André Brink was a great friend of Solms-Delta. In fact his family owned Delta in the early 1800s, when it was still called Zandvliet. We designed our Museum van de Caab — which displays the social history of the farm — to follow the structure of his brilliant book about the 1825 Cape slave rebellion, A Chain of Voices. The books tells the story of that rebellion from the multiple viewpoints of the different protagonists, slaves and slave-owners alike. This somehow makes it possible for the reader to identify with all of them. André cut the ribbon when we opened our museum in 2005, and he was very interested to learn how his family had treated the slaves here, specifically Philida van de Caab. His own harrowing account of her story was published in 2012 — and it was longlisted for the Booker Prize. He was delighted to learn that our farmworkers are now producing a musical version of Philida, which will be showcased at the Zabalaza theatre festival at the Baxter later this year. He was very interested in the musical life of Solms-Delta. He and Karina attended almost all of our Oesfees celebrations, starting with the first one in 2008. They also attended many of the other vernacular cultural events here, and on more than one occasion they were spotted eating at Fyndraai restaurant, unannounced — and once even took a picnic in our forest without telling anyone they were here. A portion of the French television documentary, André Brink, l’Africain, was filmed at Delta. The last time we saw them here, a couple of months ago, André was looking very frail. It is fair to say that he simply loved Delta; and we, in turn, loved him dearly. We shall miss him always.
– Mark SolmsSubscribe to RSS Feed