Cape Town - The First Peoples Indigenous United Nations (FPIUN) NPO held a last-day event commemorating Women’s Month at the Castle of Good Hope.
The group of women say that even with 29 years into the country’s democracy, the first nation people are still facing difficulties in governance and self-determination.
The women also believe that it is scientific knowledge that the Khoi and the Xam people were the first in the country, and that is why the celebration was brought to life this year, marking their annual event.
Furthermore, the concept was derived from the idea of 20000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956.
FPIUN founder Esther Johnson said they were starting a “tradition” as the first nation people and it had to be impactful, it had to send a message, it had to be noticed and it had to be published.
She said this must not just be nationally, but internationally to make it known, not just to the first nation but to the entire world, that they are still here. The history that has been recounted to people that they no longer exist is untrue.
“There are bizarre stories, absolutely propaganda about the first nation people. We are here to stand up to say we have never gone anywhere. Yes, we suffered the first genocide in the world, but history does not depict that, they don’t tell that story.”
Johnson said they strategically chose to host their event at the Castle of Good Hope because it feels like going full circle. Their people were enslaved and tortured there and the dungeon still exists at the Castle.
“We are here to take a stand and to sort of do a spiritual and ancestral cleansing. We are taking our power back, we are doing nothing wrong but instead we are taking back our place after it was forcefully taken from us.”
Michelle Arendse, also known as High Commissioners Sores, said if they themselves recognise indigenous women, then they recognise where they come from. Before them they had mothers like Krotoa, and even on Women’s Day they don’t get recognition as they are supposed to.
“We also have a right to acknowledge ourselves and that is why we are here to celebrate indigenous women, those who have fallen and those still alive.