© Reyer Boxem

The lexicon of Dear Winnie

In the performance Dear Winnie a number of specific concepts and names are mentionned that we list here and provide explanations for. 

ANC (African National Congress)
The ANC was founded in 1912 to promote the interests of black South Africans. The movement played an important role in the resistance to apartheid and was banned by the regime. It remains the largest political party in South Africa.

Amandla! Awethu!
this Zulu phrase is the ANC’s battle cry and means “the power is ours!”.

Apartheid
the government-imposed system of racial segregation in South Africa that existed between 1948 and 1991, based on white supremacist views. The release of Nelson Mandela in 1991 is seen as the beginning of the end of apartheid. The first free elections in South Africa followed in 1994.

Biltong, smiley, chakalaka, bunny chow
various South African street food dishes with diverse cultural roots, which are eaten by everyone, regardless of their cultural background.

Rainbow Nation
a somewhat naïve romantic synonym for South Africa. After the elections in 1994, the term was promoted by Desmond Tutu as a symbol for a united, culturally diverse South Africa. It represents a desire more than a reality.

Jan van Riebeeck
van Riebeeck was one of the founders and first commanders of the trading post that is now Cape Town. The Afrikaners (white South Africans of Dutch heritage) see him as the founder of ‘their’ South Africa.

Kill the boer!
controversial battle cry that originated in the apartheid struggle. ‘Boer’ is a derogatory term for white Afrikaners and is therefore (still) seen as both a call
for violence against the white minority and a call for resistance against oppression by whites.

Tokoloshe
a character in Zulu folklore, comparable to poltergeists or Irish Leprechauns

Hendrik Verwoerd
Amsterdam-born Verwoerd was one of the architects of apartheid when he was prime minister for the Nasionale Party. It was under his rule that the ANC was banned and Nelson Mandela put behind bars.

Saartjie Baartman
nicknamed the ‘Hottentot Venus’, this black woman from Hottentot Venus, with Khoi roots, was dragged
to Europe by a British doctor, at the end of the 18th century/ beginning of the 19th century. He paraded her around naked at freak shows, where she was mocked and ridiculed by the crowds. After her death her body parts were put on display in a museum. She is a symbol for the anti-apartheid struggle.

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