Essay

Wannie Carstens: Profeet vir versoening – Sy enigste droom was om die Afrikaanse gemeenskap te versoen

Michael L. le Cordeur
Literator | Vol 39, No 2 | a1514 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v39i2.1514 | © 2018 Michael Lucien Le Cordeur | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 April 2018 | Published: 06 November 2018


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Abstract

Wannie Carstens: An agent for reconciliation. His only dream was to reconcile the Afrikaans community. When I first met Wannie Carstens, I thought to myself: This must be one of those WOW moments that people talk about. Two individuals from different backgrounds came together, thanks to Afrikaans, and we clicked immediately. Since then, our friendship for the last 12 years has sustained a number of storms. But mostly our friendship bore fruit that would change the Afrikaans landscape irreversibly, whilst at the same time our friendship continues to grow. In this contribution I will firstly describe that WOW moment, after which I will elaborate on three aspects that glued our relationship together. First there was the establishment of the Afrikaanse Taalraad (ATR) (Afrikaans Language Council) which had started in 2003 already, became a reality in 2008 and lasted until 2013. It was in this time that we travelled to the Netherlands for the first time. Our relationship continued when we both served on the Board of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (SA Academy for Science and Arts). This journey, which was not always smooth for Wannie, lasted from 2012 till 2014. After Wannie completed his term as chairman of the Academy and my term as chair of the ATR came to an end, we again found a new common goal: that of a book called Ons kom van vêr (We came from afar). This will be the third aspect that I will be writing about in this contribution. Throughout this piece I will point out how Wannie has always strived towards reconciliation and how this theme runs through his life as a whole.

Keywords

Afrikaans language board; Adam Small; We come from far

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