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Steve Hofmeyr

Hofmeyr in Wonderland

by Koos Marais / 29.07.2011

“For, you see, so many out of the way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things were really impossible.” – Llewis Carrol. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865.

“My hart klop tok-tokkie waar hy breek vir my volk
Voor die Kakie-kanon of die k****r se dolk
Dit maak nie meer saak nie waar ons, ons begeef
Ons sal oorleef” – Steve Hofmeyr. ‘Ons Sal Oorleef’, 2011.

Daar is min kunsvorme wat Hofmeyr, man van vele talente en Ayn Rand-aanhanger, nog nie kon bemeester nie. Sjarm, sang, toneelspel, publieke statements en ja selfs in die rol van skrywer het hy hom bekwaam van sy taak gekwyt, ten spyte van bespiegelinge en geligte wenkbroue.

Steve Hofmeyr: Sanger, akteur, uitgesproke politiese figuur en deesdae ook skrywer. Onlangs het hy meer aandag en publisiteit geniet vir sy nuutste liedjie as vir sy tweede roman; ‘Ons sal oorleef’ staan beter bekend as die ‘K-woord liedjie’.

Die Verste Uur word as wetenskapfiksie of fantasie geklassifiseer deur kenners maar Hofmeyr self meen dat dit ’n romanse is. Hy is aangehaal waar hy verduidelik dat hy kontemporêre Afrikaners verteenwoordig in díe boek en dat hy ’n moderne perspektief wou skep. Ironies, die moderne perspektief, aangesien die boek totaal en al baseer is op ’n obsessie met die verlede.

’n Bleeksiel eerstejaar Tukkie ontdek ’n eksentrieke ou professor – wat geheimsinnig verdwyn het – se liefdesbrief aan sy vrou, navorsing oor ’n Barok-komponis en geheim tot tydsreis. Die komponis Jean-Phillipe Rameau, se biografie, fiktiewe Prof. Arnold du Plessis se brief aan sy “hoender” en ’n splinternuwe Suid-Afrikaanse tydlyn wissel die hoof-narratief af. Die vier verhale ontmoet soos ’n Dominant-Sewende: Die hipnotiserende klanke van Barok musiek wat gereeld geprys word dat dit neuron-paaie vorm (veral populêr vir ongebore baba’s) word in Rameau se werk ’n swart 8-minuut tonnel tot die verlede waardeur die hoofkarakter reis en perongeluk die geskiedenis van die nuwe Suid-Afrika na dit van die NZAR verander.

Jamie (Llewellyn) van der Merwe val van ’n perd af toe hy homself onverwags in sy voorvader se sitplek in 1900 bevind en siedaar! Die boere wen die Eerste Boere-Oorlog wat in volksmond nog bekend staan as die Anglo-Boere Oorlog. Hier moes die outeur himself gate uit geniet het. Wat sou die Afrikaner wees as hulle nie ’n vredesooreenkoms moes nagaan met die Kakies nie? Met noukeurige detail word die Afrikaners die Boere, die Jakaranda-stad die Akasia-stad en die terterige danseres op wie die hoofkarakter sy ogie het word ’n koekerige bibliotekaresse.

Apartheid word nooit gekonsepsualiseer nie omdat die beginsel daarvan gehandhaaf word deur die streng xenofobiese immigrasie-wette van die NZAR. Die wette is dus die oplossing vir ’n onafhanklike Boerestaat na die uitvlug van “Engelsgesindes, uitlanders en swartes”. Alle oorblywende inwoners van die gebied wat hoofsaaklik uit die Vrystaat en die Ou Transvaal bestaan word dan burgers later in 1900 en daarna mag geen nuwelinge die staat binnekom sonder ’n paspoort en werkspermit nie.

Nadat die hoofkarakter geskiedenis verander reis hy terug na die hede, nou soos hy dit self noem “Boereparadys”. Suiwer Afrikaans seëvier omdat alle universiteite Afrikaans is. Aanloklike, interessante fantasie-debatte ontstaan hier, wat die weg ruim vir die groter “wat-as” vrae. Soos Afrikaanse rock in die nuwe hede wanneer die hoofkarakter geskok besef:

“Die Linkin Park van ouds is hier vervang met Afrikaanse rockers uit 1968! Afrikaanse rock voor Viëtnam? Whatever! Maar sonder ou politiek was daar natuurlik geen Voëlvrytoer nie. Maar sonder isolasie sou rock ons ook nie so lank ontduik het nie.”

Oor die streng xenofobiese immigrasie-wette spreek die bibliotekaresse in die nuwe hede haar uit:

“Die wêreld beny dit nou. Maar te laat vir baie van hulle. Die Europeërs is nou behoudend maar ná eenhonderd jaar van oop grense en neurotiese liberalism kry Holland, Duitsland en Frankryk vandag ander name. Want die Hollanders, Duitsers en Franse is vandag minderhede in hul eie lande. Soos jy weet, het Amsterdam sy eerste Turkse premier.”

Daar word gesê dat mens dit kan agterkom in die werk of die skepper daarvan dit geniet het om dit te vervaardig. Ek kan my indink hoe Hofmeyr dit moes geniet om hierdie boek te skryf.

Deon Meyer, moontlik die grootste Afrikaanse spanningsverhaal-skrywer meen dat Hofmeyr eenvoudig ’n maestro is en Dana Snyman, storieverteller, wil saam met hom uithang.

Resensente maak hierdie fantastiese historiese spekulasie af as satire en meen dat slegs idiote sal val vir Hofmeyr se kamma-geskiedenis. Die roman word as vermaaklik beskryf en dit is ook. Maar as die skrywer nie so kontroversieel was nie, sou dit nog so vermaaklik wees? As die skrywer nie Hofmeyr was nie sou mens nog bekommerd wees dat die “k-woord” sonder seremonie, nie in direkte aanhalings nie, in die tydlyn van die nuwe geskiedenis gedruk staan? Dat die grootste massa-moord van ons tyd hierdie naweek in Noorweë gepleeg is ‘’om Europa te red van Muslim immigrante” terwyl Hofmeyr se karakter sonder aarseling na die trotse xenofobiese Boerestaat immigrasie-beleid verwys?

As Hofmeyr dan self Die Verste Uur ’n romanse noem, kan mens nie help om te bevraagteken waarin anders die romanse te vinde is behalwe in die Afrikaner-nasionalisme idiologie van die nuwe fantasie-geskiedenis wat deur Van der Merwe se val teweeg gebring is nie.

*Interessant om op te merk dat daar vandag (26 Julie 2011) in Afrikaanse koerante aan die lig gebring is dat Mnr. Anders Behring Breivik, die beskuldigde in die Noorse massamoorde, Suid-Afrikaanse skakels het. In sy stryd teen multikulturalisme het hy by ’n regse Suid-Afrikaanse webwerf geleen vir sy “manifes”.

**Kan nie die taal verstaan? Read Brandon Edmonds piece about Steve’s Facebook Wall here.

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RESPONSES (25)
  1. Randomboy says:

    What weird language is this? I don’t understand a word of it. Why not publish it in English so that we all can understand it? I do believe this Hofmeyr guy has got quite an inflated ego.

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  2. Ho Chin Min says:

    I don’t speak doos 🙁

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  3. Chris says:

    I don’t speak as much Afrikaans as I’d like to, but I’m really happy to see it show up on the site.
    It is a very rich, expressive language spoken by a fascinating people. All these trolling fucks can eat a dick / Al hierdie troll naaiers kan a fokken piel vreet

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  4. Andy says:

    So what you saying Koos? it’s a kak storie, ne

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  5. Poep says:

    Desperation sal nooit die naam van ‘n nuwe parfuum, deodorant of selfs toilet sproei wees.

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  6. Ulla says:

    Hope this Afrikaans thing doesn’t become a trend. It’s alienating.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    No wonder boneheads don’t like soutpiels…

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  8. Ulla says:

    Just want to clarify that I don’t have anything against Afrikaaners. Just don’t see the point of using the language here, since any Afrikaner who visits this site will be bilingual, anyway.

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  9. JOU tweet is belangrik says:

    Soms wens ek dat ‘n ongekende elende oor die mensDOM sal kom. Sodat ons ALMAL kan rondkyk met waterige ogies en besef ‘EK – is nie spesiaal of besonders.’

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  10. Karen Zoid says:

    Afrikaners is plesierig.

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  11. stereotheist says:

    I’m a bi-lingual South African, but afrikaans is my first language…however I would just like to say that steve hofmyer has never and will never represent me or anything I stand for. Also, dictionary defines the word kaffir as a godless person, the bible describes a godless person as someone who would for instance cheat on his wife and father illegitimate children, therefore steve hofmeyr is a kaffir…and thanks for posting an afrikaans article Mahala, but I do have to agree that it’s exclusionary. Same would apply if it was in xhosa or sotho.

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  12. ntombi says:

    dis lekker om Afrikaans te sien, maar ek wil ook Xhosa lees, en as daar Sotho is, moet ek ook daai taal leer… dis ‘n stukkie van die betekening of what it means to be South African… I defy the hegemony of English or the insistance by monolingual English people that ‘everything must be translated for them’. How do you think the rest of the world feels? Besides, there is so much evidence of the benefit of being multilingual–which is the norm. Monolingualism is the exception.

    Mhlawumbi abanye abantu kufuneka bafunde ukuthetha ulwimi olumbi. Just sayin’.

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  13. ntombi says:

    @Ulla… of course it’s alienating–once again, how do you think everyone who doesn’t speak English feels when everything’s in English? shoe, other foot, no?

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  14. Roger Young says:

    @stereotheist

    We will be starting to include writing in all South African languages slowly. as we need to find the right editors, but surely

    Yes, it’s exclusionary, if you don’t speak the language.]

    It’s time we South African’s realised that the only real way for this country to work is if we all are at least bi and preferably tri lingual.

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  15. StereoTheist says:

    touche…ironic how stereotheist turns out to be a mono linguist.

    @Ntombi
    you put me and my vitriol to shame, en jou gebruik van afrikaans bespreek iemand wat die regte houding het teen opsigte van hoe hierdie land en sy mense eintlik behoort te wees. I made the effort to read ALL of your comment, and you are right, i should learn more and nag less. Meer soos jy is wat ons land nodig het, so ek sal gaan werk aan my onkunde. …As an interesting side note, google translate said you were speaking indonesian 😀

    @Roger

    i confess that i might have commented in a knee jerk reaction to seeing steve hofmeyr on this or any site. he makes me vomit a little every time i see him depicted. Koos Marais’s review is very good in that it’s unscathing and very fair and balanced, asks good questions, but i cant be fair and balanced when it comes to Steve .There’s quite a subset of afrikaners that are on a first name basis with him, even though they’ve never met him. It’s scary. He’s the micheal jackson of SA, in that he can get away with saying and doing anything. jurie els got fucked, but Steve could probably get away with touching a kid. but i digress…

    i haven’t read the book myself, but from what Koos describes it reminds me of Norman Spinrad’s The Iron Dream (what if hitler had written sci-fi!?!) and sounds like another psuedo-nationalistic, artistically bereft, commercial cash grab ala bok “delarey kom lei my soek jy ‘n rede om in afrika te bly” van blerk. it’s hard to judge artistic merit, or value of any kind, when dealing with these highly public figures in our still racially charged society, but i honestly loath these fuckers who think they represent me just because afrikaans is my first language…you see, they made me type all this bullshit!!! but who knows, maybe the book will become a paradigm in afrikaans speculative fiction and i’m completely wrong. As Einstein said, condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance…

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  16. haha says:

    @ StereoTheist – yes, just because he’s fathered a lot of children doesn’t make him the ‘volksvader’

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  17. Andy says:

    Xhosa, Sotho and Zulu coming soon…

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  18. Here says:

    Ek wou graag hierdie pos less, maar my Afrikaans is te swak/kak. Kan julle ass-a-blief tog hierdie ding in Engels publiseer. Vokken dankie ekse.

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  19. Lebohang says:

    Andy, It won’t work mainly because more people of a upper class speak Afrikaans because of this channels like MK are sustainable. Most of the blacks who read mahala can speak their home language but aren’t really interested in reading something in their own language. This is evident with SABC 1, none of their shows are completely in vernac. Try it out but I highly doubt the response would be really great…

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Oh wow, an article in Afrikaans.
    Steve Hofmeyr?
    Why does that name sound familiar?
    Isn’t he that singer who threatened to use the word k****r in his song?
    The same man who posted inapporpriate and racist comments on his wall?

    Wait…
    Why couldn’t they publish this article in English?

    *noble idea – if the article was about a band or festival it may have worked, but because it concerns someone who has repeated devalued a particular race it feels…it feels…insulting*

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  21. G says:

    Anonymous @931pm : have the guts and get urself a name. then go educate urself and learn the afr lang u twit

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  22. Nadine Theron says:

    @Anonymous 931pm

    Good point. If I see something about Eric Miyeni published in a South African vernacular language, I would be suspicious.

    But stick it in Google translate to see that many people who speak Afrikaans are concerned about Hofmeyr’s attitude and don’t want to be associated with him. That is exactly the point of writing about Hofmeyr in Afrikaans

    If it was published in English it would have come across as an English perspective aimed at Afrikaans people. In Afrikaans, it’s only aimed at Steve. The content estranges the language, already stigmatised by its history, from the Hofmeyrs of the world.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    @ G: hahahahaha because ‘G’ is much more descriptive! Mr G, I would appreciate it if you would respect my opinion instead of hurling baseless insults at me.

    @ Nadine: I actually had a friend help explain the article to me. It was very interesting – my comment was merely portraying the possible initial reaction of a non-Afrikaans speaking person coming across this article – I appreciate the fact that you got that.

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  24. […] Hofmeyr in Wonderland | MahalaJul 29, 2011 … Daar is min kunsvorme wat Hofmeyr, man van vele talente en Ayn …. @Ulla… of course it’s alienating–once again, how do you think everyone … […]

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