Friday, 21 March 2014


KARRETJIE Official Trailer from gabflyMEDIA on Vimeo.
KARRETJIE is the story of two families born on the road, who have been forced into mobility by structures beyond their control. Living in dire poverty and isolation, they battle to find recognition for the role they’ve played in the agricultural economy they served their entire life. KARRETJIE is the story of a forgotten first people of South Africa.A documentary film on the marginalisation of a South African First People, The Karretjie Mense of the Great Karoo. 

Scenes from "Die Laaste Karrejtiegraf" by Athul Fugard, 2013, Fugard Studios



Photo Credit: Jesse Kate Kramer Photography

Scenes from "Die Laaste Karrejtiegraf" by Athul Fugard, 2013, Fugard Studios


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Photo Credit and Set Construction: SceneSchemes

First Afrikaans Production for Athol Fugard

The cast and crew of Athol Fugard's production about the "Karretjie People" of the Northern Cape hard at work preparing for the world premiere of his first ever Afrikaans play in 2013. Directed by Fugard himself, it opend at The Fugard Studio as part of the Suidoosterfees on  25 January 2013. Photo Credit Jesse Kramer Photography


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Athol Fugard - Die Laaste Karretjiegraf

Renowned playwright Athol Fugard’s first ever play written in Afrikaans Die laaste karretjiegraf [The last Karretjie ("donkey cart") grave] will be performed until at the Fugard Theatre until 23 February 2013 as part of the Suidooster Festival. Fugard writes in the programme notes that he wrote the play in honour of his Afrikaner mother who asked him, shortly before her death to write a story in her language. The play focuses on the Karretjie People, itenerant sheepshearers in the Karoo who are direct descendants of South Africa’s first inhabitants. Doing research on the Karretjie People he came across a Master’s thesis in Anthropology by Riana Steyn who gave him access to her work and eventually co-wrote the play with him.

Strangers in their own land adapt to tragedy

Prof Michael de Jongh, author of Roots and Routes – Karretjie People of the Great Karoo – talks to Roelof Bezuidenhout of the Farmers Weekly about his research into the lives of the gypsy-like first people of South Africa who play an integral role in the extensive sheep farming economy of the region. Follow the link to read the interview.
 Strangers in their own land adapt to tragedy
In and around Colesberg, a small historical town on the N1 mid-way between Cape Town and Johannesburg, I met a group of impoverished sheep shearers living in abject poverty, surviving in tiny tin shacks on the verges of public roads. Only recently, in the last 15 years, have they become a settled, sedentary people. They are known as the Karretjie Mense of the Karoo, a label they have given themselves because for the last 80 years, prior to the recent shifts in agricultural and political landscapes, they lived nomadically on donkey carts. 
Photo Credits Timothy Gabb
A donkey cart owned by the Karretjie Mense. Photo by Timothy Gabb.

Farmers sometimes drop off rooikats with Hendrik after they have been trapped and shot. Photo by Timothy Gabb.