“I’m in love with the fucking truth, man.”

Ek is nervous.

Ek weet dit omdat my hande bewe, en dit voel asof my hart in my keel sit.

Nathan Trantraal is in die gebou en ek gaan hom ontmoet.

Ek heti geweet wat om te verwagi, maar ek was opgewonne!

Hy stap by die deur in saam met Gillian, sy vrou Ronelda en sy kind, Seamore.

Ek vra of ek ‘n mic op sy koller kan plaas, maar ek sukkel, my hande bewe nou meer as ooit.

Ek sè skielik, “Sorry, I’m just a bit nervous.”

En hy sè, “You are nervous? I am nervous!”

Ek was shell-shocked, ek het Nathan Trantraal se t-shirt geraak!

Hy begin te praat and toe besef ek, hy’s nogals down to earth.

Hy begin om te sè, “It’s fucking good to be here man.”

He immediately tells us about how his career started.

Drawing is his thing but poetry and writing is a side thing.

Hy vi’tel ons hoe hy en sy broe comics op die agterkant van match bokse ,Courtleigh en Dunhill bokse geteken het.

We heard about the fact that he and his brother aspired to create work of an international standard.

We learnt the importance of professionalism, persistence, his first paying job where he and his brother were paid R20 000 to produce 20 pages that took them six months to complete.

He told us that he worked in a factory as well.

Hy vi’tel ons van sy liewe and hoe hy tye deurgemaak het.

***

Ek het alreeds vrae neergeskryf maar terwyl hy praat, dink ek aan ander vrae.

Hy praat omtrent vir 50 minute toe hy sè, “That was just the preamble”

Iemand kon my met ‘n nat snoek oori kop geslat het.

***

Gillian kyk in my direction en vra of iemand ‘n vraag het.

Ek steek my hand op en vra hoe hy voel oorie fyt dat mense dink daar isi ‘n race soos Kaled nie, en dat hulle sè almal is Khoi/San.

Hy maak seker ons weet, hy isi politicali.

Maar sè ook, “There’s nothing more political than poverty”.

Poverty informs his work.

Hy sè toe, “I don’t give a shit about classifications, you are what people say you are. The government says you’re Coloured, you’re treated like a Coloured. The police decide who you are! But day to day, I’m a fucking Coloured,man.”

***

Hy glo mense moet intimate stories skryf.

Hy skryf in Afrikaarps vir ‘n rede, hy skryf sodat sy mense hom sal vi’staan.

“You can’t translate your experiences,” sè hy.

“They used to make learners in my English class pronounce the same word over and over until their accent was out of it.”

***

Baie mense sè dat Afrikaans die taal van die oppressor is maar Nathan sè dis bullshit en “there’s no fucking debate about that!”

“How can it be the language of oppression, when it is the language of the oppressed? Whoever said that, doesn’t know their history.”

Afrikaarps was die eerste decolonised taal.

***

He tells us about what motivates him to write.

When he writes, he has one ambition; to look for the worst in people.

He wants to find parts of them that are angry and violent.

He believes it is in those spaces that their dignity rests.

He wishes to give people’s danger back to them.

He didn’t realise he had given something back to me

My confidence to write my first piece in Afrikaarps

To never feel the need to translate my experiences for anyone.

 

Feature image taken by Gillian Rennie. From Left to Right : Kyran Blaauw, Seamore Trantraal, Ronelda Kamfer, Nathan Trantraal, Charissa Cassels. 

 

 

 

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