Rooikraal Revisited:Farming During Apartheid by Dylan Weston

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Dylan Weston
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Book review

Rooikraal Revisited: Farming During Apartheid is an autobiographical and nostalgic study of a life left behind. Dylan Weston lived on a dairy farm, Rooikraal, during the Apartheid regime and this collection documents the people, places, interests, and recollections of life in rural South Africa. The bitterness of Apartheid, its inhumanity, is shownbut the good will of the common folk who shared their lives on these "islands of civilization" known as farms is also appreciated and enjoyed. Some of the stories tell of the political impact on the lives of common people, while others tell of human suffering and superstition. Several of the stories describe adventures with animalsfarm animals generally, but also the great serpent the Rinkhals. The stories are all true and the experiences real. This is a period of South African life under white domination which has been swept away, and yet on seeing the destruction not of a political system but a thriving communityRooikraalgreat nostalgia fills the author. The people she knew and loved are gone. There are few traces of their lives and of their sense of community left on Rooikraal. The lesson of life, which she learns, is that one can never return to the land of yore; it lives only in the heart and memorywhere in the retelling it seems to gain a sense of reality.


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