Well now there is a complex question. It has so many answers, where do I start? How far back are you referring to? Like do you mean where did I grow up? Or maybe where I was born? Or the “slot a fit in to slot b” part?
Over the long weekend I cleaned up my office cupboards. (Well as clean as they are going to get for now) and found a few old photographs of my family. My dad. I realized I don’t know much about him. To be honest, I can barely remember what he looked like. I have no ties with my dads side of the family. Even though I have actual siblings there. My dad passed away when I was 10 years old.
A while ago I interrogated my mother about her side of the family. Who was who, where did they live, when did they come to South Africa and so forth. Mainly out of interest. Partly because I was hoping I had royal blood or hidden riches somewhere. No such luck for this Euro-mutt. On her side of the family I am mostly Irish and Dutch. With a little British thrown in somewhere. But on my fathers side I have no clue. I know his parents came from Namibia. Does that make me a little Namibian? Or did they hail from Germany?
Oscar is Portuguese. His mother and father were born on the stunning Island of Madeira. This makes him 100% Portuguese. Since I am a mutt and he a thoroughbred our children will be Portuguese. (I am sticking with this theory)
But where do I come from?
I was born in Somerset West in Cape Town. I grew up between Strand, Franshhoek, Bellville and Brackenfell.
I moved to Joburg and it has become home. (Does this mean I can no longer call myself a Capetonian?)
I know where Mum comes from and her parents and their parents.
Does it stop with just calling myself South African?
But I have no clue about my dad. I know his father had a farm on the Orange River. Somewhere near Augrabies in the Northern Cape. I know they farmed with table grapes and cotton. I am sure the property still stands. I need to go find it. For the adventure of it if nothing else. A trip to the Northern Cape is most definitely on the books in the next few months.
Augrabies, Springbok, Poffadder. I want to go look for the Coetzees. Or at least try to. Maybe I won’t find hidden family riches but I am certain I will find interesting places and stories. So let the planning begin 😉
No idea who they are but my dad had this photo so it must be family. Looks like Nina die bos kind. Also note the VERY creepy legs behind the chair.
Dad with friends in unknown location.
I think this might be my grandfather.
My dad drinking water from one of the dykes that fed water to the cotton plantations.