Blog 5 Sept 1

The Grade 10’s recently looked at the poem, Riemvasmaak by Peter Snyders. Riemvasmaak is a settlement in the Northern Cape where people were forcibly removed to make way for a military testing site until 1994, when a process of land restitution allowed the return of families and communities.  The poem explores the emotions that the people of Riemvasmaak experienced during the forced removal.


For the first time the Grade 10’s had to present a monologue.  In the monologue the students explored the feelings that the people of Riemvasmaak would have experienced and had to translate those feelings to the class.  They were able to convey the feelings of devastation, loneliness, hopelessness and despair so well that a lot of their presentations brought tears to my eyes.


I am so impressed with the ability of these students to put themselves in the shoes of the Riemvasmakers and empathetically relate their possible experiences.


The last stanza of the poem beautifully captures the Riemvasmakers’ feelings of hopelessness, but also their hope for retribution and it is these emotions that the Gr 10’s tapped into.  They did a great job!

Waar gaan dit alles eindig?

By die waterputte en manna van Wieweetwaar,

of die bitterbos van Riemlosmaak, of die rooidag en gekners

van Riemstyfloop vir die plunderaars?


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