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'n Lied vir Beginner-studente van Afrikaans [boodskap #9505] So, 25 Mei 1997 00:00
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My matras en jou kombers,
en daar lê die dinge,
daar lê die dinge,
daar lê die dinge.
My matras en jou kombers,
en daar lê die dinge,
daar lê die dinge,
daar lê die dinge.
We are marching to Pretoria,
Pretoria, Pretoria;
We are marching to Pretoria,
Pretoria here we come.

matras : mattress (matrasse/matrassie)
kombers : blanket (komberse/kombersie)
l^e : lie,lay (het gel^e/ sal l^e)
English "to lie" is "om te lieg."
ding : thing (dinge/ dingetjie)
daar lê die dinge : that's how things are, that is
just the point , that is the state
of affairs.

This song has almost surely its birth in the culture
of the Cape Coloureds of the Western Capa Province.
However, the English part "We are marching to Pretoria"
I think has assumed a life of its own.
It is a song born during the period of intense English
imperialistic aggression in Southern Africa at the end of
the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth
century. This is the period when Cecil John Rhodes
made it his job to plant the British flag by hook or by crook
over the south of the African continent. Through his hench-
man Jameson he subjugated Lobengula (by addicting him
to morphine) in the area known today as Zimbabwe. Through
the manipulation of British and Cape politics, Rhodes then
achieved what he had always wanted : a state of war with
the two independent Boer Republics of the Transvaal and
the Orange Free State. It took the mighty British Army three
long years to bring the two small Boer Republics to their
knees. This war and its aftermath was the breeding ground
for a lot of the problems that Southern Africa faced in the
course of the twentieth century.
For a while the name of Cecil John Rhodes was revered
especially outside Africa, mainly because he was seen as
the benefactor that created the prestigious Rhodes Scholar-
ships (initially for men only), and because he was the founder
of De Beers, a South African company of international status
even today. Lately the myth of Rhodes as the great nation-
builder has been attacked in the media. Recently we saw
a series titled "Rhodes" here in Canada, which exposes him
as a ruthless business man and manipulator of opinion at the
Cape and in Britain. The purpose of the series is also to leave
no doubt in one's mind that Rhodes was a homosexual who
ruthlessly used the one young man after the other to do his
bidding in what was essentially a cold (and dirty) war against
anybody who stood in the way of his ambitions.

Gloudina Bouwer
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