’n Goeie dag vir boomklim

November 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

(To teachers of Afrikaans FAL and my English-reading friends: Please scroll down for a discussion in English.)

boomklim

Soek jy ‘n Kersgeskenk vir ‘n boekwurm van so tussen elf en veertien? Koop vir hulle n Goeie dag vir boomklim deur Jaco Jacobs.

Soek jy ‘n boek vir daardie volwasse vriend of vriendin wat al alles gelees het? Koop vir hulle n Goeie dag vir boomklim deur Jaco Jacobs.

Dit is ‘n jeugboek en is nie geskryf om ‘n sogenaamde “cross-over” te wees nie. Jaco Jacobs verstaan tieners se koppe en hy skryf vir hulle. Dit punt is egter dat hierdie boek soveel temas aanraak, dat grootmense dit sal geniet. Glo my, ek sal ‘n lesing oor hierdie boek se subtekste kan gee … (en as julle my ken, sal julle weet hier volg een…)

Ek wil egter nie die verkeerde indruk skep nie. Hierdie boek is vir jongmense. Die feit dat ou omies dit ook geniet is ‘n bonus.

 

Die storie

Marnus het twee boeties. Hy is die middelkind. Arme Marnus.

Sy jonger boetie is ‘n entrepreneur wat ontsettend baie geld maak.

Sy ouer boetie is ‘n hartebreker. Die jonger boetie verkoop byvoorbeeld soenlesse… Jong boet kry die geld, ouer boet kry die meisies wat afsprake maak om gesoen te word. Man, is dit nie briljant nie?

Die probleem is, arme Marnus was die skottelgoed terwyl die geld inrol en die meisies hulle lesse kry. Al wanneer Marnus die meisies sien, is wanneer hy die deur moet gaan oopmaak vir ‘n blosende tamatie wat wag om na die leermeester geneem te word…

En toe druk Leila die knoppie. Sy stel nie belang in soenlesse nie en vra vir Marnus om ‘n petisie te teken wat moet keer dat die Boom in die Middel van die Heelal afgekap word.

Marnus verstaan nie, en Leila sleep hom saam. Hy het nog die afdroogdoek oor die skouer, maar dit keer Leila nie.

By die boom ontdek hulle dat die die munisipaliteit se manne reeds gereed staan met hulle kettingsae. Die boom moet plek maak vir ‘n nuwe pyp.

Leila besef hulle gaan nie na haar petisie luister nie en klim in die boom.

Marnus, die middelkind wat altyd onsigbaar is, doen vir die eerste keer in sy lewe iets uitdagends. Hy klim agterna.

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Die newekarakters

Ek wil nie meer van die storie weggee nie, maar natuurlik trek die kommosie wat nóú losbars die aandag.

Marnus se kleinboet sien dit as ‘n manier om geld te maak en bel die pers.

Marnus se ouboet… sien vir Marnus raak.

Die pers sien dit as ‘n manier om koerante te verkoop.

Die tannie wat altyd pienk dra, vertel vir Leila hoekom sy altyd pienk dra. (Ek dink ‘n mens moet ouer as 35 wees om die ware impak van haar antwoord te verstaan.)

Die enorme LEGO-man van die rolbalklub vertel vir Marnus en Leila van die tyd toe sy gesin uit Distrik Ses verwyder is.

Die studente wat opdaag om die boom te beskerm, sien dit as ‘n geleentheid om ‘n hengse partytjie te hou.

Marnus se pa weet nie wat om te doen nie.

Marnus se ma werk aan ‘n baie belangrike saak…

En dan is daar die hawelose hond en die pienk honde.

Jy sal nie spyt wees om hierdie mense, of die honde, te ontmoet nie.

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Bron: Wikipedia

Die ekotema en ‘n Bybelse metafoor

Om ‘n boom te beskerm het duidelik ‘n ekotema. Om ‘n boom egter te laat gaan vir ‘n pyplyn wat water na mense sal bring? Sien, Jaco speel nie goedkoop nie.

As julle baie ou kaarte ken, sal julle weet dat die paradys dikwels in die middel van die heelal geteken is. Die Boom van die Kennis van Goed en Kwaad is natuurlik ‘n belangrike deel van die mens se godsdiens- en ekobeskouing.

Net soos die Bybelse boom uiteindelik individue na binne laat kyk, so word Leila en Marnus se Boom in die Middel van die Heelal ook ‘n draer van verskillende mense se passies.

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Protes

Die opsigter van die rolbalbaan het al geleef. Hy het protes aan eie lyf gevoel. Hy gee dan ook die beste raad aan Marnus en Leila. Wat dié raad is, gaan ek nie verklap nie.

 

‘n Lekker boek met ‘n lekker einde

Die einde is baie anders as wat ek verwag het. Daar is egter hoop. Lees maar self. En, mag ek maar sê, soenlesse kom wel ter sprake, maar hierdie keer baat nie een van Marnus se boeties daarby nie!

Lees asseblief verder, die onderstaande is nie ‘n herhaling van die Afrikaans nie.

 

#ShouldWeTeachKidsAboutProtests?

This book is ideal for teenagers in high school who need to read Afrikaans as First Additional Language. My son is thirteen and is extremely aware of the world around us, also the political world. Through the social media he knows about bombs in Paris and atrocities in Palestine, and he cares.

 

#TheHashTagGeneration

One if the most interesting moments in our democracy happened on 23 October 2015 when a trembling politician announced that there will be no increase in university fees for 2016; then he fled the scene in his motorcade without any sirens blaring. The lack of sirens said so much: Here was a politician who had been told by his vast security outfit that they could no longer contain the popular uprising. Thanks to the social media the #FeesMustFall movement had grown into a national security threat.

But why is that important? What has that got to do with the book? Zuma’s announcement actually put universities in a quagmire and the students knew that there was hardly any victory in all of this.

Why then was it an important moment? The answer: #TogetherWeStood.

 

#TogetherWeStood

The #FeesMustFall movement was the first time ever the South African born frees understood protest. These students were born after the fall of apartheid and they never saw the protests their parents had led, nor did they understood the hurt associated with police brutality. Marikana happened far away and it happened to adults.

A young friend of mine, who is a little like a daughter, but our friendship is important, was at Wits during the uprising. I saw her growing from total apathy to a proud member of the protest, risking her body for something she believed in.

#FeesMustFall tied black and white, middle class and upper class, students and the workers, all together. It was a united movement against a government that buys private jets and expensive cars instead of looking after the electorate.

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#WhenToStop

One of the hardest things for the students of the #FeesMustFall movement was to decide: Enough is enough. Many of us, older, people worked behind the scenes to help the students see the need to call of the protests, but in the end it had to come from within.

It did at Wits and other institutions, not so at UWC.

When you read ‘n Goeie dag vir boomklim, you will see what the caretaker, who grew up in District Six, tells Marnus and Leila about the point where you know that it might be time to stop. And please note how gentle he is…

 

#PhansiTheYesSayers

English-speaking teachers might not know the name Chris Louw.

Louw was a left-leaning Afrikaans-speaking journalist who once launched a scathing attack on Willem de Klerk (the brother of former president FW de Klerk) in an open letter to the press. An English translation of his letter appears here.

I was fortunate to have had frequent correspondence with Louw over the years. His protest was against a generation of Afrikaner men who had never seen or been in a war; they, according to Louw, were the ones who could glibly sell out a younger generation of Afrikaans-speaking boys to the war in Angola… Louw’s letter resonated with many English-speaking men as well, but what has that got to do with Jaco’s book? Well. My own insecurities were trigger by the book, I guess, but the point is: Louw took on an entire generation of yes-sayers. That generation, and my father was one of them, believed that one ought to follow the National Party government blindly, as the Bible tells you so.

Sadly there are many people my age, including good friends of mine, who are now following the ANC blindly… The ANC counts on this immovable block of voters, that is why they still award themselves riches at the expense of the poor.

With #FeesMustFall we saw a movement against corruption and self-enrichment. For the first time ever did a groundswell movement question the might of the ANC.

 

#BackToTheBook

The book addresses none of the political issues I have raised, you’ll be pleased to note, yet it asks the question: What does one do when nobody wants to listen?

‘n Goeie dag vir boomklim is about invisible people who become visible.

We cannot hide realities from our learners. Much better to address issues and discuss them.

‘n Goeie dag vir boomklim holds no moral lessons. It is a story about a boy and a girl who decide to occupy a tree in protest to people not listening to them.

In front of us, everyday, there are people who want to be heard, who want to be seen. They will understand this book.

I did.

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‘n Goeie dag vir boomklim, deur Jaco Jacobs, word uitgegee deur LAPA Uitgewers.

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