15 May 2019

South Africa: Existential Crisis of Land, Language and Self-Definition Prompts FF+ Growth

analysis

In her tender, recently published biography 'Cul de Sac', penned at the age of 95, Elsa Joubert, considered one of the greatest South African writers of her generation, reflects on the 21st Century existential crisis of Afrikaner identity, inexorably linked to land, language and a putrid history. The electoral gains of the FF+ reflect this mood of some Afrikaans speakers who hope to find a meaningful political heimat in a free South Africa.

'Why do I still need to tell them who my people and I are? Who are we now that we are no longer hated nationalists or apartheid people? Do I need hefty volumes and thousands upon thousands of printed words, do I need to barricade myself in my study behind lofty, toppling heaps of impressive, bulky tomes for it to get through to him [an English-speaking visitor] that Afrikaans is more than the hated apartheid language?... I realise I am more than just language. They are precious words in which my emotions and thoughts involuntarily, intuitively, embody themselves and I never want to be without them.' - Elsa Joubert

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