Afrikaans’ was the slogan used is
the black school children in the townships protesting the state of their
the use of the Afrikaans
language as the medium of instruction in black urban schools.
On June 16th, 1976 terrible racial clashes erupted in Soweto and
127 students were killed when police fired on the protestors.
36" x 36" Oil on Canvas (2000) $2500
South Africa had two
official languages, English derived from it’s British colonial days and
Afrikaans, a hybrid of Dutch, German, French and English, which evolved
from precolonial times to the mid-20th century. Afrikaans was
the language of the ruling Nationalist Party since 1948, the
language of the oppressors and the object of hatred and derision amongst
South Africa’s non-white peoples. The children believed they
should be taught all subjects in English, a language of universal
application. Speaking only their tribal language and Afrikaans, it
was believed, would not enable the students to compete in the world
outside of South Africa.