Ausi Told Me : Why Cape Herstoriographies Matter by June Bam

Ausi Told Me : Why Cape Herstoriographies Matter by June Bam

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ISBN: 9781776345847

Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd, 21 October 2021

Paperback, 311 pages

Ausi Told Me: Why Cape Herstoriographies Matter provides fascinating insights into life at the Cape over several centuries, the indigenous inhabitants and their accumulated knowledge, and how attempts were made to systematically erase this knowledge during the colonial and apartheid eras. Yet the wisdom of the ages still resides with the Ausidi, the female, intergenerational knowledge-keepers who are revered for the central role they played in Rondevlei, Hardevlei and other communities on the Cape Flats before the forced removals from the 1960s onwards changed the landscape forever.

The book delves into many of the untold stories of the Cape, challenging various scholarly assumptions about the origins and enduring influence of the Khoi and San in the languages and cultures of southern Africa. The meticulously well-researched text is also skilfully interwoven with stories from current and former residents of the Cape Flats who speak candidly about their childhood experiences, the vast expanses of plants and flowers that used to more than satisfy local communities’ food and medicinal requirements, and the Ausidi – the formidable yet selfless family matriarchs, many of whom refused to be cowed by the apartheid regime’s forced removal policy and fought to protect their cherished livestock and land.