Sunday, June 30, 2024 - 00:00

This book explores the historic times in the Cape, particularly Simonstown, during the Dutch and British occupation in 1700 and 1800. It is a must read for anyone who has a connection to Simonstown and the Cape. Throughout the book, the author details many individual stories of enslaved familes whose names many would be able to trace back in their own family histories.


Book Cover


I am a member of one of the many families descended from enslaved ancestors of Simonstown and the Cape. I found the information and stories in the book heart-wrenching to say the least, paricularly the treatment of young children born to enslaved women being wrestled away from their mothers, sold off or enslaved elsewhere, leaving heartbroken, desperate mothers unable to find them or garner the money to buy their freedom. Many from as young as five years old. And not forgetting the many children taken from their families in the different African countries and crammed onto ships to be sold in the Cape, Simonstown and elsewhere. Losing their identity and never seeing their families again.

The brutality inflicted upon adult men and women, stripped of their human dignity and trapped in their enslavement, leaves one with an understanding of our scarred communities today and the impact it still has on generations down the line. But despite all of the hardships, suffering and humiliation, their determination and resilience to overcome and build their families is to be admired.

If you ever wondered about the silence of our parents and grandparents about their past and why most of them were so submissive especially during the traumas of the forced removals, you need to read this book. It also shows how our lives are intertwined with the Dutch, British and our enslaved ancestors.

‘An uncomfortable Paradise’ is an apt title for the horrors endured by our families, our ancestors during those times, in a country that offered the milk and honey of the land, exploited by the Colonisers, and although granted their freedom and left in poverty, gave us, a modern day generation a brief opportunity to savour, be exposed to, and appreciate the idyllic town, of green landscapes and blue seas, our ancestors built up with blood, sweat and tears only for families to be once again disowned and driven out, forced to rebuild lives elsewhere.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 - 21:35

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