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by Philip Scott
 

Everyone who “knows” me, knows I always speak (or write) from the heart. Even though I am very lighthearted and known for being a bit of a clown and not taking life too seriously, when I am serious, I say what I say with conviction. Anyone who knows me also knows that I'm not very quick to get angry and I believe I take criticism very well. Well, constructive criticism anyway.

Today I was told via email by Riki “Just a Mommy” that I should be ashamed of myself because I am neglecting my mother tongue (Afrikaans … duh). I never thought I'd feel that insulted that I would actually write my column about this, but I do. I'm offended because this is clearly suggested by someone who doesn't know me, hasn't bothered to gather the facts and does not know my passion for the well being of Southern Africans from all walks of life, especially those living in Australia. I'm told by Riki that there are many who read the “English” Sabona because there is nothing else, and that I make a point of speaking English to Afrikaners.

So, if I'm that upset and offended, and if she's wrong, then why am I writing this in English? Because I'm stubborn and I like to get my own way, and by writing in English I'm able to make a statement, and maybe I'll annoy Riki and all my other critics into action!

Apparently Riki met me 10 years ago and I insisted on speaking English even though she's Afrikaans. Interestingly enough 10 years ago (1999) was the year Sabona was first launched (yes it has been around that long!) by myself and my good friend Deryck Nicholl. Afrikaners who know me better, like Matilda Scarfe from Maleny, will surely recall how during these early years I used to write half of my editor's column in Afrikaans (That was back in the day when I was the editor … no wonder it struggled in those days!)

I used to appeal to all the Afrikaners who read Sabona to write in and submit articles in Afrikaans. I used to discuss issues like how to teach my kids Afrikaans in an English household (my wife is a New Zealander). I even suggested we try and somehow introduce some Afrikaans tutoring into some of the local schools … a suggestion that did not go down well amongst many, by the way. Unlike Riki, I actually have proof of all this IN WRITING!

Since the inception of Sabona I have hounded the Afrikaanse Klub to provide us with articles and content for the magazine because I so badly wanted to have some Afrikaans content. It is only recently that I have finally managed to convince the club to become more involved. In fact this will be just our second issue featuring dedicated pages on the Afrikaanse Klub.

While on that subject, it may be worth noting that I also designed and built the Afrikaanse Klub website (free of charge) and we have been hosting and supporting their website (free of charge) for the last two or three years.

Someone else suggested this week that Sabona is very negative! This comment was made because we've been working hard on raising awareness about people on 457 visas (and I've been vocal in the past about my concerns regarding 457 visas). We've also been asking for help for people in need, helping them find jobs and helping them pay their bills, just to be told that we are using “sensationalism” because it sells!

It's not the first time we've been criticised, so really I should be used to it. We've been called “the magazine for White South Africans” because we don't have enough people of colour in the magazine, yet at the same time we used to have Afrikaners refuse to read our magazine because of the name “Sabona”. I know we can't keep everyone happy all of the time, but seriously this is ridiculous. So for the record I am a Christian (and very proud of that). I am an Afrikaner and proudly speak Afrikaans. If you speak English to me I will assume that is your preference and I will answer you back in English. Speak Afrikaans and so will I. Even though I refuse to wear Safari suits, I happen to think my Afrikaans is excellent, but hey, you be the judge! Ring me on 0413996173 and test me! Then write an article in Afrikaans to publish your findings! Or at the very least visit the link at the bottom of this article and comment!

If you want to see more Afrikaans in Sabona, then help us find people who will write articles for us in Afrikaans. I do not write the articles in the magazine! I write this one and frankly it is a business column and it is read by many, many people who do not understand Afrikaans … and neither does our editor! (She's Zimbabwean!) Our business networking functions are frequented by a large number of Australians and I think it would be rather rude and stupid to be speaking Afrikaans at these functions when I address everyone.

So people hear me speak, hear my name, and ASSUME I am English speaking and then speak English to me.

Believe it or not, we have many Aussies that read our magazine because they're interested in what we, as a community, are up to. They're impressed with the fact that we are so good at supporting our own community … boy do we have them fooled. We have a few things to learn from the Jewish, the Greeks and the Italians! Next I'll be told I'm arrogant. For that I have no defense.

 
 
 
Posted in social |
Posted by Philip Scott
20 Aug 2009



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I think people should do as the locals do, speak the language, follow the rules and just adapt really. I find many White South Africans do not seem to adapt even though South Africa shares similarities with Australia and it is not just language. I found the Non White South Africans (Indians and Coloureds) adapt more in Australia. For instance, the class system does not occur in Australia as it does in South Africa where what job, how much money, what car people have, etc is considered important. In Australia everyone is equal especially in terms of what jobs people do. There are white people working as postal workers, garbage collectors, gardeners, etc where these jobs were limited to Non White people in South Africa during Apartheid. I found many White South Africans cannot comprehend this because they assume that only Non White people should do those jobs. Now I run into many White South Africans in Australia who migrated to Australia before and after Apartheid ended and I sadly have encountered racism from them, mostly the White South African women, I found the White South African men nice though. I was often asked how I got to migrate,probably because their White relatives are trying to migrate and cannot and also told I could not speak English better than them, which I could not understand because South African Indians have lived in South Africa for almost 200 years and followed the British Education system during Apartheid hence spoke British English since the British took Indians from India to South Africa in the early to mid 1800's to work as Indentured Labourers. Also South African Indians are some of the smartest people in South Africa. One would assume that those White South Africans living in Australia for >20 years would have adapted and become more tolerant, but it did not seem so. I even had my career cut short by these racist White South Africans I met in Australia because they could not accept that a Non White person could be in the same career as them. To further reiterate, Australia is a migrant country whose original inhabitants were Aboriginals like South Africa whose original inhabitants were the Khoi San, so everybody is a migrant besides the natives. Another thing is that South Africans are weirdly religious whilst Australians are not and I also found that many White South Africans mostly the White women do not believe in interracial mixing, especially if it involves White male/Indian/Black female, which is rare. In Australia interracial mixing does occur but usually with White male/Oriental female (Thai, Filipino, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc) whom many women are comfortable with not sure if skin tone plays a role, but what White South Africans need to realise is that Orientals are not White because they have fair skin. My advice is that South Africans and particularly White South Africans considering migrating to Australia is to learn to adapt and remember to leave any intolerant views out of Australia.
Rating: 2 / 5
 
by anonymous on 28 Nov 2015

 
I haven't read your review in detial as I haven't read the book yet not out here I think (though due soon). I do so agree about the padding that seems to go into so many books these days, though. In a genre novel, who wants to read 100 or 200 pages of inconclusive repetition? Most crime novels are worth about 200 or maybe 250 pages unless there is something particularly complex or convoluted about them. it isn't literature where one is quite happy to read page after page of beautifully crafted prose, usually the writing of style of genre/popular fiction is quite pedestrian and the story is the thing.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Petinas on 28 Oct 2015

 
I dont know why Afrikaans people are so stubborn all I want say is that you people are the most selfish people in the whole world, It is like everyone has an obligation to do something. Why do you afrikaans have to settle in Australia? Cant you just go back to africa or settle in UK the worst human beings I have ever come across. I work in the service industry and fortunately I dont come across to many white afrikaans but when I do they are selfish, stubborn and take no for an answer even if it is reasonable or it is part of regulation/rules. Pathetic culture, stubborn people and the news is that people and the world does not owe you anything
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Aaron Reyno on 18 Jun 2013

 
Congratulations Philip on an excellent article. Keep up the good work.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Gleneys Ormiston on 11 Aug 2011

 
Always the question to speak or not to speak Afrikaans. Whatever makes you happy - do it. We have been here for 13 years and are now very happy to speak Afrikaans where ever we please. However if there are people who don't understand Afrikaans then be polite! It helps. Good luck
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Liz Olivier on 18 May 2011

 
We also came over to Australian on a 457 visa in late 1999 (business visa) with very little money to start over. It took 4 long years to get permanent residence and a lot of tears and hard work along the way, but I still haven't been back to South Africa and have no plans to do so in the near future. Australia has given me and my family a future. My eldest son has recently completed 5 years at Uni and now has a management position. My youngest son has just commenced a Plumbing apprenticeship, my husband is in his 4th year of study to qualify as a Dental Prosthetist and I was recently appointed as a Bank Manager with one of the Big 4 banks. So many opportunities in Australia if you just give it a go! Don't dwell on the past, be greatful that you don't need to carry a gun to feel safe! We now live in one of the best countries in the world and are proud to be Australian citizens! We miss our family and friends in South Africa. I miss being "twee talig" and speaking both languages, (or maybe 3 at once, throwing in Xhosa as well, being an ex Eastern Caper)especially when I am stressed, but I wouldn't go back to SA to live. No future there for us or our children. Proud to be an Aussie, but still buying "Mrs Balls Chutney"!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Mandy on 18 Feb 2011

 
Ek sal altyd Afrikaans wees en my kinders ook en hopelik hulle kinders ook MAAR, ons is nou in Aus en moet sensitief wees as ons by Aussies kom dat ons hulle akkomodeer deur voor hulle (slefs met ons eie mense) die Ingils te gooi. Wees wie jy is. Jy kan tog nie ontleer om fiets te ry nie - so kan jy ook nie ontleer om jou moedertaal te praat nie maar wees sensitief. Gooi mielies!!
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Leon Hall on 04 Jan 2011

 
Sabona Rocks!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Sandi Dos Santos on 25 Aug 2010

 
I live in Namibia. To the moaning minnies out there, our language here is also English and I am an Afrikaner. Your language will only die out if you want it to. And it make sense "When in Rome do as the Romans do" Why Riki would you want him only to write in Afrikaans, there are not only Afrikaans speaking South Africans but also English Speaking South Africans and it seems the Host nation Australia also like to read Sabona. And Phillip I like the name Sabona, if I was over there I would definitly read SABONA. The name Sabona make me think of lions dont know why
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by CJ on 15 Apr 2010

 
Ja boet... Nee ma-an, I cannot believe this b*llshit about language. We are all ex South Africans living in Australia. Los die politieke kleinlikheid vir Koos Parlement en Jules Madman Malema. Vir die wat Afrkaans wil praat, ek praat lekker saam, so ook my kinders wat so 7 en 9 jaar oud was toe ons oorgekom het. 5 years on, and they still speak the "TAAL" Lekker, but they picked up AUSTRALIAN quickly and speak it fluently. It is all about respect. A lot of South Africans do not speak or understand Afrikaans, so that is why I'm writing this in English. Hey, I'm still a Boertjie, but Afrikaans is not all that still binds me to South Africa. Africa will always be in our blood and memories, and I respect all good South Africans, irrespective of race or language. Groete uit New Ingeland in NSW
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Hendrik Estehuizen on 22 Mar 2010

 
Amper vergeet. What is it with you all about Safari Suits? Long time since I've seen one, even in RSA. Have I ever seen one in the last 30 years? Anyway, I would like to see someone with one again. Toe man! No that wil be one progressive person wearing it. Going retro, and probably a very good bloke! Leave the Suits alone. Lekker kakie klere, die pommies het dit mos oor die wereld versprei...... No, I've never owned a Safari suit!!!
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Hendrik Esterhuizen on 22 Mar 2010

 
Amper vergeet. What is it with you all about Safari Suits? Long time since I've seen one, even in RSA. Have I ever seen one in the last 30 years? Anyway, I would like to see someone with one again. Toe man! No that wil be one progressive person wearing it. Going retro, and probably a very good bloke! Leave the Suits alone. Lekker kakie klere, die pommies het dit mos oor die wereld versprei...... No, I've never owned a Safari suit!!!
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Hendrik Esterhuizen on 22 Mar 2010

 
Oom Philip, Eugene hier uit Johannesburg. My ma hulle het altyd gese al dra n aap n goue ring hy bly maar nog steeds n lelike ding. En nee Oom Philip ek se nie jys n aap of lelik nie:D. Vir die van julle wat nie die idoom ken nie:Al bly jy in OZ, jys gebore n Afrikaner. Ek begin nou die lang proses om te immigreer na OZ(probeer). As jy wil kan ek dit dokumenteer en vir jou stuur soos wat ek gaan in Afrikaans.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Eugene on 04 Feb 2010

 
Oom Philip, Eugene hier uit Johannesburg. My ma hulle het altyd gese al dra n aap n goue ring hy bly maar nog steeds n lelike ding. En nee Oom Philip ek se nie jys n aap of lelik nie:D. Vir die van julle wat nie die idoom ken nie:Al bly jy in OZ, jys gebore n Afrikaner. Ek begin nou die lang proses om te immigreer na OZ(probeer). As jy wil kan ek dit dokumenteer en vir jou stuur soos wat ek gaan in Afrikaans.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Eugene on 04 Feb 2010

 
Ek het die voreg gehad om onlangs die area in Patagonie (Argentinie) te besoek waar omtrent 400 Afrikaner gesinne heen gemigreer het tussen 1902 en 1908. Groot tot my teleurstelling het Afrikaans omtrent heeltemal uitgesterf, alhoewel dit 4 generasies geneem het. Ongeluukig is dit seker maar ook wat hier sal gebeur, tensy mense sal volhou om Afrikaans onder mekaar aan te hou praat, lees, en skryf en ook ons kinders deel te maak van Afrikaans. Te veel Afrikaners oorsee se kinders kan nie eers Afrikaans ordentlik praat nie, en dis eintlik 'n skande wat my aan betref. Dieselfde het ook gebeur met die Walliese imigrante in Pategonie (soos met die Afrikaners), alhoewel hulle hulle taal vir 5 generasies aan die lewe kon hou, is die ook nou verlore. Ongelukkig is dit die realiteit.
Rating: 2 / 5
 
by Johan on 24 Oct 2009

 
Praat Afrikaans when you meet socially,but not in public places
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Karooseun on 03 Oct 2009

 
Vatso - Ek like die tydskrif, oeps, amper meng ek my taal. No worries mate, ek sal ook van tyd tot tyd vir jou in beide tale so n beriggie of twee stuur - Keep up the good work....
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Baas Johan on 24 Sep 2009

 
Riki jou Huisgenoot wag vir jou in SA! Aus is English, deal with it! Well written article Phillip
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Savanna on 07 Sep 2009

 
Goed gedaan, Philip! Ek't die artikel geniet. Ons Afrikaners is mos trots daarop om tweetalig te wees... Dus behoort Engelse artikels geen probleem te wees nie ;) Ek's mal oor Sabona en kan nie wag dat die tydskrif in my posbus land nie. Die artikels is altyd interessant en die artikels oor die 457 visas was 'n eye-opener, want ons het oorgekom met Permanent Residence en het nooit besef hoe mense op 'n werksvisa ge-affekteer word indien hulle hul werk sou verloor. Keep up the great work!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Lesley on 30 Aug 2009

 
Phillip Ek is 'n joernalis wat in Mount Gambier (Suid-Australië) werk en woon en sal met graagte vir 'n verandering in Afrikaans wil skryf. Wanneer kan ek begin?
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Anelia on 26 Aug 2009

 
As a newbie to the magazine (we've been in Australia 2 years now), I find it very interesting and a good source of info. Reading the criticism of the editor by a reader reminded me of one of the things I was glad to leave behind - how South Africans love to complain. (Those of us who emigrate are the worst as far as this is concerned) The magazine is a bonus for everyone of us living here, and should not be picked apart for not being exactly what each of us would like it to be. Keep up the great work!
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Gavin on 25 Aug 2009

 
Viva SABONA !! Excellent magazine I enjoy reading it. Good on you mate, don't stop bring us the "good stuff". I just love reading Brokkies here in New Zealand, and the same for Sabona.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by George on 24 Aug 2009

 
Sabona is doing a great job Phillip and I applaud the compassion with which you have reached out to those who are struggling with the 457 visa terms. I agree we should be inclusive rather than divisive.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Jo on 24 Aug 2009

 
Yeah, you will always find small minded people wherever you go. Shrug and move on. Philip - well written article giving a balanced view. Some people seem to battle to understand that we are all living in an English speaking country now and, as far as public communication goes, we should be respecting that. What we do in our own, private and personal environments, is our own choice. So yes, speak Afrikaans at home and with your friends (like many of us do!), but in the public domain, use English and be inclusive rather than divisive!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by ASJ on 22 Aug 2009

 
How funny the Afrikaers are... My father-in-law always says: "When English men get together, they form a club. When Afrikaners get together, "dan stig hulle af". Or they complain. It is about time for us Afrikaners to realised that the world does not evolve around us or our language! We still speak Afrikaans at home, we have a lot of Afrikaans friends, but we would rather read English that is written well than to see our own language full of grammar and spelling errors! A good example is the Afrikaans Club of New Zealand - they are professional, their newsletter's layout is beautiful and well written. And I believe they work together, and none of them are in their safari suits!
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Spook on 22 Aug 2009

 
Good day dear Sir. i would like to start off by saying that i applaud your amazingly calm and woundefully literate response to people that seem to have nothing better to do than to think of ways of breaking down and critisising people all day long insead of taking the valuable time we have been loaned here on this wondeful planet and rather think of solutions and to just try and see and live the positiv. we are half way on our way to Oz and live for sabona newsletters as well as love and enjoy the comeraderie (please excuse my terrible spelling), love and support shown to work perit ex pats etc. It gives us nothing but hope and trust that once we land in Australia we will be met by open arms and love. do not and i mean do not let negativity stand in your and anyone elses way to continue the awsome work u guys are doing!!!!! to all you negative sad people out there that make it your daily duty to put down people and spread darknness I say shame on you please if you want to live a morbid dull existance do it where it hurts no one else. to you dear sir i say horay!!!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by michelle on 22 Aug 2009

 
Well Done Phillip you are making Sabona proud and the South Africans can be greatfull for the support they recieve, they should rather concentrate on how to live life to the fullest as to complain and make life so complicated yes we all are proud to speak Afrikaans but ye we should respect the Ausies and there culture in the same way that they respect us. To Philip a big thank you for who you are we need more people like you, and I can tell the people out there that you are not shy to answer or reply in Afrikaans as you mentioned you can speak Afrikaans very well as you did to me once after I won a prize and had to confirm details you were very helpfull and polite and had no issues to answer me in Afrikaans.Good on you mate
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Barryl on 22 Aug 2009

 
As one of six kids, it annoys me that both my brothers and my dad are fluent in Afrikaans. It is fantastic to support our history and our language and I would love to improve my Afrikaans and teach it to my kids. Having said all that, Sabona is about inclusiveness not exclusiveness and forcing one language over another pointless. Keep Afrikaans alive but lets be honest it is not going to take off as an official language in Australia.
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Rene M on 20 Aug 2009

 
I couldn't agree with you more, having been in Brisbane for three and a half years, I have moved on from the mentality that some Afrikaans people from back in South Africa have. I too have met countly SOuth Africans, both English and Afrikaans, of different race groupings (I work with an Indian chap ex Durban) plus others, and INSISTING on speaking Afrikaans only tends to Marginalise you in Australia. Get over it people, do you hear Germans, Italians and Greeks speaking their own languages in Australia? no, they have assimilated and speak the language of the country they live in and have adopted as their own. I do of course enjoy the odd natter to an ex South African in Afrikaans, can speak it fluently as well, but it annoys people, so I would be stuipid to carry on. Apart from anything else, it makes you stand out like a sore thumb here, and when I read of the people who bemoen the fact that they have lost a job, or ar feeling hard done by, you would do well to remember that the Aussie way is to be understated, quiet and not stand out like the tall poppy to by cut down for doing so..... On the matter of 457 visas, and I have brought 43 families over from South Africa in the last 3 years to work here - all on 457's, I think the Aussie viewpoint is very misunderstood. An Aussie thinks that if he goes overseas to work, he will always, eventually return "Home" to Australia, us South Africans now Australians have used this system as a means of immigration and on the whole would not want to return to RSA after 4 years - the Aussies don't understand that, and this is the view we need to enforce with the general Aussie public. The 457 Visa is hard (you don't fit in, and fall between the tracks) but if you remain and get your residence and then Citizenship, it becomes a load easier for you. If not, nobody will stand around and shed tears when you head back.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Dave Ballantyne on 20 Aug 2009

 
Personally I don't know what the fuss is all about. As an Afrikaner myself I feel that we live in Aussie now so we have to do as the Aussies do! And that means speaking the local language. We still speak Afrikaans at home, even though we left SA in 2001. I already knew without Philip having to tell me, that a large percentage of the readers will only understand English. A lot of them, for historical reasons, only WANT to speak English. To each his own, but to the hardegat Afikaners who only want to focus on the negative and force people to still do things *their* way, just get over yourself! (I just love that Aussie saying, don't you?)
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Karin J on 20 Aug 2009

 
Update: We now have a fully bilingual journalist in Perth!!! Rozanne will be writing and editing in Afrikaans ... and translating into English where necessary :)
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Philip Scott on 20 Aug 2009

 
 
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