"As ek droom dan droom ek in my taal,
en as ek saans
voor ek gaan slaap
met my God praat,
dan praat ek in my taal."
Chris Chameleon, one of my favourite Afrikaans singers, sings this in one of his songs and freely translated it reads: "When I dream, I dream in my own language, and when I speak to my God at night, before I go to sleep, I speak in my own language". This is also true of me.
Afrikaans is my mother tongue. It is the language I think in, I dream in, I pray in. I get excited and angry in Afrikaans... and I mourn in Afrikaans. No matter how much I enjoy other languages, Afrikaans is the language I return to always, when in need of comfort or security.
Over the last couple of years, according to the prophets of doom, Afrikaans as a language has been in crisis. They make this claim on the basis that Afrikaans is no longer one of only two official languages, but one of eleven. I do not agree with them. To me Afrikaans is not in crisis... indeed, it is growing like never before.
One of the areas where it had phenomenal growth is in music. Kurt Darren, probably the biggest Afrikaans music seller at present, own a game farm about 15 kilometres from my home. On 19 February this year, he turned 40, and decided to have a music festival on this farm to celebrate this milestone birthday. Fifteen thousand tickets were made available and it was promised that there will also be tickets available for sale at the gate.
Fifteen thousand people attending a festival, roughly 200 kilometres from the city, in the middle of beyond, out in the bush, for only a few hours? No way! If they get 10 000 they would be lucky... or so everybody thought!
When the town started filling up on the morning of Saturday, 20 February, it was not unusual. After all, Naboomspruit is a popular weekend escape for the people from Gauteng and with the Kurt Darren birthday party happening in the afternoon and evening, nobody thought it strange.