Egonne Roth

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Groot Constantia

Posted by Egonne Roth on October 10, 2017 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (0)


WhatsApp conversation on our family group:

Tamar: My club has a run and need helpers. Anyone ready to help?

Dishen: Yes, I will help!

Me: So will we!

We had just offered our services to help at the Grape Run that goes through the grounds of Groot Constantia Wine Estate without realising what it entailed. We had to report for duty at 6am as we were manning the first and last stations, which on this run were at the same place just inside the main gates. Table...

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Shweshwe

Posted by Egonne Roth on September 27, 2017 at 3:30 AM Comments comments (1)

It was 1972 – the height of Afrikaner nationalism and apartheid and I was a student on the campus of Stellenbosch University. I was seventeen years old and I wanted to register some kind of protest at being forced to study in this all Afrikaans environment. I was not the kind of youngster to wave banners and do sit-ins, shout slogans or smoke pot. It simply did not appeal to me and I did not want to embarrass my mother, even if she was the cause that I was where I did not want to be.

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Creating a new home

Posted by Egonne Roth on August 10, 2017 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Week 1

 

Today a week ago, we awoke for the first time in our apartment here in Berlin. Around us was total chaos. After a seventeen hour drive from Mama’s house in south Germany and a lunch break close to the Dutch border to collect some wonderful things from our friends in Kleve, we had arrived and unpacked into the night. As we could not lock the trailer filled to capacity with furniture and lots of small parcels, we had had no choice but to unpack. Once everyt...

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Surprising class

Posted by Egonne Roth on May 27, 2017 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (1)


 

A few weeks ago in my English class for software students, I asked a group of students to meet me at the end of the class as I had a problem to discuss with them. At the end of our discussion most of the students drifted away not very happy about the talk. However, one student, Hadi, with whom I have a good relationship, asked me, “Egonne, why did you only keep back the Arab students?” I gave him my reasons and he said he accepted them.

But lat...

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Africa in Berlin

Posted by Egonne Roth on April 15, 2017 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (15)

Shortly after I joined the Facebook page “South Africans in Berlin”, there was a message of a gig announced to be played by a Gauteng group called Thabang Tabane | Sibusile Xaba at a café called Prachtwerk.

        

I listened to them on YouTube and decided it would be fun. I googled Prachtwerk – directly translated ‘wonderful creation’ and discovered they were in Neu...

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Fasnacht in Basel

Posted by Egonne Roth on March 15, 2017 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)


 

It’s just after 3.30am when we leave the apartment to make our way to the old inner city of Basel. We’re not alone – many people are on the move, some in elaborate costumes, some with kids in carrier bags, all of us warmly dressed with scarves and hats and heavy jackets. It is cold – barely about 3* or 4*C. In the inner city up on the Münsterplatz, where it all began many centuries earlier there is a festive atmosphere in a manner peculiar...

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Fasching in Waghäusel

Posted by Egonne Roth on March 1, 2017 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

It’s just before 11am on a cold Thursday morning that I get onto the bus to go from the small village of Oberhausen-Rheinhausen in Baden Württemberg to the next tiny village,Waghäusel. It is the Schmutzige Donnerstag (Dirty Thursday) festival. The bus is filled with young and old dressed up for the occasion and the atmosphere is one of celebration.


I become fascinated by the faces – most completely...

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Meeting again

Posted by Egonne Roth on August 10, 2016 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Erfurt, Germany. First mentioned around 746 AD. Home to the first university in German, which was founded in 1379, closed in 1816 and reopened in 1994. The beautiful, old inner city was scarcely damaged during the Second World War and today Erfurt is home to about 206,000 residents among whom is one young Syrian woman rescued from the sea off the coast of the Greek island Lesbos in 2015.

Last year, Yehudit and I visited Erfurt on our way home to Mama from Berlin and stopped long enough...

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The Image as Burden

Posted by Egonne Roth on July 29, 2016 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)


There is always something surreal when one reads about an old school acquaintance: “she is today one of the most outstanding and influential painters of our time.” But this is one of many descriptions of Marlene Dumas,


whose exhibition, “The Image as Burden” we had the privilege of seeing at the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen outside Basel, Switzerland in 2015. Marlene matriculated at Bl...

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No return

Posted by Egonne Roth on June 4, 2016 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (0)


I am lying flat on my stomach, naked under a black and white fleecy blanket. My face is half buried in the pillow. Maya, our masseuse, who comes regularly to our house, is pummelling my feet. Her hands are strong and sure, yet tender, as though my feet are her baby granddaughter’s. I begin to cry. So much tenderness is undoing me. She does not notice. Mozart’s Oboe concerto in C major is calming the air: outside the sea is roaring and crashing onto the beach. A little ...

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