Back then, we could rely on the seasons. Rain was consistent. In times of drought, we would go to the mountain and sing and call to God to bring the rain.
Kudala ngoko sasixhomekeke emaxesheni onyaka.Yayinganqabanga imvula. Ngamaxesha okunqaba kwemvula, besihamba siye ezintabeni siyokucula, sithandaze kuqamatha ukuba asi[he imvula.
They used to grow crops and raise animals to provide for their families. They would grow food from their own seeds, and feed their animals with their own vegetables.
Babekade bekhulisa ezabo izityalo, bekhulisa eyabo imfuyo ukuze bondle usapho lwabo. Babekhulisa ukutya okuphuma kwimbewu yezityalo babezityalile ngaphambili. Bondle imfuyo yabo ngezityalo ezivunwe kwigadi ezityalwe kwangabo.
I remember eating dried mealies, which were cooked and eaten only with salt. The mealies and food they ate back in the day were healthier. I recall food on the fire. My father ploughed sweet potatoes, potatoes and mealies. They braaied and baked these on coals in the ground. Back then, they did everything for themselves; they worked hard, and always had enough.
Ndiyakhumbula ndisitya umbona owomileyo, owawuphekwa uthi xa uzokutyiwa udinge intwana nje yetyiwa. Umbona nokutya babekutya endulo kwakusempilweni kakhulu. Ndikhumbula sichophile emlilweni. Utata wam wayetyala amabhatata, iitapile nombona. Babesoja , bepheka ngamalahle emlilweni. Ngoko ke babezenzela yonkinto ngokwabo, babesebenza nzima, kwaye yonkinto babenayo yayanele.
There were rules. Black people can’t own more than 10 cows. That broke my heart.
Kwakhukhwimithetho ngoko. Uhlanga oluntsundu lwalungavumelekanga ukolusa iinkomo ezingaphezu kweshumi umzingamnye. Yayophula intliziyo yam lonto.
After being introduced to a culture of “buying” we have not stood strong in our roots.
Emveni kokwaziswa kwisiko “lasekuthengeni” asizangesama ngokuqina nokomelela kumasiko, ingcambu nezithethe zethu.
Back then, we planted from the soil, we ate from the soil. Self-respect and self-love is the brightness.
Ngoko, sasityala nqo emhlabeni, sisitya okuphuma kuwo umhlaba. Ukuzihlonipha buqu nokuzithanda buqu bukuko ukukhanya.
The soil is the source of life. The food from the soil is healthy. I am still doing what Grandpa taught me. Growing. Living from the earth. They were strict with us because that was what sustained us, kept us alive.
Umhlaba unika impilo. Ukutya okuphuma emhlabeni kusempilweni. Ndisalandela indlela utatomkhulu wam wayendifundisa ngayo. Tyala, ubenokuphila ngawo umhlaba. Babengqwabalala kuthi kuba yayiyinkqubo yokusigcina siphila gentlonipho.
It was very lovely back in the day, as everything came from the soil. The veggies from the soil made us very strong. That is why I have lived to be so old. A garden teaches you patience. People were patient. You planted a carrot, and waited for it to grow. I want to learn about our history. The way we used to live. So I can live and survive with that knowledge.
Ow kwakumnandi ngoko. Njengoba yonkinto yayiphuma emhlabeni. Imifino eyiphuma emhlabeni yayisiphamandla, isomeleza, esenze sizive sidlamkile. Yiyo lonto ndikwazile nje ukuphila ndide ndifikke ebudaleni namhlanje. Igadi imfundisa umonde umntu. Abantu babenomonde. Wawuwutyala umnqatha, ubuyuwulinde ba mawukhule. Ndifunukufunda ngemvelaphi yethu. Ngendlela sasiphila ngayo. Ukuze ndiphile ngalo olulwazi.
Click play below to hear more about Return to Origin and the 'Sustainable Together' Project (audio only). Or watch the video version available at the end of the exhibition.
We are learning from each other. I know things cannot be the same as in the past, but I hope to pass down what can be done to my children. Just sitting and watching the plants grow.
Omnye ufunda komnye.Ndiyayazi ukuba izinto asoze zafana namandulo, kodwa ndinethemba lokuba olulwazi ndingakwazi ukudluliselaa kolwam usapho. Nje ukuhlala ndibukele iziztyalo zikhula.
As a youth I have not had time to sit in circle and listen. I will take these stories and transfer to my children so they know where they come from and who they are. Stories are a legacy to us, and we can take this legacy and teach it to our children.
Njengoluthsa andikhange ndibenalo ixesha lokuhlala kwisangqa ndimamele. Ndizakuwathatha lamabali ndiwadlulisele kolwam usapho ukuz nabo bazi ngemvelaphi yabo nokuthi bangobani. Amabali alilifa kuthi. Nathi singalithatha elilifa silifundise abantwana bethu.
I will share these stories with my children. I now know where I come from, and who I am. I will continue to seek to learn more about our history. I hope young people will bridge the gap between what the old people know and what the young are able to make going forward.
Ndiyakubabela abantwana bam lamabali. Ngoku ndiyayazi imvelaphi yam, nokuthi ndingubani. Ndiyakuhlala ndikuzingela ukufunda ngakumbi ngemvelaphi yethu. Ndiyathemba ukuthi uluthsa luyakuwuvala umda okanye isiskhewu phakathi kolwazi lwabantu abadala nolwabantu abatsha ukususela ngoku ukuya ngaphambili.
We are here to pass on the knowledge of the old ways that the elders are here to teach. The elders and youth can learn from one another. This is a blessing shared between these two groups.
Singanakho ukuwubuyisa umoya wokwabelana. Endulo abantu babeqinisekisa ukuba akukho namnye osweleyo. Singasibuyisa isidima sokuba singobanina thina.
We can bring back that spirit of sharing: in the old days people would ensure that nobody in their community was ever in poverty. We can bring back the dignity of who we are.
Silapha size kudlu; isa ulwazi lwendela kwakusenziwa ngayo kudala, le sise kuyifundiswa ngabadala. Abadala nabathsa bangafundisana. Le yintsikelelo abambise ne ngayo lamaqela mabini.
(Mbali Marais, Project Manager, Return To Origin)
Learn more about Return to Origin and the 'Sustainable Together' Project in the video below.