Riebeek Street, Wynberg around the 1950s

John BojeJohn Boje, 1 September 2021
Today a Wynberg address is a "good" address - in the forties it was not.
John remembers the inhabitants of the semi-detached houses - one of the houses was inhabited by English speakers who were Roman Catholic.and therefore doubly foreign. There was another English family, but they were "only" English.
The landlord was elderly – he turned one hundred and received a telegram from the king.
Furthermore, the fact that South Africans were under the rule of England is evident from the rhyme they had to learn at school that "they had to fight for Great Britain to be great".
There was a shop that played Indian music and where they could buy sweets such as magic balls and free sweets.
Opposite their house was Gurbakh Singh's house and his ginger beer factory. He sometimes pushed a sixpence into the children's hand. For them, it was a lot of money.
John writes about the Lutheran school he attended, the teachers and the class division. Before school, the pupils who wanted could attend German classes and there he learned German songs. He remembers the names of his classmates.
The spirit of the times emerges clearly. The injustice of apartheid is experienced through the eyes of a child - one classmate who disappeared because his hair was too frizzy, "old" Emmie next to the shop had to move, there were two entrances to the post office…
The Down Memory Lane narrative is illustrated with beautiful contemporary photos of the street.