of these people live in shacks, many are living of nothing, many depend on the love and goodwill of friends and neighbours to survive, and yes- there is crime, and nasty horrid crime. I wonder though- is it as a big of a crime as the slavery that encamped there in the first place. Is all the violence so talked about and experienced any worse than what Philida in this book, had to live through in 1832 or the slavery of apartheid this century. I have been to the Slave Museum in Capetown- at the time it also had a display about Biko- same story, different century. It is a place you go to and then say nothing for a long time.
I am pleased we finally have an Andre Brink in the library and I know this story will be a real challenge- slavery always is. My mates in Mitchells Plain will be cheering Philida on, me too actually, maybe just maybe I know her grandchildren, they will be singing, they will be determining their own destiny, or trying too, and Philida would be well pleased.
Mia Carla, Clinton Johnston and Family, Pastor Jack Mahoney, Leo Jason and his wonderful Mum, my girl Hazel and Limontha:), Averill and Alphonso- I read this book for you!!!