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Grietjie Adams has blossomed despite the odds. Grietjie is almost seventy-eight years old. Some say she is the mother of rap. What is a fact is that her songs tell stories from South Africa's history. And she sings an Afrikaans that is pure poetry. Grietjie Adams was born on a farm in Garies and went to school for only four years. Despite years of being a domestic worker, she never stopped singing. Her life story is inextricably bound with the story of her town, Garies, and all its people. The intimacy and inter-dependency of small-town life during apartheid shaped her as much as the indigenous culture of her own people did. The relative isolation of the region and the town mean that the people – regardless of race or class – have an interconnectedness not found in the cities. The film gives the viewer insight into a modest but rich world.

"The making of this documentary was personally very important for me as it involved my own private journey of exploring identity – identity in terms of the spoken word, association and place. Having grown up in the Namaqualand but not having been born there raised issues of association and place. The film is an understated nod at these big issues, while focusing on Grietjie Adams – a seventyeight-year-old singer who is a product of the Namaqualand. Afrikaans spoken by the people of the Namaqualand is a lyrical dialect. An answer to a question is often given as a story. Afrikaans is an indigenous South African language more commonly associated with the perpetrators of apartheid than with the beauty and goodness of this godforsaken region and its people who are so-called Coloured." Odette Geldenhuys

Production: Frank Films

Cinematographers: Odette Geldenhuys, Bart Smithers

Editor: Thomas Barry

Sound: Tonia Selley

Format: Digi Beta PAL, Color

Running time: 48 min., 25 frames/sec.

Language: Afrikaans

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur