Conrad Steenkamp

Sentletse, be careful where you dip your pen

Words have consequences. That is why the Germans speak of ‘Schreibtischtaeter’: people who were innocent of killing any Jews, gays or Gypsies in person, but who contributed to the holocaust through their writing.

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Of Bosluisbasters and other hybrids

“My father and them trekked with a donkey cart”, Floors explained. “It was a long distance to cover in that way and some families had it very hard. Somebody’s wife went into labour and they stopped at a farm. But the farmer wanted to know nothing and chased them away.” One of the government officials…

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Alien nation: middle class linguistic migration

A small group of Bushmen sell their wares at the junction of the main road to Rietfontein, close to the Namibian border and Tweerivieren in the Kalahari Gemsbok Park. The two women huddle in the shade of a makeshift ‘skerm’, their fingers busy with ostrich-shell beads and threads. The two men are dressed in skin…

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