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Presenter Jolene Martin on Khoi culture being unpacked in new SABC2 series

Rehane Abrahams researches the Khoi culture with community representatives. Picture: Supplied

Rehane Abrahams researches the Khoi culture with community representatives. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 9, 2023


Media personality pair Rehane Abrahams and Jolene Martin dissect the history of Khoi culture in new SABC 7-part series “The Khoekhoe Saga”.

The new weekly series has garnered the attention of viewers since it kicked off on January 8, 2023.

Presented by Abrahams and Martin, “The Khoekhoe Saga” chronicles the untold story of the Khoekhoe herders, also known as the “forgotten people”.

The Khoekhoe saga documentary is written and directed by Johann Abrahams, a direct descendant.

The synopsis of the series speaks of the Khoi people who were believed to be extinct. The statement reads: “Wiped out by the disease, a myth perpetuated by the colonial powers and the apartheid regime.

“This landmark series uses a modern interpretation of historical records by historians, rock art, and excavations from archaeologists to reveal a new narrative.”

Jolene Martin and the crew in Leliefontein. Picture: Supplied

Episode one further explores Abrahams spending time with descendants of the Hessequas and takes a countrywide journey to trace the trek of the Griquas.

She arrives in Kokstad, where she meets descendants of those who made the journey more than a 100 years ago.

Meanwhile, Martin takes a trip to Namaqualand to explore the ancient art of storytelling in Komaggas, and meets some interesting characters.

Martin told IOL Entertainment: “It’s been an epic project to do. This documentary, including all the thought leaders, crews, and stars were all brought together by forces.

“You can’t talk about this project without acknowledging our ancestors. They fought the very first battles in the Western Cape.”

Martin says the documentary unearthed more personal roots to her DNA than she knew and answered questions about her history.

“Personally, it was life changing… I had a bad experience in 2017 on Heritage Day, it was a dehumanising experience that motivated me to get my ancestry test which confirmed my bloodline as being Khoi descendent.

“I was also able to give my mother answers about the Khoi, before she passed away in 2020, because the documentary was changing her life and she was able to pass on knowing her heritage.”

The film traces the origins of the Khoekhoe in Northern Botswana and their distribution across Southern Africa. It also explains the difference between the Khoekhoe and the San (Bushmen).

Followers had this to say on Martin’s post:

lesleypiet_ wrote: “Brilliant 🔥.”

renaldoschwarp wrote: “👏👏 lekker!”

samyskefi wrote: “Thank you for keeping our culture alive by means of this edutainment documentary. Jy is 'n fenomenale inspirasie!”

samzac20 wrote: “❤️I love me some South African history. Love how you embrace it, Jolene.”