Cape Town - A recent poem "R.I.P to Kaaps" was posted to the Vannie Kaap social media and it has gone viral, leaving many people to celebrate and reflect on their connection to AfriKaaps.
The video has been viewed over 150 000 times, as of Monday evening, drawn an array of emotional responses from those who have watched the poem.
Cariema Isaacs: "A beautiful rendition that so eloquently speaks to my heart. Extremely difficult to hold the tears back! This message comes at a time where the world is more turbulent than it has ever been. Our next generation already torn between who they are and what they should be, not what they could be! We must lead them with our voices and our unique expression of who we are! We have talent in our communities that is way more superior than what we see even in foreign markets. We must allow our vulnerability to take a back seat, our fear to subside and who we are to shine! It’s time! Whether it’s called “Afrikaaps, kombuis-Afrikaans, Coloured slang, etc.” - our voices must come together in a sweet harmony to speak our truth, our heritage, our lives! We are the sum of all of our parts!"
Arnold Myburgh: "Dala what you must cus dai was kak duidelik my bru."
Geraldine Parker: "Beautiful. Was in tears by the end. Who is performing the poem?"
Colleen Figg: "Absolutely excellent. This should now be made into a rap song."
According to Linguist and Senior Lecturer at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Dr Quentin Williams, the "AfriKaaps" label was originally coined by Rap artist Jitsvinger for the Hiphoppera theatre production of the same name.
"AfriKaaps is perhaps a better and more accurate descriptor for the diverse and messy language contact situations that speakers born after the 1980s experience at the Cape," Williams said.
"Any speaker of Kaaps born after the 1980s, speaks, thinks and dreams in a mixture of localized English (influenced by popular cultural practices such as Hip-Hop), Sabela/Tsotsitaal (Prison ways of speaking) - especially on the Cape Flats - and of course whatever language they are able to mix in.
"From a purely linguistic perspective, the sound pattern (typically flattening of vowels, rather than raising them), morphology (the word "Hosh" is not a Kaaps word, for example) and grammar (Standard Afrikaans: beter hier versus "betta hie' in AfriKaaps) of AfriKaaps is closer to Kaaps than it is to Standard Afrikaans, though there are observable differences in accent, how AfriKaaps is linked to identity practices and where the speaker comes from.
"The description may only be true for speakers at the Cape, and in the urban areas or the larger Western Cape, though there may be differences in rural AfriKaaps."