Set work for gr. 8 1st additional language. Poem, Klara Majola. English introduction of the back ground to the poem. Created and compiled by learners from Northwood Boys High School, Durban, South Africa.
The story of Klara Majola is based on the true tale of a young girl's bravery in search of her blind father. This happened 60 years ago. The story is set in the Koue Bokkeveld, which is known for its bitterly cold winters.
<ul><li>The Koue Bokkeveld (Cold goat country) </li></ul><ul><li>is one of the coldest places in the Western Cape in our winter </li></ul><ul><li>from </li></ul><ul><li>June to August. </li></ul><ul><li>It is also called Little Switzerland because of the high snowfall in winter. </li></ul>Ceres and The Koue Bokkeveld
Ceres and The Koue Bokkeveld <ul><li>As soon as a person drives over the crest of the Gydo pass, just outside Ceres, there is a turnoff to the left with the sign, Agter-Witzenberg. It is a narrow road that leads through the mountains and opens up inside a completely new valley filled with vineyards and fruit-trees. </li></ul>
Klara Majola lived in this remote farm community with her father who was blind and the rest of the family.
This story has been taken up in various ways in Afrikaans literature.
A Newspaper article in Die Burger , 31 July 1950 Die Burger Die Burger
On the 31'st of July 1950, the Cape newspaper Die Burger ran the following news item which I loosely translate here.
Frozen in the Veld <ul><li>Went searching for her blind father </li></ul><ul><li>Ceres. -- An 8 year old black girl froze to death one night in the last week after she went looking for her blind father and got lost. </li></ul><ul><li>She is Klara Majola. </li></ul><ul><li>She lived on Mr. Ernst van Dyk's farm, </li></ul><ul><li>Die Eike, in Agter-Witzenberg. </li></ul>
Klara made it a habit to lead her blind dad around the farm and to take him to places where he could gather wood. Later she would then go fetch him.
Her mother went to a nearby farm during the day. She came back at dusk and wanted to go fetch her husband, but Klara offered to do it.
It appears that she could not find her father and got lost. The workers and other occupants of the farm went to look for her. Her father answered their call, but Klara could not be found. Shortly after finding her father, it started to Rain.
Mr. Van Dyk only heard about the events the next day. He immediately gathered a search party. Klara was found dead in a road.
It appears that she slipped over some rocks in a stream and fell into the water. She was to cold and frozen to get up. Her one arm was under her body and the other hand was in her mouth. It was particularly cold that night and a thick layer of snow had fallen.
D.J. Opperman was so affected by the story that he wrote a poem about it in Engel uit die klip , Tafelberg, 1951. The title of this poem was " Klara Majola ".
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The story was also transformed into a short story by Boerneef in a compilation, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teen die Helling . </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The title of this story was " Klara Mentoor ". </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>