Tag Archives: afrikaans

Concrete Curves of the Afrikaans Language Monument in Paarl (2017-04-22) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 10 FEB 2018

It is impossible not to take notice of the strange, alien-like fingers jutting out from the side of a mountain as you drive towards Paarl, those concrete curves belonging of course to non other than the famous Afrikaans Taalmonument, or to us English-speaking folks, the Afrikaans Language Monument.

While I have mentioned the monument in these pages before, I hadn’t actually ever stopped to visit it as an adult, something that I finally got around to rectifying on a sunny Saturday morning back in April last year.

Seeing as it is a rather long drive from Gordon’s Bay to Paarl, the girls and I decided to first stop halfway in order to pick up on some snacks for the road – opting to drop in for a bit at the always super popular Stellenbosch Slow Market (held at the Oude Libertas amphitheatre).

As expected, it was bustling, but snacks on hand were aplenty.

Truthfully though, we didn’t hang around the busy market for all that long – I’m not overly fond of having to navigate two little girls through such a throng of people at the best of times!

Anyway, navigating our way to the Afrikaans Language Monument on the outskirts of Paarl didn’t prove to be a particularly tricky or perilous task, and after paying the small entrance fee, we drove into the grounds, found a shady parking space, and headed up the stairs towards the mouth of this very unusual structure.

Opened on 10 October 1975, Jan van Wijk’s monument commemorates the semi-centenary of Afrikaans being declared an official language of South Africa separate from Dutch, in the process also acknowledging the influence of a variety of languages such as Dutch, Malay, Malay-Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, English, and the indigenous Khoi and African languages, on the development of Afrikaans.

Symbolism is built into everything that stands before you, and knowing a little bit about the structure before you actually view it does come in quite handy in this particular case.

The monument itself is visually interesting, but of course doesn’t take particularly long to stroll through (perplexing the girls to no end), which is where the grounds and build location then neatly comes into play.

Apart from the interesting Visitor’s Centre (there is of course the actual Language Museum further down in town), and its restaurant with a view, the Volksmond, to enjoy, The Afrikaans Language Monument also features lovely patches of lawn to enjoy a picnic on, fantastic 360 degree views across the town of Paarl and its stunning surrounds, and a one or two perfect for ambling walkways that snake through its interesting garden.

The girls of course enjoyed clambering over everything and anything that blocked their path, but by far their favourite bit of our visit was of course the ice cream that they made me get them in order to beat the Paarl heat at the end of our walkabout.

Truthfully, I wasn’t really complaining. Ice cream was exactly what was needed for the day!

Also, plenty of photos were of course the order of the morning, much to the annoyance of my girls as per usual:

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The Afrikaans Language Monument is an unexpectedly beautiful stop, well worth visiting even if you don’t speak the language at all.

(As for the rest of our afternoon out and about, that was spent visiting a goat tower, petting some alpacas, and eating scones and cream!)

Related Link: Afrikaans Language Monument | Paarl

Theuns Jordaan at The Barnyard Theatre Music | My Life 19 OCT 2016

I’ve mentioned it more than once on these pages that I’m quite fond of Afrikaans music. It’s a delightful medley of over the top silliness all the way through to the real serious stuff. More importantly, it almost always has that ‘local’ feel, which is probably why I secretly enjoy it so much.

Anyway, halfway into October I was lucky enough to be able to catch a live performance of Theuns Jordaan at the Barnyard Theatre here at Willowbridge Mall in Durbanville – and as expected, it was a great evening out!


(If you aren’t familiar with him, essentially he is one of Afrikaan music’s biggest names, however at the same time, he flies so low under the radar that you pretty much almost never hear about him. Characterized by his deeply emotive bass voice, his music is the stuff that works best when sitting reflectively around the fire with a glass of red wine in hand! Also, now that I’ve seen him live, he tends to point his knees at one another when singing the slow stuff – which is kind of comical and can’t be unseen once you spot it.)

As it happened: Jessica and Emily got to spend some time with my folks, while Chantelle and I joined hers for the Thursday evening performance. Drink was obtained from the bar, and pizza ordered from the pizza counter – which was delicious I might add. (Not so much for Monty and Cheryl mind you, as for some or other reason, their order got kind of lost in the system).

We had a great view from the upper tier as Theuns and his super distinctive, deep voice got off to a slow and serious start, but halfway in he started applying the energy, waking the crowd up with a great mix of both his own material as well as classic English (like Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash) covers.

And of course, once his big hits started making their way into the set, well then things really became alive!

For example, “Net Voor Die Storm Kom” (my favourite by the way):

Also, how can you not like “Sal Jy Bly?”:

And of course, he saved the best for absolute last. I suspect though that the crowd may have killed him if he had walked off without performing this legendary track of his – “Soos Bloed”:

As for the venue: The Barnyard Theatre is a privately-owned group of small to medium-sized, intimate theatres and entertainment venue spaces across the whole of South Africa, primarily used to host local music events and stage performances.

Durbanville’s Willowbridge Mall (which long term readers might recall as playing host to the market that Chantelle and I traded at for the longest during her Cupcakery market stall run), is home to the Cape Town edition of the Barnyard Theatre, which is advertised as being able to seat around 500 guests.

The atmosphere is brilliantly informal and always ready for a party, with guests being able to consume both drink and food in the venue. (Drink can be grabbed from the downstairs bar, and as for food, if you don’t want to brink your own, then you can grab a pizza or two from the pizza service next to the bar as well!)

Needless to say, Chantelle and I have been to quite a few performances put on at Barnyard over the years! ;)


Always a fun option if you are looking for something to do with your evening in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town.

Of course, just in case you are looking for it on the map, there you go:

Related Link: Theuns Jordaan | Wikipedia | Barnyard Theatre

Things to See in South Africa: Afrikaans Language Monument (Taalmonument) Travel Attractions 04 MAY 2015

The Afrikaans Language Monument (better known locally as the Afrikaanse Taalmonument) is located on a hill overlooking Paarl, Western Cape Province, South Africa. Officially opened on 10 October 1975, it commemorates the semi-centenary of Afrikaans being declared an official language of South Africa separate from Dutch. Also, it was erected on the 100th anniversary of the founding of Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (the Society of Real Afrikaners) in Paarl, the organization that helped strengthen Afrikaners’ identity and pride in their language.

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 1

A visit to the Taal monument is a fascinating step back into the past. Built in 1975, and designed by architect Jan van Wijk, it acknowledges the influence of a variety of languages such as Dutch, Malay, Malay-Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, English, and the indigenous Khoi and African languages, on the development of Afrikaans.

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 2

The monument consists of various tapering structures of a convex and concave nature, symbolising influences of different languages and cultures on Afrikaans itself, as well as political developments in South Africa, as follows:

– Clear West: the European heritage of the language
– Magical Africa: the African influences on the language
– Bridge: between Europe and Africa
– Afrikaans: the language itself
– Republic: declared in 1961
– Malay language and culture

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 3

Guided tours are available on pre-bookings only. Volksmond Coffee Shop is an ideal venue for Sunday lunches and sundowners, as well as for family gatherings and year-end functions. They also sell picnic baskets to be enjoyed whilst revelling in the spectacular views of the Winelands.

The Monument with its exotic garden is an easy access point to a variety of hiking and biking trails on Paarl Mountain. Popular events include full moon picnics and stargazing evenings during the summer months.

Two amphitheaters are available for public and private events.

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 4

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 5

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 6

Related Link: Wikipedia | Taalmuseum

Music: Glaskas – Meneer (2008) Music 23 MAY 2013

glaskas afrikaans south african rock bandOne thing I enjoy after having made Alternative FM (AFM) 91.3 FM my de facto music station is that I get exposed to a lot of great South African music.

Case in point. Glaskas.

“Glaskas needs no introduction to the South African music scene. Since their emergence in the world of rock as winner of JIP’s Rockspaaider in the Eastern Cape in 2004, they have gained vast recognition as a name on the tips of the tongues of music insiders and the public alike. With four full-length albums to their name, Glaskas have already established themselves as one of the leading Afrikaans bands in the country. Glaskas band members are Deon Meiring (lead Vocals and Guitar), Lolke-Louis Claassen (backup Vocals and Drums) and Francois Kleynhans (backup Vocals and Bass).

In 2006, Glaskas released their debut album entitled Revolusie, Romantiek, Ruk en Rol. In 2008, they released their second album Engele Wat Skree, which was followed by their 2010 release, entitled Aan Die Ontmaskerde Heldin. Last year, the band released their much anticipated fourth album and latest album Verganklik en Afhanklik.

With the release of four albums, Glaskas have enjoyed the following accolades: nominations for a SAMA for Best Afrikaans Rock Album; VONK Music Award for Best Music Video, Best Rock Album, Album of the Year and Best Group; and most recently their 2013 Ghoema nomination for Best Rock Album. Their songs have been included on the soundtracks for the South African films Bakgat, Bakgat 2 and Superhelde.”

Anyway, Meneer was the first single off their second album “Engele wat Skree”, released in 2008, and for some or other reason this song really connects with me at the moment, so it makes sense to feature this awesome song on the blog then.

If you haven’t heard it before, enjoy!

Oh, and while Googling for some info on them, I even managed to grab the lyrics for this track:

Kan jy nie sien
dat ons wêreld heeltemal stukkend is nie?
My vriend, kom wys my bevryding asseblief
Ek is oorlaai met bekommernis
en eensame onsekerheid
Gun my 'n kans om vir regverdigheid te pleit

Moet my asseblief nie in hulle boksie plaas nie
ek is anders, ek glo – ek glo in 'n hoopvolle generasie

Meneer kom cure hierdie land, asseblief
Want ons strate en oë en harte is hopeloos verlate

Jy sal nie sien
as jy aanhou kyk deur die verlede se stukkende oë nie
Meneer kom cure my seer, asseblief
Jy sal nie sien as jy nie om jou begin kyk nie
Meneer, sê my ek is meer as net naïef

Moet my asseblief nie in hulle boksie plaas nie
ek is anders, ek glo – ek glo in 'n hoopvolle generasie

Meneer kom cure hierdie land, asseblief

And just for good measure, here is Glaskas performing this awesome song in front of a live studio audience (as opposed to a dead studio audience of course).

Related Link: http://www.stfrancisvillagenews.com/blog/2013/05/glaskas-at-potters-place/

Music: Jack Parow ft Francois van Coke – Hard Partytjie Hou (2012) Music 21 NOV 2012

It’s a little bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, but I kind of like it when a Jack Parow tune pops up on the radio. His tracks always manage to be pretty damn catchy, even if the irreverent lyrics sometimes make themselves pretty difficult to look the other way!

Anyway, this Afrikaans track features the always loud Francois van Coke on chorus, and as you can imagine, it’s a foot stomper. Though I’m not entirely sure what Nicholis Louw and his fans are going to make of this one…

Goofy South African white trash rap at its finest, if that’s actually possible.

Related Link: Jack Parow | YouTube