A South African TV commercial for Spur showcases a court scene in which “Burger” is declared free. In this commercial a Black Judge delivers his final verdict of “not guilty” by stating: “Burger – I hereby declare you free, my man!” The court verdict is followed by loud applause.
I immediately recognized the connection to “Free Burghers” (Afr. Vryburgers), and often wondered how many others also recognised this obscure and delicate reference to South Africa’s early colourful history. Some may argue that the producers of the advert probably didn’t even realize this connection - but I doubt it, as they would not have used a White policemen (with a stupid looking expression) as the court orderly, to say, “All Rise!” in such a clearly identifiable, atrocious Afrikaans accent.
In another amusing commercial, this time for “Chicken Licken”, the producers played ingeniously on the mispronunciation of the word “burger” - as in hamburger. The commercial depicts a Black dude arriving home to his two room mates, who both happened to be White. The dialogue starts off as follows:
Black dude: “Hy guys!”
White guys: “Hi, where’ve you been?”
Black dude: “I just picked up a beggar on the way home… Yeah, a big beggar too, just sitting there next to me, in the box… smelled so fresh and looked so good… I just couldn’t resist. I ATE that beggar right there!”
The two young White fellows are completely horrified, and the advert skilfully depicts the dramatic imagery of cannibalism going on in their heads. (Both videos are embedded further down on this page.)
Although I do realize that there are some Afrikaners who will find the “Chicken Licken” advert offensive, I personally find it quite hilarious. Maybe my laughter is also a laughter of despair - a peculiar phenomenon of the Afrikaner, which the English philanthropist Emily Hobhouse also observed with wonder, while she was reporting on the conditions in the Boer concentration camps and the aftermath of the scorched earth policy. Click here to read a short account of this terrible laughter of the Afrikaner.
The Chicken Licken “beggar” advert had me thinking that it was about time this blog featured an article on the Free Burghers of the Cape, particularly in the light of the fact that this blog already has numerous articles published about farmers – mostly bad news! My decision to do so as soon as possible was inspired further when I read the rubbish that is currently published online, and how undue emphasis has been placed on the so-called expansion of farms into the territory of the Khoikhoi, as if these drifting hunter-gatherers had exclusive rights to any specific African territory!
Archaeological evidence shows that the Khoikhoi (or San) entered South Africa from Botswana through two distinct routes – travelling west, skirting the Kalahari to the west coast, then down to the Cape, and travelling south-east out into the Highveld and then southwards to the south coast – Source.
These indigenous people were also displaced and victimized by successive waves of hostile Black tribes who were NOT truly indigenous to Southern Africa, but we seldom read about this part of South African history, do we? All we ever hear, read, and see, constantly – is over exaggerated stories about White colonization and the brutality of apartheid… I’m sick of it!
The constant hammering on about scientific and genetic studies that apparently prove the Khoi-San people (with their distinctive Asian/Mongolian features) where the first modern humans, is another exasperating issue. This blog has touched on the issue here and here, but I believe it should be tackled persistently with supplementary research, until our ‘cultured’ professors someday awaken from their deep slumber… or is it fear?
Stay tuned for the follow-up posting, which will deal with those splendid "Free Burghers", the very first White farmers of South Africa. I will deliver the article speedily, before that part of our beautiful history gets totally grilled, roasted and toasted - (pardon all the puns!)