Pieter-Dirk Uys: The Echo of a Noise: Snap # 3

A WHISPER FROM THE ECHO OF A NOISE

I had two mothers: Berlin-born Helga and Athlone-bred Sannie. Sannie Abader was part of the family for as long as I can remember, ruling us from her kitchen with discipline and humour. She taught me how to speak real Afrikaans – not the language they used in Church to reach God’s ears, but the sexy Cape Flats dialect that made the angels laugh. She and Pa eventually angrily parted ways and it was a like death in the family. But Sannie came back bit by bit, visiting and drinking tea, and so through the years broke down those unvisible walls of prejudice that encased us all. In the last years of his life, Sannie came back home and looked after Pa till the end, helping me through the new silence. Taking her to that queue on 27 April 1994 for her to vote for the first time in her life will always be a moment to cherish. Never mind she voted for the National Party!