Monday, February 12, 2007

More on De La Rey

Yet another link relating to the De La Rey story. Thanks to my parents for forwarding this one to me. It is in Afrikaans, but I will look for a translation this evening, after class.

And while I was writing that, my parents forwarded me a second link, this time from an English newspaper, reporting on the same concert. The two reports are markedly different, though, so if I can't find a translation of the first, I think I will have to translate it myself.

I couldn't find a translation, so my own translation follows. I just must state categorically, however, how important it is to read this report along side the report from the Citizen. I am obviously dependent on these reports for my assessment of events, but I can't help but suspect that the sensationalism of the Beeld report is deliberately overstated, and I must say that I consider it very irresponsible journalism. My hope is that what could be a positive phenomenon is not turned into a problem. It's all in the interpretation, after all.

‘Everyone is a general’

By Retha

General Kees de la Rey was called loudly again yesterday to lead the boers. About 3000 people attended a Bok van Blerk concert at the Hillfox center in Weltevredenpark on the West rand in order to hear his song “de la Rey”.

“I’m here for De la Rey. I really like the words. It’s our culture that is standing up again,” said Ms. Bianca Bredenkamp (19).

“Bok awakens everything in me. He sings about things that we have forgotten, and he brings us together again,” said Mr. Kobus Laurens (37).

Ms. Nina Mouton (48) claims that the song proves that Afrikaans is still important for many people. “I am certainly a part of the De la Rey generation. It’s where our roots are,” she said.
At least ten old national flags were carried by audience members during the
performance. This came after Van Blerk told Beeld earlier that he doesn’t have a personal attachment to the old national flag.

“I don’t identify myself with the old national flag. We’re moving on” he said.

Mr. Herman Webster (35) was one of the people carrying the old flag.

“I am here to support my people. He sings about things that were taken from us, and that we want to take back,” said Webster, who was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the old flag.

When van Blerk sang “De la Rey”, his fans stood as one man. People sang along in full voice, with their fists raised in the air, as the old flag was waved.

“You are all generals” said Van Blerk at the end of the song.
When he thereafter sang about South African sporting hero, the Springbok rugby player Bryan Habana, the fans stood up and left.

According to Mozi Records, the agent for van Blerk’s album, De la Rey, the album had sold 106 983 copies by the 6th of February.

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